That errant baseball or tree limb that has turned your window into a pile of glass shards may have done you an indirect favor. Now's the time to shake things up by exploring different kinds of window glass replacement (or even whole-window replacement) options. Here are four performance upgrades to consider.
1. Extra UV/Glare Protection
Is your broken window in a room housing priceless antiques, rich tapestries, lush carpets and vivid paintings? If so, you don't want to replace that ordinary glass pane with more of the same, especially if you've had trouble keeping UV and glare at bay. Ultraviolet rays are infamous for the ability to fade pigments, draining your beloved furnishings of their color over time. UV exposure also promotes cataracts and skin cancer. Glare is just plain annoying, and it helps to ensure that your visitors won't enjoy admiring your room.
Adding UV-blocking barriers to ordinary glass will help, but not without less-than-desirable consequences. Covering your windows with heavy curtains will protect your possessions, but you'll have to light the space artificially, which only adds to your electric bill. Tinted films, not unlike those you might see on a car side window or RV windshield, alter the quality of the incoming light. This effect makes it difficult to display your room in its full-spectrum glory.
Consider using low-E (low-emissivity) glass in your residential window replacement. Low-E glass sports a reflective metallic coating either on its outer surface or sandwiched between two panes. This layer is so thin that it still provides complete transparency, but you can also get it in a variety of tints. The reflective coating blocks over 99 percent of incoming UV rays. That's good news for your eyes, skin and personal possessions!
2. Improved Insulation
You may not have considered the role your windows play in your home's comfort—until of course, a smashed pane equalizes your indoor and outdoor temperatures. Even a single pane of residential glass will stop you from freezing or roasting. But if you've been living with single-pane windows simply because they came with the house, you should know that you can enjoy better insulation by going with two panes instead of one. Upgrading from single-pane to double-pane windows can reduce your energy loss by up to 24 percent in the winter and 18 percent in the summer. You'll probably need to replace other windows as well to get optimal results, but you can focus on those sides of your house that need the most temperature correction.
This is another situation where low-E glass makes sense for your window glass replacement. The translucent reflective layer in low-E glass not only blocks UV radiation, but it can also do a great job of controlling how much RF (heat) energy passes through the window.
3. Fresh Functionality
A broken picture window is a golden opportunity to re-think that window's functionality. Before going with a straightforward window glass replacement, ask yourself whether you'd like this window to open and close so you can enjoy the occasional whiff of fresh air (or say hello to the neighbors without having to exit your residence). If you'd like your window to work for you, remove the current frame and have a whole new type of window installed in its place.
What type of functional window should you choose? That depends on the specific tasks and circumstances it needs to address. For instance, if you'd like to be able to open the window without getting rained on, you'll want an awning. This type of window is hinged at the top to open outward, providing some degree of protection and privacy. If you just need ventilation and you want an easy-to-clean option, choose a hopper. Hoppers work just like awnings, only they're hinged at the bottom, meaning that you can wipe off both side with equal ease. If you want to stick your whole head out of the window, go with a sliding window (which opens horizontally) or double-hung window (which opens vertically).
4. A Dash of Color and Style
Windows can be a fashion statement as well as a functional part of your home. If you've never really thought of that window as a vehicle to express your own personality and creativity, what better time to change your perspective? Of course you can always dress the window of in fancy curtains or decorative blinds, but you can also take the opportunity to get creative with the window glass itself.
Stained glass is a dramatic way to add color and beauty, not only to your windows but to an entire room. These days you'll find a variety of stained glass designs to complement any home style, color sense or personal taste, allowing you to create dramatic effects in your skylights or just add a dash of color to your humble laundry room. If you prefer a simple geometric color pattern and don't need the window to be functional, you can simply fill the space with multicolored glass blocks.
Don't just replace your broken window—take it the next level of protection, insulation, functionality and sheer style. Discover more on sites of local window installers today to learn more about the many opportunities at your disposal.