Glass is integral to almost every home. Without windows, a home would be a type of cave unless it featured huge skylights. Though glass has been used in structures for centuries, its modern manufacture is becoming ever more sophisticated. Different kinds of glass are being developed all the time to make homes more comfortable and livable.
Traffic sounds or noisy neighbours can diminish the tranquillity of your home, and special glass treatments can help with this. A double-glazed unit is one option. These units consist of two or more glass panes fitted within a frame with an intervening space filled with air or gas. The thicker a pane of glass, the more noise it will block. When combined with double-glazing, thicker panes combat road noise and other neighbourhood sounds very effectively.
Another possibility to reduce noise in your neighbourhood is laminated glass, which consists of two glass sheets bonded together as one with a resin-type interlayer. To the eye, it appears as a standard transparent glass sheet. The interlayer can be specially formulated to block noise. Again, by using thicker glass sheets to create the laminated glass, its effectiveness increases.
Maintaining A Comfortable Temperature
As well as moderating noisy surrounds, double-glazed windows help to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. The sealed air- or gas-filled compartment between the glass panes helps to provide insulation, regulating the heat transfer from the sunlit glass to inside. Double glazing also moderates home temperatures in winter by decreasing the amount of inside warmth lost through the windows.
Another type of glass that improves home comfort-levels is low-e (low emissivity) glass, which is coated with a particular film that reflects long-wave infrared energy (or heat). This coating reflects back some of the heat hitting the sunlit glass, helping to keep rooms cooler in hot weather. Sometimes it's installed only on east- and west-facing windows but not on north-facing ones because it also prevents the possibly desirable warming winter sun from heating a home. Low-e glass can also lessen room heat being lost through windows in winter by reflecting heat back inwards towards the room.
If you're building a new home, choosing the right glass will not only keep you more comfortable, but it will reduce energy bills as well. Many of these same types of glass will also work for skylights. Expert builders of custom homes can provide more specific advice on what exactly is best for your construction.