Tired of looking through hazy windows?
Many homeowners put off fixing insulated windows because they think the entire window will need replacing but that’s usually not the case.
We’re here to tell you that insulated glass unit repair is affordable for all Portland, Hillsboro and Beaverton homeowners.
95% of the time, we can remove the failed glass unit and install a new glass insulated unit within the same window frame.
Please note-insulated glass units (IGUs) are also called double-pane, dual-pane, thermal pane or simply insulated windows.
All these terms are often used interchangeably to describe the same type of window.
What are insulated glass windows?
They have 2 panes of glass with an insulating spacer, usually 3/16 of an inch. The spacer is a metal tube that runs all the way around the edge of the glass to separate the 2 pieces.
FYI-there are also tripled-pane windows with 3 panes of glass though we are only talking about double-pane in this post.
The spacers are filled with a silica desiccant, which is a moisture absorbing material. You have seen this before-it’s the little packets that come in lots of new things you buy, from clothes to shoes to electronics.
The air space between the 2 panes is vacuumed out or filled with a gas (usually argon or krypton) for extra insulation and then the entire edge of the glass is sealed with a high-grade sealant.
Why are insulated windows more energy efficient?
The sealed air space between the 2 panes of glass has insulating properties as it keeps the cold outside air from entering your house in the winter and keeps hot air from entering during the summer.
In works the other way too as in the winter it keeps the warm air from your home’s heating system from escaping your house and in the summer traps the cool air from your a/c.
When the seal is broken, air is allowed to get inside the 2 panes and it reduces the insulation quality so temperature transfer happens much quicker.
In addition, once air gets between the panes, condensation forms inside and the window gets foggy and sometimes even mildew can form inside.
When this happens, the energy efficiency of the window is compromised.
Why do insulated windows fail?
There are several reasons from incorrect installation to poor sealants to improper caulking but the main cause is solar pumping. Never heard of solar pumping? Let’s explain it.
At night, the insulated glass unit cools and contracts. This causes it to draw in air and humidity through the seal. During the day, it gets warm and expands.
Solar pumping is simply the continual contraction and expansion of the unit which (over time) weakens the seal and allows moisture inside.
Once the seal is compromised, the vacuum or gas between the panes escapes and outside air is free to come in which is why condensation occurs. Of course, we mentioned before that the space often has silica desiccant to absorb moisture though it can only absorb a certain amount and when it has absorbed all it can, moisture builds up and causes the glass to become foggy.
Replacement of insulated windows is affordable
As we mentioned, you don’t have to replace the entire window.
Since the problem is caused by the broken seal between the glass panes, we can (in most cases) just replace the insulated glass unit, which is what we did with the window shown on the right .
It doesn’t matter whether your window frame is aluminum, wood or vinyl, replacing the glass unit makes the repair very affordable, even if you are on a tight budget.
It’s even nicer if you have multiple insulated windows which need fixing as you can repair all of them for a fraction of the cost of replacing them.
In a few cases, we are unable to replace the glass unit and do have to replace the entire window frame though we offer free estimates so you’ll know the cost before any work is done.
You may not realize your hazy windows are costing you money so contact Sierra Glass today for an estimate on insulated glass unit repair.