There are a lot of great attributes to having glass blocks installed as a wall, window, or divider to a room. They are aesthetically pleasing and functional at the same time. Installing glass blocks can really transform a room and save money too. That is because they are also energy efficient.
An energy efficient glass block is a glass block that is coated to provide the lowest level of emission possible. This glass panel is sandwiched inside, which helps keep the interior warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. In other words, an energy efficient glass block will allow all of the light to pass through but not the heat. It acts as an insulator.
How a Glass Block Works for Energy Efficiency
The original energy efficient glass block was actually created by accident. They were a byproduct of manufacturers trying to make their glass blocks cheaper. Instead of having a solid glass block, technology was developed to inject air into the glass block, creating a space of separation between two panes of glass.
This hallowed space between the glass panes meant that the manufacturers did not have to use as much material in creating the glass blocks. It was not discovered until after the fact that this space of air served two purposes. Yes, it made the energy efficient glass block cheaper, but it also made the glass block more energy efficient.
The space of air between the two panes of glass acted as a heat barrier. In other words, heat cannot pass through a vacuum of air. It can only pass through solid objects. All of a sudden the glass blocks became insulators as well, thus making them more energy efficient than a regular glass window.
Nowadays, the energy efficient glass block is made with a low-E glass panel and is truly energy efficient. These glass block boast an energy rating, U value = .45, R Value = 2.22 with a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient of .32
Installing Glass Blocks into a Window
It is actually quite easy for any person to install glass blocks into a window opening. There are two different ways to do this. Some installers feel more comfortable installing the glass blocks into a window frame first before inserting the glass block window frame into the wall opening. Those that are a little more experienced install the glass blocks into the window opening without the frame, block by block.
Regardless of the preferred method, most of the major manufacturers of glass blocks offer their own installation kits. These installation kits come with their own spacers which are used to ensure even spacing of the mortar between the glass blocks.
Overall there are a lot of great benefits to having glass blocks installed rather than windows. Now the major downside is, of course, glass blocks cannot be opened like windows. They are installed for decorative lighting in a room. This is a small drawback when compared to all of the positives, especially when used as accent lighting.
The Quality Glass Block and Window Company has been one of the leading wholesale loose glass block suppliers since 1976. Some of the quality products include energy efficient glass block for windows, shower kits, entryways and more.