Energy conservation plays an important role in making buildings more eco-friendly & energy efficient. Both the residential & commercial buildings of today require to adopt innovative ways to improve the thermal performance & energy efficiency. Most commonly, glass serves as the material which separates the indoors from the outdoors and majorly controls the ingress of radiation & heat. Large windows & storefronts are exposed to the adverse effects of conduction & convection which results in the transfer of unwanted heat.
However, with the advent of innovative solutions & techniques, the drawbacks of glass can be greatly reduced & eliminated. The insulated glass is a commonly used glass type which is equipped to tackle the issues related to the unwanted transfer of heat. The simple inclusion of insulting windows can significantly improve the thermal performance & energy efficiency of the building.
How does insulated glass help in different weather conditions?
The insulating glass units (IGUs) are an all year round energy conservation solution which improves energy efficiency in both winters & summers. The basic working principle of the glass remains the same which is to simply prevent the loss of heat. However, its applications are switched & adjusted per the different weather conditions. During the winters, the insulating panes of glass separated by a gas-filled space restrict the ingress of cold air from outdoors to indoors. Similarly, the multiple glass panes also restrict the escape of hot air from the indoors to outdoors through convection & conduction. This greatly helps maintain the warm temperatures of indoors during the cold days of winter.
In the summer season, the insulating panes function oppositely and restrict the ingress of hot air from the outdoors to indoors. Limiting the transfer of heat energy in the hot days of the summer maintains the indoor temperature and helps air conditioners work more efficiently. In the summer days, the excess of sunlight equipped with ultraviolet rays can have severe damages on curtains, carpets, and furnishing. The insulating glass units also stop the UV damage imposed by harmful rays of the sun.
The improvements in thermal performance and energy efficiency are felt year-round with the use of insulated glass. There incredible design versatility & benefits make them the best choice of glass for both residential windows & commercial storefronts. Their inclusion not only benefits the users but also protect the environment across all seasons of the year.
Thermal Performance of Different Types of Insulated Glass Units
There are multiple types of insulating glass units designed to cater to the increasing needs for energy efficiency. These units are commonly categorized based on their material type & thermal performance in the summers & winters.
1. Low-E Insulating Glass Units
Low-E glass is also known as low emissivity glass is designed to reduce the passage of harmful infrared & ultraviolet rays coming directly from the sun. The thin microscopic coating on the glass surface also helps maintain the interior temperature and serves as an extra layer of insulation. These glass units can also be designed to allow the restricted passage of infrared rays to help the indoors utilize the warm rays of the sun during the cold season.
2. Argon-Filled Glass
Filling the cavity with argon or any other inert gas can significantly improve the thermal performance of insulated glass. Their overall thermal performance is better than vacuum insulated glass units and is commonly used in commercial applications such as windows & storefronts. The low-conductivity gas augments energy efficiency without the need for adding additional panes of glass.
3. Dual Seal Silicone Glass a
Controlling the ingress of moisture is important to maintain the longevity of the multiple panes of insulating glass units. The moisture can adversely affect the translucency of glass and results in the reduction of design life. Dual seal silicone glass minimizes the penetration of unwanted moisture from the air and is considered the best glass type based on environmental performance. They can easily sustain the harmful effects caused by high temperatures & humidity.
Pros & Cons of using insulated glass windows & storefronts
Insulated glass units are commonly used in residential windows & commercial storefronts for their many energy conservation advantages. However, there are a few more advantages & some disadvantages of switching to contemporary innovative energy-efficient glass solutions.
- Insulating glass units helps significantly cuts down air conditioning & heating cost with the controlled transfer of heat. This is most effective in commercial storefronts and helps control the finances.
- Besides heat insulation, these glasses also hold incredible sound insulation properties. They are commonly used in residential windows where the need for seclusion is high.
- They have high-end design versatility and can be customized & tailored to the homeowners’ needs. Their strength, sound insulation, heat insulation, and even safety can be customized.
- Insulated glass protects the interior furnishings which are exposed to harmful rays of the sun. This prolongs the design life of many interior décor elements.
- The multiple panes of glass provide an additional layer of protection against damage & impact.
- Insulating glass units are incredibly difficult to repair and requires to be replaced upon damage.
- The initial cost of innovative insulated glass is higher than the other normal glass options for residential windows & commercial storefronts.
- In tropical conditions, the trapped heat may lead to overheating of interiors in the summer days.
The bottom line The innovative glazing solution such as insulating glass units (IGUs) significantly improves the thermal performance of both residential & commercial buildings. Advocating for the need for sustainability, these design elements safeguard & protect the environment. Their benefits overshadow the drawbacks and are a long-term solution for all energy conservation needs of the interior space. In the long run, insulated glass is a highly economical design choice and is effective throughout the year. Switching to insulating glass units has more than one benefit and is a contemporary solution that helps in augmenting the comfort & luxury of interior space.