Matchmaking 201: the marriage of gas and glass

Simonton Windows

PARKERSBURG WV – Dearly beloved, we join together, in bonded matrimony … gas and glass. For anyone interested in one of the best unions of all time, it’s important to look at the marriage of gas and glass in window and door units.

Why is such a marriage of importance to the average homeowner? Because it can either save them — or cost them — hundreds of dollars each year on heating and cooling bills. The union of gas and glass firmly stands together to block harmful ultraviolet sunrays, a major cause of high energy costs, faded flooring and condensation buildup.?Homeowners selecting windows and doors for new homes or as replacement units need to fully understand the construction of fenestration products and their potential cost-saving benefits. That’s the advice of Bill Lazor, senior product manager at Simonton Windows.

“In this age of advanced technology, it’s unthinkable and unwise for anyone to have just plain glass in their windows or doors,” says Lazor. “Clear glass offers no protection at all from ultraviolet rays coming into the home that can cause fading of carpets and furnishings. Plus, your heater and air conditioner work harder to keep the home comfortable when only plain glass is used in windows.”

According to Lazor, the ideal selection for homeowners is to specify an IGU (Insulated Glass Unit) made of at least two pieces of annealed glass sandwiched together with a thermal spacer and then filled with either an Argon or Krypton gas. These odorless, harmless gases are denser than air and act as an invisible barriers to prevent damaging UV rays and extreme temperatures from entering the home. Similarly, the IGU helps prevent the comfortable, climate-controlled air in the home from escaping to the outdoors.

“If you want to have a highly energy efficient home, consider glazing and gas options when thinking about your windows,” says Lazor. “Low E glass is a ‘must’ if you want to maximize the energy efficiency of your windows. Tinted and clear glazings (or coatings) help prevent the transference of heat, cold and sunlight into the home. That’s one reason why Low-E coatings are so popular. Gas-filled insulating units, where the invisible gas is hermetically sealed in the window unit using spacer systems, is an excellent barrier. The more barriers that separate the inside of your house from the exterior, the stronger your protection from heat gain or loss.”

Concerned about the idea of having gasses in your windows? Don’t be. The two most popular gas fillers for windows, Argon and Krypton (which are present in the air we breathe), are odorless and nontoxic. These gasses, when forced into an IGU during the manufacturing process, are carefully sealed so they won’t leak out. The gasses help reduce heat transfer between the glazing layers and the chance for condensation buildup on the interior and exterior of your windows.

“Homeowners need to fully understand the construction and options involved with windows before making a major purchase,” says Lazor. “We encourage them to visit the www.energystar.gov, www.efficientwindows.org, and www.simonton.com web sites. The information on these web sites is critical in determining what type of windows work best in your specific geographic area.” In addition, Simonton Windows offers a series of free consumer booklets by calling 1-800-SIMONTON. The award-winning booklets, entitled “What every homeowner should know about window replacement,” A few ways to save energy to make the most of your home” and “A few things to think about when choosing windows for your new home” are all information-packed with cost-saving ideas and advice for homeowners.

Headquartered in Parkersburg, W.Va., Simonton has manufacturing facilities in Pennsboro, Harrisville, St. Marys and Ellenboro, W.Va.; Paris, Ill.; Bradenton, Fla.; McAlester, Okla. and Vacaville, Calif. Founded in 1946, Simonton Windows’ hallmarks include superior quality products, outstanding customer service and delivery of “made-to-order” vinyl replacement or new construction windows in seven days or less under normal business conditions. For more information on Simonton Windows, call (800) SIMONTON or visit www.simonton.com on the Internet.