Cheap garden house is usually equipped with windows made of artificial glass. On the other hand, higher quality windows usually use real glass. In this article, you can learn about the advantages of real glass and what special properties artificial glass has.
Art glass types
Art glass is the name for a whole group of plastics with a similar use. This group includes:
Art glass made of PVC
Art glass made of PMMA (acrylic glass or plexiglass)
Art glass made of polycarbonate
Art glass made of polystyrene (SAN – styrene-acrylonitrile)
Polycarbonate and PMMA are mainly used for garden houses. SAN is also occasionally used as a glass substitute. All three plastics differ significantly in their properties.
In terms of light transmission, acrylic glass is the best. However, it is extremely sensitive to scratches and will quickly “go blind” when using alcohol-based cleaners. Polycarbonate is particularly hard and impact resistant, but it is a relatively expensive alternative. SAN is also relatively insensitive to chemicals and is much harder than acrylic glass.
Differences in U-values
Since garden house windows are simply single-pane glass, they have correspondingly poor U-values. Real glass garden house windows also have a high U-value similar to plastic. Both are well above 5.0 W/(m²K).
In terms of protection against heat and cold, both plastic and a real glass of this thickness do only a point. For wooden houses with relatively high wall thicknesses (from 70 mm), you should always make sure that you install suitable windows.
Solid wood with a thickness of 70 mm is already well insulated, and in this case, the windows are the weak point. Even with 20 cm thick solid wood walls, U-values of 0.5 W/(m²K) or even lower can be achieved without additional insulation.
The difference in care
After a few cleaning cycles, the scratch-sensitive acrylic glass will go dull and become unsightly relatively quickly. The appearance of less scratch-sensitive plastics will usually last longer, but they too will be damaged over time, especially when cleaned.
Window protection films
If you use your garden house a lot and therefore clean window and door glass frequently, it is recommended that you use real glass. In the case of artificial glass, you can use blinds to protect the glass from the outside. Art glass windows will not become unsightly so quickly and will no longer have dirt.
Sunscreen window film can be applied not only to real glass but also to artificial glass. This protects the glass itself and prevents up to 90% of the sun’s rays from entering the room.
Especially in summer, you are well protected from heating your garden shed. Only special foils can be used to stick on art glass windows. Films designed for glass cannot be used there.