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Glass and window units are now so advanced that as well as the basic function of protecting against the weather, they can also protect against noise, fire, sun and can even make your home more energy efficient, saving on your heating bills.

Energy Efficient Glass

The important Window Energy Rating (WER) tells you how energy-efficient your windows are. The rating system is based on a scale of G to A+, with A+ windows being the most energy-efficient. It’s worth mentioning that the latest building regulations state that all new homes must be built with windows that have at least a C energy rating.

A-rated energy efficient windows are designed to ensure you consume less energy to heat your property and therefore save you money on your heating bills. The good news is that as you’ll be using less energy to make your home warmer, you’ll also reduce your carbon emissions.

The British Federation Ratings Council (BFRC) are responsible for checking and grading the performance of all A-rated windows.

Solar Reflective Glass

Solar reflective glass reduces the amount of thermal energy and/or light which is admitted through the glazed unit. This type of glass is often used for large surfaces where the aim is to make full use of the sunlight while at the same time keeping out the solar heat. In other cases both the sun and the heat is kept out.

Solar reflective glass is available in a variety of options; from different colours to various degrees of reflection. All these factors determine the amount of light and heat which is admitted through the glass. If you choose solar reflective glass for aesthetic reasons the design is entirely up to you. In all other cases it depends on how highly you value low solar energy transmission in relation to high light admittance.

Acoustic Insulating Glass

Acoustic insulating glass reduces uncomfortable noise from heavy traffic, trains and general city noise. It is actually the distance between the unit’s individual glass panes and the thickness of the panes’ that helps define the unit’s acoustic insulating properties. When choosing acoustic glass, it’s important to identify the source of the noise you want to reduce.

The acoustic insulation of the unit is stated in decibel, Rw, as a sound reduction figure. The figure indicates by how many decibel the unit reduces external noise – depending on the source of the noise. It is also important to keep in mind that Rw is a weighted value representing the entire sound frequency spectrum. Different sounds represent different frequencies in the spectrum.

Fire Protection Glass

Fire protective glass provides effective protection against flames and fumes. Certain types of fire protective glass can also reduce or even stop the direct radiation heat and provide effective insulation.

The more layers of fire protective material, the longer it takes for the fire to penetrate the glass and the slower the rise in temperature on the other side of the glass. This is why it is a good idea to choose fire protective glass with at least three interlayers of protective material. Particularly for situations where radiation heat may set material on the other side of the glass on fire, or in situations where you want to secure an escape route.