Sunrooms can be comprised of anywhere from 75-90% framed glass. Beyond the old adage about throwing stones, there are some fairly serious implications involved in how sunroom glass is manufactured and treated. Before you decide which sunroom company to buy from, you should be aware of some glass options and accessories that can help you feel more comfortable in your sunroom whether the weather outside is frosty or steamy.
Sunroom Glass - Things to Consider
Location & Type
To maximize a great outdoor view from your home, a sunroom with floor to ceiling glass, also called a solarium, could be the right choice for you. This special sunroom has wall to wall glass as well as a glass roof. Where you choose to build your sunroom will also help determine which type of glass makes the most sense for your unique project.
Even though the sunroom type you choose and where its located is important, the safety of the glass is also an consideration. Make sure that you ask for tempered glass. Like the glass in your automobile, tempered glass crumbles when broken instead of cracking into sharp shards. Plus, tempering strengthens the glass to minimize the potential for accidential breakage. Few companies offer tempered glass as a standard feature for their sunrooms. Some may charge extra for this special glass. In reality, nobody should even consider a sunroom built with un-tempered glass.
Year Round Usage
If you plan on using your sunroom year-round, make sure that you ask to see an insulated glass sample. This will give you a better idea of what type of glass is being used to build your room. A truly insulated sunroom is built using double-pane glass- never single pane glass. Between the layers of glass is usually an inert gas, such as Argon, that provides a barrier that insulates the room from outside temperatures. For the greatest insulation value, ask for a non-conductive, non-metallic, adhesive insulator such as Superspacer to seperate the panes and seal the gas inside.
Thermally Broken Glass
The structure or frame that holds your sunroom glass should be "thermally broken". This means that within the structure's frame there is a material that insulates the inside part of the frame from the outside. It is important to ask how your sunroom glass is insulated and the replacement policy in case a pane fails. Some well-established companies offer warranties against breakage and seal failure for as long as you own the sunroom. It's also a good idea to compare energy ratings and any government recognized testing certifications of each sunroom you are considering.
Even a sunroom built with insulated glass may not be suitable for use year-round without additional window treatments or accessories such as blinds and shades. These products filter intense sunlight and harmful ultraviolet radiation. It is also important to have a source to provide heat then the weather turns cold. It is a good idea to have sliding windows and doors that can let breezes in when the weather is nice. In many climates, enjoying a sunroom year-round requires a dedicated heating and cooling system. Make sure you know what is available and that it is sized appropriately for the unique room that you build.
Increase the Value of Your Home - Glass Plays a Role
Sunrooms are wonderful places to let natural light into your home and provide a connection to the outdoors while being protected from pests and bad weather. A sunroom can also enhance your home's value and often times becomes a favorite gathering place for family and friends. Knowing what to ask and what to look for before your purchase is vital for getting the most use out of your room and the best value for your investment. And the type of glass that is used is no exception. The highest quality glass will only increase the value that your new outdoor space adds to your home.
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