Annealed glass is commonly referred to as “regular" or “window glass”. It is the basic flat glass product created by the float glass process. It gets its name from the annealing process used to slowly cool the glass to relieve any internal stresses after the glass has been formed.
Annealed glass is cheaper than other types of glass because it does not go through any additional manufacturing processes. It also offers versatility and flexibility from a design standpoint because it can be cut into in a variety of styles and designs, including being curved.
Laminated glass is an extra-strong, security-enhanced glass created by fusing at least two panes around an inner layer of PVB (polyvinyl butyral). This process uses a high heat and pressure fusion process to create a super-strong panel.
Laminated glass is a type of safety glass that holds together when shattered. If you need glass to stay put in the frame if it’s broken, for safety or security reasons, this would be one of your best choices. After all, it’s laminated glass technology that you’ll find in your vehicle’s windshield: ensuring that an object colliding with the glass does not strike the occupant and spray glass shards inside.
Insulated glass windows come in a unit that is optimized for energy efficiency. They may be two or three panes of glass, with argon in the spaces between the panes. The glass panes in an insulated unit are typically laminated or tempered security glass.
An insulated glass window unit also has a desiccant component, ensuring that condensation won’t form in between the panes where you can’t wipe it off. Insulated glass windows are a great choice for exterior glass that’ll help you keep your heating and cooling costs down.
Low emissivity glass is specially coated to reflect thermal radiation. The low-e coating keeps out infrared rays, while light still filters through. Why is this so beneficial for homes? During the summer, heat is directed away from your house, and in the winter, your indoor heat is reflected back in the house and won’t escape through the windows.
This translates to lower heating and cooling costs. Low-e glass can be a pricey investment, but the savings, in the long run, can make it worth it. Some types of Low-E coatings cause tinting, so be sure to check out some samples in person to make sure you’re okay with how the glass will look installed in your home.