Glass Block Windows and Your Home

home windows

You are in the market for new replacement home windows, so you have likely looked into the many affordable Houston windows– double-hung, sliders, maybe even the Jalousie windows – but still you haven’t exhausted all of the possible alternatives until you have researched glass blocks. These hollow blocks can make a big difference in the look and feel of a room, but can also act as an alternative to a traditional window. There are several advantages to forgoing standard replacement windows in certain instances and in place of the normal affordable Houston windows, investing in glass blocks.

Advantages Glass blocks can offer a great deal to a room. For bathrooms, kitchens or even the family den, they can offer a lot of light with less of a privacy concern. The blocks are available in a variety of glass textures and provide a natural distortion that will deter even the most stubborn peeping Tom. In addition, glass blocks are very strong, solid, and durable. Breaking one is no easy task. To break through a window crafted of the bricks would be nearly impossible, which is excellent for those wanting the additional natural lighting without the increased risk of theft. Granted, today there are a wide variety of windows made with laminated safety glass, but even that can’t deter a criminal like glass blocks will.

On top of the added safety and privacy, glass blocks are beautiful and supremely energy efficient. They can be installed side by side and atop each other to achieve small or large window-like features or they can be used in more creative patterns throughout a large wall to mimic backlit artwork.

Disadvantages There are downsides to anything in life and glass blocks are no exception. If you are going to invest in these as opposed to more traditional window replacement in The Woodlands, be sure that you understand the investment that you are making. While glass blocks can last as long as the structure they are installed in, they do come at a relatively high price tag. Some might be deterred by the price per brick, yet when the cost to cover a large space with the blocks is compared to a custom window of the same size, the sticker shock will likely fade.

Glass block abstract | Flickr – Photo Sharing! : taken from – http://www.flickr.com/photos/28481088@N00/3650546470/Author: tanakawho http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

Windows 101: How Double Panes Provide Temperature Control

Ever growing energy costs have millions of people looking for good ways to decrease their homes’ consumption level. There are several methods that have been beneficial for those trying to save their wallets the burden of energy inflation. Even the littlest things like switching off lights when leaving the room, using fewer lamps at night, shutting down computers when not in use, adjusting the temperature on the thermostat, and closing doors behind you can make a big difference. However, the installation of new replacement windows, is one of the best ways to cut energy costs.

A single pane of glass does little to stop heat transfer, yet many old windows featured just one pane. If yours are among them, then your wallet is being hit hard, unnecessarily. Cold on one side and warm on the other, the air mingles at the surface of the glass in an attempt to equalize, which means that the heating or cooling elements in the home must work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in the space. Insulating windows, however, were developed not all that long ago and have been embraced by the industry, tree huggers, and penny-pinchers alike. Two or more panes of glass are aligned in a frame with a space of air between them. The air is a barrier against heat transfer. It stops the meeting of cooler and warmer air and in essence, is a form of insulation.

To make the Round Rock windows even more effective, the dead space between the panes can be filled with a less conduction gas. Argon gas is known to change temperature very slowly, making heat transfer at the window almost non-existent. Argon is found in the air that we breathe every day, but in high concentration is makes for a fabulous insulator. New coatings can also be applied to the glass, which are capable of stopping different wavelengths of light from reaching the space within the home. Infrared light, which is the type that carries heat can either be denied entry, in warm climates like Texas, or can be kept in with a coating on the outer pane of glass in colder climates.

The panes of glass are not the only part of the window replacement responsible for slowing heat transfer. Old window frames were notorious for being major heat conductors. However, there are some materials that are less conductive than others. Aluminum frames went out of style when it was discovered that they let heat pass very easily. Today, vinyl and wood frames are far more widely used. Wood naturally acts as an insulator and vinyl is a manmade composite capable of the same thing. Aluminum frames are still around, but are treated with installed strips of insulation to slow the heat transfer.

For those who are truly concerned with energy efficiency and who have the money to invest, there is the option to buy triple paned windows which further slow the transfer of heat and can provide an ever greater energy savings. The same principles apply, but the extra pocket of air goes one step further in maintaining a comfortable temperature within the home.