Newsflash: We live in the north

Temperatures spike to 35°C in the summer, and hurtle down to -35°C in the winter. And of course we all know that glass conducts heat easily. That's why we put handles on glass mugs.

As such, using a single pane of glass as a window just doesn't cut it here (unless of course you live in the smelter).

The most practical, energy efficient solution to this is to use insulated glass panels, aka 'thermal panes', 'twindows', or 'sealed units'.

In its most basic configuration, an insulated glass panel consists of two panes of plain glass separated by a spacer and sealed air tight. Variations are available, as shown in the options list below, but the basic configuration remains the same. The glass is resistant to the elements, and the spacer keeps the heat from flowing from one pane to the other.

Simple, but quite effective.

A single pane of glass has an R-Value of about 0.2. A basic insulated unit R-Value is about 1.6. Optional upgrades can increase the R-Value significantly. Argon gas increases it by 1 point. Low-E coated glass increases it another point.

Options and Upgrades

  • Low-E - glass is coated with a low emissivity material which has the ability to either reflect heat back outside in the summer, or back into the house in the winter (depends on where in the unit it is installed).

  • Argon - an inert gas injected into the middle of the sealed unit. It's much heavier than air, providing a higher insulation value.

  • Triple Pane - using 3 panes of glass with 2 spacers. Overall performance gains are often not significant enough to offset the increased cost and weight of these units.

  • Safety Glass - recommended for doors and high-risk windows. Tempered or laminated glass can significantly increase impact resistance, high-heat durability (tempered) and lower noise transmission (laminated).

  • Pattern/Tint - useful where privacy is an issue, or where client desires a more appealing aesthetic.

  • Spacer Thickness - spacer is available in many sizes: 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 11mm, 13mm, 14mm and 16mm. This allows us to make units ranging from 1/2" thick up to 1" thick. Thickness is measured from the outside surface of the outer pane to the outside surface of the inner pane. Overall thickness most commonly falls in the 3/4" to 7/8" range for residential windows, and between 7/8" and 1" for commercial units.

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