Whether you’ve found yourself in need of a window repair, recently moved in, or were just born curious, do you actually know what type of window glass is in your home? Don’t feel bad if the answer is no! Most of us assume windows come in only one type, but there are actually several different glass panels that can be used in residential windows. Today we’ll walk you through some of your options.

Performance glass

While it sounds fancy, performance glass is actually the most common category of window glass. It covers a traditional single window, alongside double- and triple-glazing. Why is it called performance glass, however? That’s because it’s all about getting the job done. Single glazed glass (sometimes called annealed glass) offers you nothing special at all. It fills your window, and that’s it. Double- and triple-glazed windows, on the other hand, use extra panes and a layer of inert gas to cut down on heat lost through the window. This helps cut the heating bill and make your home greener

Decorative glass

This one is obvious, right? It’s glass that’s there primarily to be attractive, although sometimes it’s also there to prevent others from looking in or reduce ambient light. Think about frosted glass in a bathroom or stained glass in your front door. There’s plenty of examples of this type- from glass windows with curves or texture through to acid-etching and other art.

Safety glass

While safety glass appears in commercial buildings more than homes, there’s still uses for it around the house. Safety glasses are either designed to shatter in a way that renders the pieces less harmful (actual tempered glass), allows the glass to break but remain in the frame (both laminated and impact-resistant glass), or prevent burglars from breaking it with firearms (bullet-proof glass). Tempered safety glass is sometimes used in large display windows or French doors in the home, but don’t assume that by default, especially if you have active little ones. Laminated or impact-resistant glasses are often used in homes around golf courses, and laminated glass serves the additional purpose of limiting noise (as from highways) in some homes.

Which type of glass is the best match for your home, of course, will depend on your needs as well as budget. Many homes do just fine with traditional glass windows. Knowing your options, however, allows you to ensure you make the right choice for your home and family, and that’s always empowering.