When setting out to purchase windows, I would bet you thought about cost, style, and maybe even triple or double pane; but have you considered the glass you are using? Choosing the best glass type for your windows isn't only based glass thickness and panes, but also coatings and engineering. What should you look for when choosing for your home climate, location, and/or temperature control?
Self-cleaning glass for the exterior of the windows is a great option, but be sure what type of self-cleaning glass you are getting. Most offer a self-cleaning glass that has to be reactivated once a year by cleaning the window, which really defeats the purpose. Cardinal Glass, one of the major manufacturers of glass, offers NEAT glass, a truly seal-cleaning glass that never has to be reactivated. Cardinal is the only manufacturer with this revolutionary option.
There are many type of LoE. Make sure to do your homework so you know what works best for your needs. Some LoE will cut the Ultra Violet Damaging Rays that will cause fading to furniture and floor by 75% and other types of LoE will cut as much as 95% to 99%. Many window manufacturers have their own private label names for the type of LoE they offer so it makes it very difficult to know what you are really getting. Ask them to give you the name of their glass manufacturer and what LoE it compares to. Ask for the technical specs on their LoE. Unfortunately many sales people will not know that information.
Tinting will darken the glass but usually offers very little benefits in blocking the sun / heat transfer. The cost to upgrade to better LoE is less expensive than tinted option and the better LoE provides better light transmittance.