When you're in the market for new windows in your home, or are having a home built and need to choose new windows for it, a window installer or contractor will probably recommend that you opt for double glazing. This refers to two panes of glass that are sealed with a very thin layer of air or a special gas between them, versus just one pane of glass. Double glazing is also typically available for patio doors and for glass inserts in entryway doors as well. To ensure you know the best choice for glass for your doors and windows in your home, note a few commonly asked questions about double glazed doors and windows, and this can help you to decide.
Do they look and feel like plastic?
You might assume that double-glazed windows have a plastic look and feel, simply because someone else you know opted for a particular type of plastic-based glass for their windows or doors. Note, however, that the glass used for double-glazed windows doesn't need to be made of any type of plastic base, such as a polyvinyl chloride.
While a glass with such a plastic mixture may be stronger and more able to block sound as well as outside heat and cold, if you want a very clear glass so that you can enjoy the outside view, or simply because it looks more appealing to you, talk to your window manufacturer or installer about glass transparency levels. A higher transparency will mean a clearer glass without the look and feel of plastic, and this might be preferred for patio doors or glass inserts in entryway doors in particular.
Are they heavy?
You might assume that double-glazed windows and glass doors will be heavier, since these are made with two panes of glass. This isn't always the case, as this also depends on the type of glass you choose, and not just the glazing. A glass made with a plastic base, as mentioned above, can be very lightweight, even if it's double-glazed, so discuss this option with your window installer.
Note, too, that the weight of a window or folding patio door often depends on the frame material, and not the glass itself. If someone in the home has limited physical capacity, and you're concerned with the weight of doors and windows, talk to your window installer about frame materials; he or she can note your options for a lightweight glass as well as lightweight frames that can easily accommodate your needs.