April 6, 2023

How to Use Glass to Heat a House

Written by Rebecca Clayton


When designing a house, it is important to consider the performance requirements as well as the overall design. The solar gain that large elevations of glass bring can be used in a range of smart solutions, to reduce energy costs and eliminate the need for additional heat sources.


Thermally Broken Glass Systems

Within the technical details of all our glazing systems, you will see that a full thermal break is included. This thermal break is designed to use low thermal conductive materials and effectively reduces the flow of thermal energy between conductive materials.

The thermal break acts as a thermal barrier in glass installations, stopping the metal frames from conducting heat to the external side of a building. Thermally broken systems help to reduce heating costs, by stopping the heat from escaping in the colder months. Equally as important, in warmer weather, a thermal break stops the heat coming into glazed spaces. Each and every glazing solution from IQ is fully thermally broken, to ensure comfortable living temperatures are achieved all year round.

Solar Gain Through Glass

Often spoken about as a negative aspect, large elevations of glass attracting solar gain can be a good thing when it comes to reducing heating costs. The winter sun can warm up a space without the need for other heating solutions, through clever placement of windows and solar gain.

When specifying window systems from IQ, the technical team can help advise on glass placement and design. We specialise in maximizing the light intake to create comfortable internal living spaces and can do this by advising on window size, placement, and configuration. For south-facing glass installations where oversized panes are used, we recommend solar control coatings to enhance the functionality of the glazed space.


Solar Control Coatings

Solar control glass is a technical solution designed to control solar gain in areas that get a lot of sun. It works by reducing the amount of short wave radiation that travels through the glass unit, therefore reducing the heat levels inside. This eliminates the risk of highly glazed spaces overheating in the summer, such as a glass box extension.

Solar control glass can be utilised to reduce the amount of solar gain, whilst still allowing a certain amount into the internal living space. Again, this can help lower energy costs and heat a house from outside in. Solar control coatings are almost invisible to the naked eye, making them perfect for maintaining minimal glass installations. Another invisible option is heated glass, which can be used as the sole heat source.

What Is Specialist Heated Glass?

Electrically heated glass is an innovative glazing product that is an excellent heating alternative for architectural designs. The heated glass is applied with a specialist coating which provides a radiant heat source when electricity is passed through it. IQ’s heated glass can be installed as the sole heat source, avoiding costly traditional heating systems that require high levels of maintenance. When you compare the comfortable feeling of radiated heat from heated glass to traditional convection heating systems, the difference is dramatic. Heated glass reduces dust circulation and keeps walls clear for a minimal design.

Heated Glass has a transparent metal oxide coating applied within the glass unit, electricity is passed through the coating via buzz bars at the head and the base of the unit which is concealed within the glass construction and this creates radiant heat.

Depending on the power input into the glass, this radiant heat can either be used to heat a space using the infra-red radiation, create a warm surface to stop condensation forming on the glass, or create a warm surface on the outside of a glass to stop snow or ice build-up.

This specialist heated glass can be heated to a temperature of 20-40° C, no matter what the outside temperature is.

Where Can Heated Glass Be Used As A Heat Source?

When you use heated glass as the main heat source within a property, there is no need to install radiators or additional heating systems. Specialist heated glass creates a uniquely comfortable temperature within the space, reducing any cold drafts near large glazed elevations. Glazing is also a natural insulator. With double or triple glazed systems, heat retention will be improved and will further benefit the heated system. 

Using heated glass removes the need for radiators and costly underfloor heating, as well as being a great heat source for listed buildings or highly glazed rooms.

Best applications for using heated glass as a heat source:




    • Double height spaces (where the ground floor area isn’t big enough to heat the double-height space)


    • Houses where electricity is the only power source (heated glass is generally 50% of the running costs of traditional electrical heating methods)


    • Any building or space where the heating is a difficult design or logistical problem


Pool House in Cheshire used heated glass to maintain the crystal-clear aesthetic of the glazing, heated top and bottom panes of glass were installed to eliminate any condensation build-up on both ground floor and first floor. 


Salcombe Strand Court uses heated glass in the bedroom for comfort.

We recommend using at least 20% of the floor area of the space in heated glass to create a sole heat source from this glass and get the full effect of the heated glass.

IQ Glass design heated glass, based on your specifications and required application. The specialist heated glass units can be single, double or triple glazed, can be installed into frameless structural installations or into the framework to suit each application.



If you’re interested in hearing more about how your glazing systems can heat your home, get in touch with the team at hello@iqglassuk.com or call us on 01494722880