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Apr 15, 2015 BY arielle

Fiberglass Windows

Fiberglass Windows

Here at the Green Construction Company we get many questions about energy efficient windows. To answer some them, we thought we'd talk about the benefits of fiberglass windows today.

Why Energy Efficient Windows?

Windows bring light, warmth, and ventilation into our homes, but they also can severely impact a home's energy efficiency. One of the fastest ways to lower your heating and cooling bill is to install energy-efficient windows or provide improvements to your existing windows by caulking or weather sealing them.

If your home has very old or inefficient windows, or you're considering building a new home, it is often more cost-effective to go with new energy-efficient windows. They pay for themselves with lower heating and cooling costs and even lighting costs.

What Are My Options?

When choosing energy efficient windows, you have a few options. First, let's talk about the materials you could use: wood, aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass. Wood, over time, has the tendency to warp and rot -- this can cause air leaks which undermine the insulating power of glass. Aluminum, on the other hand, is a perfect conductor of heat and cold right into buildings. Lastly, vinyl weakens with age, causing a breakdown of insulating power the longer it is used.

Benefits of Fiberglass

Stronger

Fiberglass is eight times stronger than wood, doesn't shrink and expand like aluminum, and doesn't weather like vinyl. Fiberglass is also extremely stable -- ideal for supporting windows with multiple layers of glass. Energy efficient windows are composed of three or four panes of glass with a small 1/4-inch gap between them, allowing for more insulating power than a standard dual-pane sash. Wood, aluminum, and vinyl are simply not suitable for making these multi-pane windows -- they don't have the rigidity of fiberglass.

Longer Life

Unlike wood, which can warp over time, fiberglass has a longer life cycle and degrades less. Warped wood creates drafts that abruptly show up -- making heating or cooling costs jump drastically. Fiberglass windows do not warp, allowing them to be more economical in the long run.

Vinyl windows, on the other hand, are more likely to show age and blemishes than fiberglass. Vinyl is weaker than fiberglass, so as vinyl ages weaknesses can become exposed. Fiberglass simply lasts longer than vinyl, which can result in a reduction in energy costs over the course of years.

Environmentally Friendly

Fiberglass is also 80% sand based, making it a more environmentally-friendly material. Fiberglass windows require 80% less energy to produce than aluminum and 39% less than vinyl -- those are huge energy savings before the fiberglass even gets to your site.

Tinting

Tints are also a great feature found in fiberglass windows. Just as people wearing dark colors on hot days are more likely to overheat than people wearing light colors, tints can go a long way in helping with cooling a house. Tinting repels solar heat and be hugely helpful in reducing the need for air conditioning, which adds up quickly.

The Takeaway

Fiberglass is stronger, longer living, and more eco-friendly than other materials on the market, plus with the option of tinting, fiberglass windows can help reduce cooling costs. As fiberglass windows cost nearly the same as other materials, there are certainly many good reasons to try them on for size.

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