Window Wars: Glass vs Acrylic Windows – Which is the Winner?

In the battle of “glass vs acrylic windows,” the decisive factor boils down to your specific needs and circumstances. Glass windows are traditionally favored for their scratch resistance and clarity, while acrylic windows offer superior impact resistance and insulation.

Although both have their strengths and weaknesses, when considering factors like durability, cost-effectiveness, safety, and insulation, the crown tends to lean towards acrylic windows.

However, to make an informed choice, let’s delve deeper into the characteristics and benefits of both these window types.

Casement Window Installation type of windows

What Are Glass Windows?

Glass windows have been the traditional choice in window construction for centuries. They are typically made from molten sand, which is cooled and cut into the desired dimensions, creating a transparent, sturdy structure.

Types of Glass Windows

These are the most basic type of glass windows with a single layer of glass. Despite being less energy efficient, they are cost-effective and suitable for regions with mild climates.

These windows feature two panes of glass with an insulating space in between. They offer better insulation, reducing heat transfer and noise.
Offering superior insulation, these windows have three panes of glass and two insulating spaces. They are ideal for colder climates, but come with a higher price tag.
Made by heating and cooling a pane of glass rapidly, these windows are four times stronger than regular glass, adding a layer of safety as they shatter into small granular chunks instead of splintering into jagged shards upon breaking.
These consist of two or more layers of glass with a layer of plastic in between. They are ideal for security purposes as the plastic layer keeps the glass from shattering upon impact.
These windows have a special coating that reflects infrared light, keeping heat inside in winter and outside in summer. They help to save on energy bills while also protecting home interiors from UV damage.

Energy Efficiency of Glass Windows

The energy efficiency of glass windows varies significantly, depending on the type of glass used, the design, and the technology applied in the manufacturing process.

Remember, the overall energy efficiency of your windows also depends on factors such as installation quality and the window frame material. Always consult with a professional to make the best decision for your specific needs and climate.

Glass windows offer several advantages:
Despite their advantages, glass windows also come with a set of drawbacks:

The cost of glass windows can vary widely based on factors such as size, type of glass, and installation costs. On average, homeowners could expect to pay between $300 and $700 per window, including installation. However, high-end options could run up to $1,000 or more per window.

The durability of glass windows is a crucial consideration when selecting your window type. The lifespan of glass windows can significantly vary based on the type of glass used and the quality of the window construction.

It’s important to remember that the durability of glass windows is not only determined by the type of glass used. The quality of the frame material and the installation process can also significantly impact the lifespan of your windows.

It is highly recommended to consult with a window professional to ensure that you are making the right choice for your specific needs and environment.

What Are Acrylic Windows?

Acrylic windows, also known as plexiglass windows, are a popular alternative to traditional glass windows. Made from a clear, durable plastic material called polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), these windows offer a unique blend of advantages that can make them a suitable choice for various applications.
These are made through a process that involves pushing a hot, soft acrylic mass through a formed shape. Extruded acrylic windows are affordable and have a lower risk of cracking.
These are produced by pouring liquid acrylic into a mold. Cell-cast acrylic windows are more durable and resistant to scratching compared to extruded types.

With regards to energy efficiency, acrylic windows perform significantly better than standard single-pane glass windows. They have excellent thermal properties which help to maintain indoor temperatures, keeping homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Although not as efficient as low-E or triple-pane windows, they do offer a cost-effective improvement over single-pane windows.

The benefits of acrylic windows include:
Despite their many advantages, acrylic windows also have some potential drawbacks:
The cost of acrylic windows can vary based on the thickness, size, and type of acrylic used. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $100 and $400 per window, including installation. This makes them a more affordable option compared to high-end glass windows.
The durability of acrylic windows is one of their standout features. They are resistant to impact and are less likely to break or shatter compared to glass windows, making them a safer option. Additionally, they resist weathering and discolouration, ensuring a long lifespan with proper care.

Top 5 Glass Window Sellers

Seller Description
Andersen Corporation Known as the largest window and door manufacturer in North America, Andersen Corporation is renowned for its diverse range of high-quality glass windows.
Pella Corporation Pella Corporation has an extensive collection of glass windows. Their designs are both innovative and energy-efficient.
Marvin Marvin offers custom-made glass windows, delivering the perfect fit for any architectural style and budget.
JELD-WEN JELD-WEN is globally recognized for their sustainable and versatile glass window options.
Milgard Milgard is a popular seller offering a wide range of glass window designs, all of which are backed by a full lifetime warranty.

Top 5 Acrylic Window Sellers

Seller Description
ACRYLITE ACRYLITE is a leading brand of acrylic sheets that can be used for window applications. It is known for its high quality, durability, and clear visibility.
PLEXIGLAS PLEXIGLAS offers a wide range of acrylic sheets for windows, notable for their strength and clarity.
Evonik Evonik is a global manufacturer and supplier of acrylic windows, appreciated for their longevity and resistance to weathering.
Plaskolite Plaskolite provides high-quality acrylic window sheets that offer excellent clarity and durability.
Lucite International Lucite International is a global leader in the design, development, and manufacture of acrylic-based products. Their acrylic windows are renowned for their superior quality and aesthetics.

FAQs about Glass vs Acrylic Windows

The main differences between window glass and acrylic windows lie in their material properties. Window glass is heavier, more prone to shattering but provides excellent clarity and UV protection.

Acrylic windows, on the other hand, are made of a lightweight material that is more resistant to impact and less likely to shatter. However, they can be more prone to scratches and require specific window cleaning products.

Yes, both acrylic and glass windows can provide protection against UV rays. However, the level of UV protection can vary based on the specific type of window material used. For instance, some types of window glass are treated to provide better UV protection.
Acrylic windows can be an excellent choice for sunroom windows. They offer high levels of visible light transmittance, are lighter and more resistant to impact, which can be beneficial in a sunroom environment. However, they can be sensitive to heat, so it’s essential to ensure that your sunroom is not exposed to extreme heat conditions.
Yes, acrylic panels can be used as replacement windows. They are a lightweight material, making them easier to handle and install. However, as with any window replacement, it’s best to consult a professional to ensure proper installation.
Window glass is generally more scratch-resistant than acrylic. However, high-quality acrylic sheets also offer good scratch resistance. It’s important to note that while both materials can be scratched, the scratches on acrylic windows can often be buffed out, unlike with glass windows.
Although both glass and acrylic windows can provide UV protection, glass windows can be treated with special coatings that enhance their UV resistance. This means that, depending on the specific treatment used, a glass window may provide superior UV protection compared to an acrylic window.
Acrylic windows are more shatter-resistant than window glass. Their inherent material properties and flexibility allow them to withstand impact better without shattering or breaking. This makes them a safer choice, particularly in environments where the potential for window damage is high.

Protect Your Home With Our Efficient Window Installation Service

In conclusion, the choice between acrylic and glass windows depends greatly on your specific needs and circumstances.

Both materials have their benefits and drawbacks, and understanding these will help guide your choice. Consider factors such as weight, strength, heat sensitivity, UV protection, and scratch resistance when making your decision.

If you’re in Gallatin, TN, or the surrounding areas, Windows For Life is your best choice for professional window replacement. We are fully committed to providing top-tier services that meet and exceed your expectations.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (615) 861-2315 or send us a message for any window installation inquiries. Choose Windows For Life, your trusted companion for high-quality windows that stand the test of time.