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Greenhouse Glass Options - Glass or Polycarbonate

Jul. 15, 2021

When purchasing a greenhouse, gardeners are faced with a number of choices when it comes to the type of material used for the clear panels. While all greenhouses are designed to allow sunlight to reach the plants, the way a garden behaves can vary due to the materials that make up the greenhouse. When it comes to glazing options for greenhouses, enthusiasts looking to build a greenhouse essentially have three options: a single pane of glass, a double pane of glass, or multi-wall polycarbonate. Each greenhouse glazing option has its own pros and cons, which means growers should check each choice before making a final decision.

kGreenhouse Glass

 Greenhouse Glass 

Single pane glass

Older single-glazed greenhouses with overlapping greenhouse glass are less desirable because many of them are not adequately sealed. This can lead to a number of problems, including inefficient heating and cooling and humidity/moisture issues. The good news is that most new single-pane greenhouses have full-length glass panels and are sealed, which solves many of the problems associated with outdated, leaky designs.


One of the great things about single-pane greenhouses is that they look great. Single pane greenhouses are very aesthetically pleasing and cost only a little more than polycarbonate greenhouses. However, in northern climates, gardeners should probably avoid single-pane greenhouses. Single-glazed greenhouses are the most energy-efficient type of greenhouse.


Depending on your climate and the location of your greenhouse, this can be an advantage or disadvantage. A greenhouse should let in as much sunlight as possible, right?  All in all, single glazed greenhouses are a good choice for gardeners who do not heat their greenhouses or strongly desire an aesthetically pleasing greenhouse.


 Glass Greenhouses

Glass Greenhouse

Double Glazing

When it comes to greenhouses, double-glazed greenhouse glass panels are the bees' knees. Double glazed greenhouses are designed to be the most energy-efficient, providing the gardener with half the cost of heating a single glazed greenhouse. In other words, gardeners can look at double-glazed greenhouses as a long-term investment that pays for itself in the form of energy savings.


Double glazing can also include a special Low-E reflective coating on the inner glass panels that reflects heat and acts as an insulator. For the serious enthusiast looking for the most beautiful and energy-efficient greenhouse, a double-glazed greenhouse is perfect for you. The only real drawback to a double-glazed greenhouse is the initial cost. If you want to get more information about the best glass for greenhouse wholesale, welcome to contact us today or request a quote.  


Multi-wall polycarbonate

Another glass option for the hobbyist looking to build a greenhouse is polycarbonate. Multi-wall polycarbonate greenhouse materials are available in a variety of thicknesses (8 mm triple-pane and 16 mm 5-wall). The structure of the material varies slightly, but all include multiple walls inside the material to create a channel that holds air. This air space is important because it creates insulation value. Polycarbonate greenhouses offer similar energy efficiency to double-glazed greenhouses. One of the advantages of polycarbonate material is that it naturally diffuses sunlight.


By diffusing sunlight, polycarbonate greenhouses reduce the potential for "hot spots" and allow for uniform light energy distribution to the plants in the greenhouse. Lightly tinted polycarbonate panels can also be installed on the roof of the greenhouse to reduce or eliminate the need for shade cloth. This is a great option for gardeners in hot, sunny locations. Although polycarbonate is not as aesthetically pleasing as glass, these greenhouses offer the best upfront value. Polycarbonate can also be used to retrofit older greenhouses to improve efficiency.


Remember, when deciding on your greenhouse window selection, efficiency and greenhouse performance depends on many factors, including your location and the orientation of your greenhouse. Where you live and what you grow will have a big impact on your choice of greenhouse and greenhouse glass windows. Take the time to explore all of your options to find the greenhouse design that best suits your purpose.


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