Written By: Brad Campbell | July 8, 2022
Double-pane thermal windows, also known as insulated glass units or simply double-pane windows, are one of the best ways to improve the insulation and energy efficiency of large homes and commercial facilities. But do you know why?
Double-pane windows consist of two sheets of glass, separated by a spacer bar, with a hermetically-sealed space in between them. This space is either filled with air or gas, such as argon or krypton, which is what actually makes double-pane windows so insulating.
It’s not exactly the space between the glazing in double-pane windows that makes them more energy efficient, it’s what’s in that space. Let us explain.
Air is a poor conductor, so when thermal energy, or heat, passes through one surface of the glass, it has a difficult time passing through the air in the space and out the other pane of glass.
Gasses like krypton and argon are even more dense than air, so they are even less conductive. Therefore, even less thermal energy can pass through a double-pane window if the space in the insulated glass unit is injected with gas.
As you may have guessed by now, since single-pane windows don’t have any space filled with air or gas in them, it’s very easy for heat to pass from one side to another because all they have to do is make it through one sheet of glazing.
In terms of energy efficiency for properties, whether you have single- or double-pane windows makes a huge difference.
For instance, a high-end home or a commercial building with the latest in insulated window technology can use approximately 30% less energy than an equivalent property with single-pane windows (or double-pane ones that need to be replaced).
Yes, double-pane thermal windows reduce the amount of energy you use in all types of weather. In hot climates or during summer months, they reduce solar heat gain, or the transfer of heat from the sun through your windows.
Solar heat gain is what causes uncomfortable hot spots inside and causes you to rely heavily on air conditioning to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. Double-pane insulated windows drastically reduce solar heat gain to reduce your reliance on AC (and lower your utility bills).
In cold climates and during winter months, insulated glass units help keep warm air from your heating system inside, thereby reducing the need to constantly run your furnace to keep indoor spaces warm when it’s cold out.
Besides reducing your use of HVAC systems and lowering your utility costs year round, insulated windows can provide a whole range of other benefits. These include:
Many property owners, especially in dense urban areas, deal with tons of excess noise that comes in through their windows. Whether it’s from traffic, airplanes, construction, or other sources, this excess noise is a real pain.
Installing new insulated glass can help you reduce the amount of noise transfer through your windows for the same reasons it can help you improve energy efficiency — sound, like heat, has a harder time traveling through two panes of glass and whatever is in the space between them.
Double-pane windows are not considered security windows in and of themselves, but you can choose to use security glazing in your new double-pane window units to improve your property’s safety and security.
By using highly impact-resistant polycarbonate glazing or another type of security glass, you can protect against all of the following hazards and security threats:
If you own a commercial building that you lease office spaces in, having the latest in insulated window technology can attract potential tenants who are looking for energy-efficient offices with lower carbon footprints. Not only that, but having comfortable year-round indoor temperatures can help retain tenants once they are in, keeping your building occupancy high.
In many states, making energy efficiency upgrades can provide you with government tax rebates and credits. When you add these to the savings you’ll earn on your monthly utility bills by installing double-pane windows, you can make back your investment very quickly.
Last but not least, any place you install new windows, either as part of new construction or to replace outdated building windows, you can choose from many different design options.
Besides all the performance benefits of insulated windows, you can also use them to complement and enhance your property’s architectural aesthetics.
Insulated glass units can come in a variety of different framing materials and colors, and the glazing itself can also be coated with many different finishes.
For example, you could choose sleek, darkly colored aluminum window frames and dark reflective tint to give an older glass office building a contemporary facelift. Details like this can really improve the curb appeal of your business to attract more clients.
In addition to improving aesthetics, tinted or reflective windows can also be used to add privacy to your property, which is ideal for ground floor offices or certain rooms of high-end residential properties where you want more daytime privacy.
Riot Glass manufactures and installs 100% custom insulated glass window units. We also specialize in security glazing, window tinting, and all things related to window and door privacy and security.
Our professional and knowledgeable team is always happy to answer all your questions. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free consultation for you and your property.