Window performance can be complicated. As a resident of southern California, you want a frame and pane that both conserves energy, keeps the house cool, and resists flame in case of a wildfire emergency. Finding the perfect, energy-efficient window is possible with the correct tools. Here, we will detail several popular window features you may want to consider when building or renovating your sustainable home.
Dual-Paned Glass—This option is perfect—nearly necessary—for southern California homes. The dual-paned glass provides energy efficiency by limiting airflow, allowing your home to stay warm or cool in extreme temperatures. The dual-pane also protects homes against fire; a window can shatter from heat alone, and broken glass allows flames to enter a building more easily. If you choose this type of window, the outer layer will break before the inner layer.
Tempered Glass—If you have the ability, opt for tempered glass in your southern California home. This material is heat-treated to make the glass up to four times stronger than its untreated counterparts. Additionally, tempered glass does not shatter into shards. Instead it fractures into small, relatively harmless pieces of material.
Fiberglass Frames—A window’s frame can significantly affect its performance. Fiberglass frames, though expensive, are low-maintenance, energy efficient and more fire resistant than cheaper wooden frames. This is an excellent choice for southern California homes. PVC, also called uPVC and PVCu, is also a popular option, as it is less expensive than fiberglass. However, this material will need to be replaced more frequently.