If your home has older double pane windows that have become foggy due to the loss of their gas seals, then they need to be replaced. Once glass panes become foggy, they lose their energy efficiency and there isn't any way to adequately repair them.
When you shop for replacement retail or wholesale windows, you need to decide what type of glass you want them to have. In addition to those with Low-E glass complying with the nation's Energy Star ratings, window suppliers also sell windows with a choice of:
Double panes vs. triple panes
Clear glass vs. tinted glass
Laminated safety glass
To help with your decision, here is more information about each option:
Double Panes vs. Triple Panes
To increase the energy efficiency of windows, manufacturers moved from a single pane of glass to multiple layers with an insulating layer of krypton or argon gas between them.
As you can imagine, triple-pane windows are more expensive but, in exchange for the added price, they are much more energy efficient.
Clear Glass vs. Tinted Glass
Once you have decided if you want double or triple-pane windows, then you need to choose if you want them to be clear or tinted. While clear windows are appropriate for rural homes and those in areas without nearby neighbors, tinted windows are ideal in areas where homes are close together and privacy is a concern, because they are harder to see through.
Bathroom windows, and others where you never want outsiders to be able to see inside, should be ordered with obscured glass. Obscured glass is textured and prevents anyone from being able to see inside of your home.
If your home is in an area where the windows are at risk of damage from golf balls, storms, or criminals, then investing in impact glass is a wise choice.
As their name implies, impact-resistant windows are made by placing a thin layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) between two panes of glass. The added PVB layer makes this type of window nearly impossible to break.
Laminated Safety Glass
As one final option, you can purchase replacement windows containing laminated safety glass. This is a good option for various situations, including homes:
Located alongside a golf course
Located in storm-prone areas
Located in high-crime areas
Where small children sleep and play
Where large dogs are present
Laminated safety glass is made by welding two sheets of impact-resistant glass to an inner sheet of plexiglass. This makes this type of window safe even if it becomes seriously damaged. A shattered safety glass window will not release glass shards, instead, they stick to the inner core material.
Finally, it is important to note that you may realize some savings on your homeowner's insurance policy if you install impact-resistant or safety glass windows. Since these windows are less prone to damage, they are cheaper to insure.