Replacement Window Glass


Home : Review Topics : Replacement Window Glass

Replacement Window Glass

Read reviews and opinions on replacement window glass.

Have a question on window quotes, prices, or reviews? Send our site editor Dane your questions, and get personalized answers that can save you thousands of dollars on your project!

Clear Glass vs. Low E

Thank you so much for the information. I really do appreciate it. One thing we are going back and forth with is the fact that the Low E/Argon will diminish the amount of light coming in the house. The way our house faces, we don't get much sunlight and our windows aren't huge. We are currently in Atlanta and originally from S. Florida, so we love the light and don't want it to be diminished especially since we don't get much sunlight directly into the house. The second quote, has actually also quoted us for the clear glass (with no low E or argon). They also have an option that they will replace rotting wood for a fee, so even though their quote is cheaper, we can also add that on to make it pretty equivalent to the other quote.

So, would putting in clear glass kill energy efficiency from what we have now? I've been told they don't get energy rated. Currently we have single pane, old windows original to the house which is 40 years old. I feel anything is an upgrade at this point. And we don't want to lose our light. What options would we have in that case? Is going Low E/Argon our only option? Would it be dumb to go clear glass? A bad financial decision for the house?

Thank you again.

Vanessa - Homeowner - from 2022

[Site Editor's Answer]

Vanessa, clear glass is definitely less energy efficient over a low-e glass. However, I get the light issue -- it's one of those tough choices that I can't necessarily answer for you. This is what I think you should do -- call around and find a showroom where you can see the clear glass and the low-e glass side by side. I think this is going to be the only way that you can really make the call...

Maybe start out on something like and watch some videos and see if you can see the difference between the clear and low-e glass.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2022

[Vanessa's Reply]

Thank you. I appreciate that. Would it be less energy efficient than what we have bow? Clear glass double pane versus our current single pane glass.

I have one company basically telling me low E is the only way to go and if we go clear glass our energy bills will be higher than they are now. I find that difficult to believe and think either one would lower our bill just the low E way more.

Clear glass will be better than your old single pane glass...(plus the window itself will be much more energy efficient than your old windows) but there is a decent difference between the clear and the low e

I think this video gets it right for the most part...

Vanessa - Homeowner - from 2022

U-value versus Condensation Resistance

My only question left would be on the glass package offered to me. I expressed I would like a condensation rating above 50 as you suggested to me. I just got them to send me over the efficiency ratings for the windows(I’m getting single hung but he said the double hung numbers are the same). I’ve copied and pasted the chart he sent me. My question is the row outlined in red is the package he quoted me on and it had an extra interior low E coating. The row above that has the better condensation rating but a slight worse U rating. Is this a good trade off if I’m concerned about condensation?

Thank you.

Brad - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

If you are worried about the CR, then what little you sacrifice in U-value will be well worth it. Going from a .28 to .24 is not that big a difference...go with the higher CR...AI or air infiltration is the much more important measurement than u-value anyway...

Dane - Site Editor - from 2021

Replacement Window Gas Guidelines

Hello again Tim, window gasses?? I have looked at some warranties and ones with argon gas seem to give no warranty or very short for if the argon gas slowly dissipates out of the window. If the argon does not stay in the window then aren't the "good" numbers the window receives not really true? When the gas leaves the numbers would change a lot I think.

When these companies seem to not warrant the gas to stay in the window, many not even for one or two years....that would seem to indicate that argon windows energy ect numbers are really only kind of when the window is new.

Only window that is filled with Kryptonite was a Okna that had a claimed 50 yr warranty by the company that the gas will stay in the window or they will change it out. Seems they don't use an injection method but a automated method that seals their triple pane glass. This according to the Okna salesperson who was out to the house.

Of course this is a high cost composite window.

Do you know if Kryptonite really stays in the window due to being a heavier gas?

Are there any good quality vinyl or fiberglass windows made with Kryptonite rather than Argon gas. I have not heard of any thus far.

Would the Kry. Gas stay in a vinyl window even with it's greater contraction and expansion?

Once again thanks so much for all your time and expertise information.

Gary - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Gary, I’m happy to answer your questions on argon and krypton gases. Here are some basic facts. Low-e argon gas filled double pane windows are standard in the industry. Most quality mid range vinyl windows (and all top tier windows) come standard with this in the IGU or insulated glass unit.

Triple pane windows use krypton as the gas. Over the years you will get a gradual dissipation of the gas in the IGU. Failed seals will lose all of the gas. That’s why you go with a quality window brand and series — to minimize the chances of failed seals.

Gas only accounts for maybe 10% of the energy efficiency of a window, so honestly, it’s not the biggest thing to get hung up on.

Argon is double pane, krypton in triple pane...this is true of most windows.

My advise is to focus on buying a good quality window that uses a low-e argon gas fill. If you live in a very cold climate, then consider going with a triple pane window. Combine this with a quality installation company and you have the right combination for long term success.

Here is my good and great list.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2021

Replacement Windows Or Replace The Glass

Tim, I have 21 windows that are 21 years old. They are the original construction windows. The frames are still good but, trying to determine if I should go with entire replacement windows or just replace all the glass units with energy efficient window units. What are your thoughts on this approach?

Johnny - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Johnny, I took this question because I answered your others. There is no set answer when it comes to replacement windows or just changing out your glass. I tend not to recommend the glass only option, but it really depends on the cost comparisons, the quality of the frames, and if you really like the frames as they are. For instance, many homeowners in historic homes are very reticent about getting ready of their old wood frames.

I can't really answer this question for you, but I would get some bids from companies who do glass only replacements to see how the two options compare. The other factor that also comes in is how long you are planning to stay in the home.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2021

Vertical Window White Slider

The glass broke on the Inside of the window on the stationary side. It was put in with a sticky substance, and I can't get the glass out. Can you give me advice? This was purchased in 6-2015. How about warranty on this?

Donn - Homeowner - from 2020

[Site Editor's Answer]

Donn, if you know the dealer who sold you the window, then call them up and explain the problem. May or may not be covered under the warranty, but that depends on if there is a glass breakage provision in the warranty.

Second option is to go on, say, Yelp and look for a local window repair person. They may give you a bid over the phone or even a free in person quote for the work.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2020

V Groove Window Glass Energy Efficiency

I have a question about v grooves. Would having them have any downsides? I definitely do not want grills (heard they can fail and be a pain to repair), but v grooves are a different thing yes? Do they compromise the integrity of the window in any way?

Thanks for your time :-)

Jenny - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Jenny, v grooves are glass etchings. Honestly, I don't think they have a big effect on the energy efficiency of the glass. But i've never been asked the question and don't know how it changes the glass properties.

Grids are different than v grooves. Grids are wood slats that actually help out the energy efficiency of the overall window.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018

Low-e Glass Thickness

Is all of the Low E glass the same thickness whether for standard sizes or custom?

If not, is the thickness for large custom replacement inserts such as 77.25" x 33.25" (glass only) a full 1" or is it 15/16" ? Thank you,

Phillip - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Phillip, there are a number of different thickness glasses for home windows.

1/2", 3/4", 7/8", 15/16", 1"

In general, companies will offer a single strength or double strength glass -- single strength is usually considered 1/2" or less and anything above this is double strength.

Most quality companies offer a low-e double strength glass. The thicknesses will be specific to the product and the company. A 3/4" double strength glass is pretty standard and is what you should be looking of.

The difference between a 3/4" and 7/8" is so minimal in terms of performance and quality -- you shouldn't worry about these specifics, unless you need laminated glass for some reason.

You should be focused on getting a quality window with a double strength glass that is going to be installed by a quality company.

Good luck!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

Replacing Window IGUs

Dane, thank you so much for your reply. Your information was very helpful. I have not made a decision yet and have left all options open. The most economical option so far was from a local glass company to come out and replace 26 insulated glass units with e glass and grids .The IGU's have a 5 year warranty. Total cost $ 3,078.86 installed by a team of two in one day. 7 - 10 days to get the IGU's. Keep in mind that everything is good on my windows except the fogged glass. This is a weekend residence so going this was can put another 3K back in the budget for another project. Have you seen anyone go with IGU verses new windows? .......... Good or bad.

Thanks again for what you do. Your web site and reviews are awesome and of great value to home owners.

- Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Andy, I certainly see the appeal of this approach, especially for a weekend home. I would say this — if the company that is going to replace the IGUs does a lot of these and is willing to back it up with a five year warranty (does this include the labor cost to replace the IGU if there are issues?), then I think this is a good option. Fro instance, how long have they been in business. I would base it on whether the company has the expertise to do it and are going to back it up with a warranty that protects me.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

[Andy's Response]

Dane, the Glass company Mesko Glass has been in business since 1930. The price included all labor. The warranty is on the IGU's only. However , the labor is minimal. Assuming I had one fail I can take just the sash to their store and labor would be $20.00. The price actually went down to $ 2,780.00 by my wife asking that grills be in the upper sashes only.

When I asked if they do a lot of them, their reply was that is their "Bread & Butter " Small company in small town USA. I'm going with them. I'm just waiting for them to email me a contract.

Thanks again for your advice. You were very helpful.

Andy - Homeowner - from 2017

Milgard Style Line Window Glass

Are a href="">Milgard Style Line Windows low e2 or low e3?

- Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

The StyleLine would typically come with a standard low-e coating. You would be able to upgrade to a low-e2 or low-e3 when you order your windows. The low-e2 and e3 will be slightly darker, so make sure to factor this into your equation.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

Single vs Double Strength Glass

Hi Dane and Tim, I live in Northern Virginia. After several high pressure, gimmicky sales pitches on replacement windows, it was the last one that has me more confused. The salesman didn't give me a clear answer - maybe you can. The literature states: "dual panes of single strength glass." This is the Simonton 6100 series. Other manufactures' brochures and internet sources I've looked either says double pane or single pane glass, no mention of strength. I know double pane replacement is probably the better choice, but what about strength?

Dee - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Aunt Dee, nearly all vinyl replacement windows sold today are dual pane windows, these use two panes of glass in the insulated glass unit.

Some manufacturers use single strength glass 1/16" thick and others use double strength glass 1/8" thick (this is approximate)…

Thinner glass is lighter, but it lacks the durability that you should be looking for. You will lose some energy performance and a bit of sound efficiency.

While it isn't a big deal (visually it's nearly impossible to tell), over time it makes more sense to get a window with double strength glass, even if you have to pay the $50 per window more to get it. In all likelihood, you will make it up over time and you won't have as many broken windows (not necessarily true, but life is all about playing the odds...)

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Solar Coating Shrinkage

Replaced all windows in my home with Stanek windows approx. 7 years ago; on 3 of them the "solar coating" is apparently shrinking/failing and appears wavy. GDI charges a minimum of $100 per window for any kind of "repair" - is there anything I can do myself regarding this coating? I fear eventually all windows will have the same issue, as those failing are on different sides of the house/get different exposure. Thanks for any advice you can offer!

Marilyne - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Marilyne, thanks for the email and sorry to hear about your problem. I'm curious whether you have your warranty and what it says specifically about this. You paid extra for your solar coating (I'm guessing) and the fact that it is failing after seven years is distressing. I would go back to the installer and insist that they come look and contact the company and tell them of the problem. They should be able to take pictures on their camera and send them to Stanek.

Unfortunately, you may have to pay for the repair, but I would throw a fit about it and see if that helps. I will certainly publish your email, it's actually the first I'm hearing of a solar coating failing.

Contact the installer and have them contact Stanek first and see if there is relief there.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Tempered Window Glass

Dane quick question, is there a way to tell if a window is tempered glass? I'm supposed to have tempered glass in the bathroom window but I don't see any specific markings denoting that.

Paul - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Paul, a normal dual pane window does not have tempered glass. It will be a clear glass or a low-e glass. Tempered glass is always an upgrade due to the cost of using this safety glass (unless you specifically buy an impact window that often come standard with a tempered glass). You can double check this with whomever installed your windows or by giving the manufacturer a call. You may have to order another window if the tempered glass is required - is it required for safety reasons?

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Select Type Of Window
Select Frame Material
Window Brand Quality
Installation Requirements
How Many Windows?
Zip Code

Ply Gem Pro Series Replacement

Having all new Ply Gem, Pro Series, white vinyl windows with the low E HP2+ package Auto locks, insert Argon gas in IGUs, and 2 layers of low-e film, on two panes of glass and limited lifetime manufactures warranty. This a condo complex with 14 buildings and 28 units.

The board feels good about are contractor Pacific Exteriors LLC but management has questions as too the quality of these windows. There pushing for another contractor and is explained as least expensive vinyl window and SGD series available Energy star rating suitable for this application. Think they said available at Home Depot. Appreciate any info you can give.

Marlene - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Hi Marlene, the Ply Gem Pro window is probably on par with any window sold at Home Depot. It is a mid range vinyl window, although perhaps at the slightly lower end of this range. Is it the best window out there? Definitely not, but if the contractor likes the window, has experience installing it, and is going to provide quality installation, then I would have no issues putting this in.

In order to compare the Ply Gem Pro to another window, I would really have to know what window it is. In general, I would say that the windows are half the equation, and the installation is the other half. So if you get a better window, but the installation isn't done right, you haven't done yourself any favors.

You are near Seattle so I would suggest getting a bid from a Milgard rep and seeing how the Milgard Tuscany compares in price. Perhaps also a local company who sells the Reflections and Impressions series from Simonton. See how these compare as well.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

Semco Glass

In 2003, I purchased 16 casement windows, a double hung, and 8 fixed windows plus 2 sliding glass doors, all SEMCO windows. The interiors are all wood finish and the exteriors are bronze aluminum. So far I like them, I expect to replace a few more with SEMCOs so they all match. We've been mostly happy with them, but our south facing windows have had some seal failures and sometimes fog up. 4 of 16 casements and 2 of 8 fixed have had their glass replaced because the low-e coating was deteriorating. The glass is covered under warranty but we had to pay for labor.

Our summers are really hot, we're in SoCal, so I don't know if anyone else's windows could hold up better in our heat. We bought the wood/aluminum clad SEMCOs because they were so well priced. I think even with some minor problems, I'm glad we got them, because we could get the whole house done and we could never have afforded that in any other brand.

Bret - Homeowner - from 2012

Gienow Window Glass

We built our home new 12 years ago and installed Sol-R Shield windows. The material in between the panes has broken down somehow, and there are very noticeable streaks that look horrible. We are getting ready to sell the house, and it's going to cost us thousands of dollars to replace the glass. They are supposed to still be under warranty for defects, but it's hard to even get someone to talk to you. I would never recommend anyone using Gienow windows. Dorothy - Consumer - from 2011

Great Lakes Window Glass

In the 1990s I was an installer with Great Lakes windows. They do have strong fused corners, and the glass is great, low-E, argon filled, all that. They're also good about providing replacement parts quickly and without hassle. I think their biggest weakness is the darker colored vinyl frames can warp when the temperatures change too much too quickly. If they've taken care of that issue, then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.

Don - Homeowner in Minnesota - from 2010

Simonton Reflections 5500 & Prism Platinum

Simonton has some good windows, especially the Reflections 5500 and Prism Platinum. They are pretty much the same with only some minor cosmetic differences. I like the Prism Platinum best, it has the Super Spacer and double strength glass. If you are in the south, I'd go with the ETC Super 366 for the low solar heat gain. In the north, you want the solar gain glass package so get the ETC Super Solar instead.

Steven - Contractor - from 2010

Related Topics: Replacement Windows DIY

Private Policy