Written By: Brad Campbell | December 19, 2023
Double-pane windows, also known as insulated glass units (IGUs), consist of two panes of glass separated by a spacer and sealed to create a layer of air or gas between them. These windows offer better insulation and energy efficiency compared to single-pane windows.
Commercial properties can benefit greatly from double-pane windows because of how drastically they can reduce reliance on heating and cooling systems, ultimately resulting in lower monthly utility bills and less expensive maintenance on these systems.
Whether you already have double-pane windows that are outdated and need replacement or you’re considering replacing single-pane windows with IGUs, it’s an excellent opportunity to not only improve the energy efficiency of your windows, but also boost their safety and security.
Rather than installing double-pane windows with standard annealed or tempered safety glass infills, consider installing IGUs with security glazing infills for added protection against a full range of security threats.
There are a few different situations in which you may need to consider double-pane window glass replacement:
One of the common issues with double-pane windows is seal failure. The seals around the edges of the glass can deteriorate over time, allowing moisture to enter the space between the panes.
This can result in condensation, fogging, or even visible water droplets inside the glass unit. If the seals are compromised, it can lead to a loss of insulation and energy efficiency, causing your utility costs to go up over time.
If you notice condensation or fogging between the panes of glass, it typically indicates that the seal has failed and that any insulating gas (often argon or krypton) may have leaked out. This compromises the thermal performance of the window and reduces its ability to provide insulation.
Physical damage to one or both panes of glass requires replacement. This damage could be a result of accidents, severe weather, or other unforeseen events. Cracks or breaks in the glass can compromise the structural integrity and energy efficiency of the window
Though you may be tempted to replace only the broken pane of glass, this is not an effective way to restore the window’s performance and may even result in more damage. You should always replace the entire IGU, even if only one side of the glass is damaged.
If your double-pane windows are quite old and use outdated technology, you might consider replacement with newer, more energy-efficient models.
Advancements in window technology, such as low-emissivity (low-E) coatings and improved spacer systems, can enhance the performance of windows in terms of energy efficiency and comfort.
If you are experiencing a significant loss of energy efficiency in your commercial property, it might be worth considering an upgrade to newer double-pane windows with improved insulation properties. This can help reduce heating and cooling costs over time.
In any of these cases, it’s advisable to consult with a professional window installer or contractor to assess the condition of your double-pane windows and determine whether repair or replacement is the best course of action based on the extent of the damage or deterioration.
Security glass IGUs look and feel like regular double-pane windows, but they utilize impact-resistant security glazing infills instead of standard types of commercial glass.
These infills are made of laminated security glass or glass-like glazing materials made from polycarbonates, acrylics, and other plastics, resulting in virtually unbreakable double-pane windows.
In terms of energy efficiency, these reinforced insulated glass units function the same as traditional double-pane windows, but have added benefits in terms of safety, security, and overall performance.
The primary benefit of security glass IGUs is the enhanced security they provide. These units are designed to resist forced entry attempts and withstand impact, making it more difficult for intruders to break through windows and even protecting against storm damage.
In the event of a high-force impact, either intentional or accidental, the security glazing used in security IGUs remains a strong barrier, preventing the glass from shattering into sharp, dangerous shards.
This feature enhances safety for building occupants, reducing the risk of injuries resulting from broken glass.
Security glass IGUs are specifically engineered to resist break-ins. The toughness of the glass and the interlayers make it challenging for burglars or other intruders to quickly and easily gain access to a property through its windows.
These windows are designed to resist impact, making them suitable for areas prone to severe weather conditions, such as hurricanes, or properties with a higher risk of vandalism. This impact resistance helps protect the interior of a building and its occupants from potential damage and injury.
Like traditional double-pane windows, security glass IGUs often provide better sound attenuation compared to standard windows.
The multiple layers and interlayers of glass dampen sound transmission, reducing external noise and creating a quieter indoor environment. This can be particularly beneficial for offices and other commercial buildings located in noisy urban areas.
Some security glass IGUs come with integrated coatings that block harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. This UV protection helps prevent fading and damage to interior furnishings, flooring, and other materials exposed to sunlight over time.
Security glass IGUs contribute to energy efficiency, just as standard double-pane insulated windows do. The insulating properties of double-pane windows can help improve the overall energy performance of a building, reducing utility costs and improving indoor comfort for occupants.
When considering replacing double-pane window glass with security glass, it’s advisable to work with professionals who can assess your security needs and recommend the most appropriate solution for your specific circumstances.
At Riot Glass, we offer proprietary ArmorPlast® AP-IGU series, available with a choice of several ArmorPlast infills. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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