Over the past sixty years, windows in Long Beach, CA have changed dramatically. These advancements improve structural integrity, durability, and thermal performance. And the products are always changing and advancing. These are just a few of the technologies you should take note of:
- Vinyl and Fiberglass Frames
Wood and metal have been on the market for a long time, but vinyl and fiberglass products are fairly new. And the vinyl windows of today are nothing like the products first introduced in the 60s and 70s. Manufacturers use a combination of stiffeners, plasticizers, and chemicals that make these windows more durable than ever before. And the popularity of these rot-resistant windows led to the development of fiberglass that will not expand and contract as dramatically. The fiberglass is stronger than aluminum and vinyl and has a better ability to resist heat transfer. Both of these windows are good options if you are looking for energy efficiency.
The original double-pane windows consisted of two panes of glass welded along the edges. There was only ¼ inch space between filled with dry air. But manufacturers discovered widening the space improved energy efficiency. Unfortunately, the weld couldn’t hold the expansion and contraction so they moved to rubber and steel spacers. These bond with the glass, but work better to absorb the movement of expansion and contraction caused by the change in temperature.
- Triple Pane Glass
Not far behind double-glazing comes triple pane technology. It can offer numerous benefits including an extra barrier and chamber to reduce energy loss. It also gives you more surface for window coatings.
- Low-E Glass
Speaking of window coatings, another new technology is Low-E glass. It has an ultra-thin layer of metal that is transparent, but reflects radiant heat either back into the room, outside, or both (depending on your climate). Initially, it was simply suspended between the frames. Now, manufacturers deposit the metal coating directly onto the glass.
- Gas Fills
In addition to spacers, manufacturers also discovered that filling the space between panes with an inert gas improved efficiency. Typically they use argon or krypton. They are colorless, odorless, and non-toxic gases. The main differences is they have more density than oxygen and will slow down the heat.
- Thermal Breaks and Reinforcements
Most window frames are made of interlocking chambers. During installation, they fill these hollow spaces with insulation. Not only does it improve energy efficiency and resist condensation, but it also improves the structural integrity of the window frame.
- Impact Resistant Glass
Much of the damage after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 was due to windows pressurizing homes and blowing them to pieces from the inside. The leading cause? Broken windows. So in an effort to protect the exterior envelope of these homes, manufacturers adopted impact resistant glass, much like the products used for windshields in automobiles. All products underwent strict testing and had to meet a series of requirements. Now, most building codes require impact resistant windows in coastal areas.
- Dynamic Glass
Kind of like transitional eyeglasses, some windows contain a transparent conductor between the panes. The material uses electric current to lighten or darken. This helps blocks heat gain while the glass remains mostly transparent. You tint the windows manually with a switch, or you can choose an automation system based on a sensor. There is also a privacy version. Though it does not have an energy saving function, it can turn the glass from clear to opaque.
At Seaport Windows and Doors, we focus on product development. These are exciting times in the industry and we always want to be on the cutting edge of window technology in Long Beach, CA. Thst is why we sell the highest quality brands on the market including Baldwin, Simpson, and Milgard. Call us at 714-220-3939 and set up a free, in-home consultation or stop by 4201 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos, CA 90720.