A Guide to Polymer Window Panes

No matter where in the Carolinas you live, you probably experience some temperature variations throughout the year. Even if you have high-end windows in your home, you may have noticed that they seem to lose heat in the winter and cool air in the summer at an alarming rate. This is because even the best glass window panes typically don’t have R-values over 4. R-value is the metric used to determine how well insulation, window panes, and other products prevent heat transfer. For reference, well-insulated walls often have R-values of about 50.

If you are looking for better windows than you’ve ever had in your home before, you may be interested in polymer window panes. This relatively new product is made by a small company based in Mackinac Island, Michigan. Their team has worked to create a type of pane that will prevent window air leaks, which can account for about half of all annual air leakage in a house, without sacrificing clarity. The result is polymer window panes.

How do polymer panes compare?

As mentioned before, polymer window panes have one main goal: to provide a higher R-value than any previous window. Other companies have tried to make more energy-efficient window panes, such as Low-E windows and triple-paned windows. These still, however, struggle to break an R-value of 10. Polymer panes, however, typically have an R-value of 13. While this still isn’t as good as most walls, it is definitely better than the majority of glass panes on the market.

What exactly are polymer panes?

Polymer window panes are not made of glass like almost all other window panes are. Instead, they are crafted from a special type of plastic. It is also important to note that polymer panes are not installed alone. They actually fit over your existing glass panes, ultimately rendering them as efficient as they can possibly be. Plastic is naturally a better insulator than glass, which is one of the things that makes polymer panes so effective.

They are also much more flexible than glass, which allows them to move with your house as it settles. Glass window panes tend to simply shift, leading to air leaks, cracks, and other problems. Furthermore, because polymer window panes are installed on the interior of a window, they are especially good at keeping your home comfortable all year long.

I’m sold! How do I purchase polymer panes?

If you are chomping at the bit to obtain polymer window panes in your own home, you’ll have to be patient for a little while. Although the Mackinac Island company that created these panes has received grants to being mass production, the process is not yet complete. More information about the release date for polymer window panes should be forthcoming in the near year or so.

In the interim, don’t hesitate to upgrade your North Carolina home’s existing windows. The Hatch Homes team would love to talk to you about Low-E windows or another energy-efficient option. Remember, the better your glass panes are, the more good polymer windows will do once they are available to be installed. Simply call our office to schedule a consultation with one of our Carolina window experts.

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