Insulated window panels, or insulated windows for short, are one of the best ways to improve a commercial building’s energy efficiency and reduce your monthly utility bills.
Why? Because poorly insulated windows can be responsible for anywhere between 20 and 30 percent of your property’s wasted heating and cooling energy.
By using insulated glass, you can drastically reduce your reliance on AC to keep indoor spaces cool when it’s hot out, and reduce your heating system usage when it’s cold out.
Depending on the size of your commercial facility, the money you save on yearly HVAC-related energy costs by installing insulated windows can be in the thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.
The term insulated window refers to a window that consists of two or more panes of glass, which are separated by an empty space.
Whether we’re talking about double-pane or triple-pane windows, there is always a space between every two panes. So, double-pane glass has a single space between the two panes, and triple-pane glass has two spaces, on either side of the center pane.
Insulated windows come in “units,” referred to as insulated glass units, which consist of the two or more panes of glass, a spacer bar that separates the glass, window framing, and multiple seals. The inner and outer seals hold everything together and keep the space between the glass airtight.
Insulated window panel units can be used in new construction or to replace your existing commercial windows.
Critical components of insulated triple- or double-pane windows:
All windows gain and lose heat due to conduction, the process by which heat passes through a material.
When the weather is hot, windows experience something called solar heat gain, which is when the sun’s heat passes through glass and warms up indoor spaces behind it. If the weather is cold, warm air from heating systems escapes through window glass.
The more panes of glass your windows have, the less heat passes through them. This is because air is a poor conductor, and simply having that space filled with air between two or more panes of glass greatly reduces heat transfer.
For even better insulating, the space between panes of glass can be injected with a gas, such as argon or krypton. Gasses are denser than air, so they are less conductive and reduce solar heat gain and heating system heat loss even further.
Argon is the most common gas used in insulated window panes because it is the most affordable. It is approximately 38% more dense than air. Krypton is more expensive than argon, and it is about three times heavier than air.
The panes of glass and what’s in the space between them play a huge role in how insulating double- or triple-pane windows are, but the other components of insulated glass units are also important.
For instance, there are different types of spacer bars that are more or less conductive. Different window frame materials also play a role in how much heat passes through your windows.
And, finally, none of this system would work without tight, high-performance seals preventing air or gas from escaping the insulated window unit and keeping moisture and humidity out of it.
When you install double-pane windows or triple-pane windows in new construction or use them to replace existing inefficient windows, the added insulation can reduce your monthly utility bills by up to 30 percent, depending on how much you were using your HVAC systems before. But that’s not the only benefit of energy-efficient windows.
Benefits of insulated window panels:
Saving money on your utility bills is great, but double-pane or triple-pane windows are also ideal when you’re looking for ways to reduce your commercial building’s carbon footprint for environmental reasons.
Not only is it important to reduce the environmental impact of commercial facilities, but green buildings can be very appealing to potential building tenants.
So, if you own a building that you lease office spaces or other workspaces in, insulated windows and the improved energy efficiency they provide can help you keep building occupancy rates high.
Another financial benefit of installing energy-efficient windows is that you can get government tax rebates for making energy efficiency upgrades.
Not only that, but insulated windows can increase your property’s value, in case you plan on selling it down the road. Considering the fact that the money you save on utility bills can pay you back for your initial investment in a matter of a few years, this is a pretty sweet deal.
All of the benefits of insulated window panels contribute to a higher NOI, or your profit after subtracting business operating expenses.
If you want to protect your building against forced entry and burglary, adding a pane of security glazing to your new insulated windows is an excellent option.
For example, adding a pane of polycarbonate security glazing to the outside of your windows makes them virtually unbreakable — they’ll stand up to even the most determined forced entry attempts.
Polycarbonate security glazing doesn’t just protect your business against forced entry, either. It fortifies your building against all types of impacts, including natural ones from flying storm debris and even earthquakes.
If you want to improve energy efficiency and security all in one, security-glazed insulated window units are your best option.
Riot Glass specializes in security glazing and multi-pane insulated glass units. We’ll help you achieve all your door and window performance goals for your commercial facility. Contact us today for a free consultation.