Insulated glass units are one of the most energy-efficient types of windows out there for homes and commercial buildings, but they don’t last forever. There are many reasons why your insulated windows can fail over time, and there are plenty of benefits you can receive from insulated glass unit replacement.
Insulated glass units, including double-pane windows and triple-pane windows, consist of many different components that work together to reduce heat transfer through your property’s windows.
Because they have so many components, there is more that can go wrong with insulated windows than with traditional single-pane windows. Here are some of the top reasons why insulate glass may fail and need to be replaced:
In order for insulated, multi-pane glass to function as intended, the inner and outer sealants must keep the vacuum between the panes of glass completely airtight. If the sealants fail, the air or gas infill leaks out and moisture and humidity can get in between the panes of glass.
Insulated glass window sealants can get damaged due to exposure to harsh weather, harsh chemicals, or impacts. When the sealants start to fail, you may notice a decrease in the energy efficiency of your property (needing to use your heating and cooling systems more). You might also notice your windows get foggy and have condensation in them.
Another big reason why your insulated glass units might need replacing is that they weren’t installed professionally in the first place. As with any high-performance glazing, insulated windows should always be installed by a certified professional to ensure their performance and longevity.
Poor window installation can hurt the performance of your window glass and even cause damage to your windows, resulting in the need for replacement.
Although double-pane and triple-pane windows are stronger than the traditional single-pane variety, they are still prone to damage. They can get cracked, chipped, and broken because of a variety of reasons, including forced entry attempts, vandalism, flying storm debris, and other high-force impacts.
If either surface of your insulated glass gets damaged in any way, it can compromise the integrity of the insulated units and should be replaced as soon as possible. Even if there is just a small chip or hairline crack, the window is more prone to breaking, so you should address the situation before it worsens.
You might be wondering if you can replace a single pane of glass in an insulated window, and the answer is no. These types of windows are referred to as “units” because all the components come pre-assembled in a sealed unit, so you should always replace the whole window.
If you were to attempt to replace a single pane of glass in a double-pane window, there is a high chance that you would just end up damaging the window and its seals further. Not only that, but any special gas infill left in the unit would leak out during the process.
The biggest reason to replace insulated glass units is to improve the energy efficiency of your home or commercial property.
When you replace old insulated windows, or upgrade a double-pane window to a triple-pane window, you should start noticing a difference as soon as your next utility bill comes.
Although window replacement, especially if you need to replace many insulated units at once, can seem expensive at first, you’ll make your investment back in a few years.
The increased energy efficiency provided by new insulated multi-pane windows is especially beneficial for luxury homes and large commercial buildings, where one poor-performing window can result in you throwing hundreds or thousands of dollars down the drain each year.
Besides poor energy efficiency, another downside of damaged insulated glass is that your windows may start to become foggy and retain condensation.
Replacing these windows with new insulated glass units fixes this problem, so you get your energy performance and your views of the outdoors back.
One benefit you might not think of when considering replacing your windows is the possibility to improve your building’s security.
With new insulated windows, you can choose the type of glazing used for the panes. Rather than sticking to standard annealed window glass, which is very easy to break, you might choose to upgrade one or more of the panes to security glazing, such as laminated security glass or virtually unbreakable polycarbonate glazing.
These types of security glazing provide all the insulation you need, with the added bonus of protecting your property against a full range of security threats, both man made and natural. These threats include:
Finally, when you replace insulated glass units with new, energy-efficient models, you can receive government tax rebates for making energy efficiency improvements to your property.
These tax rebates can help you recover a portion of your investment in the tax season following the year in which you replaced your windows. That way, you don’t have to wait to get your full ROI back from lower utility bills.
If you’re experiencing reduced building energy efficiency and higher-than-usual utility bills, or if you notice any of the physical signs that your insulated windows need to be replaced, don’t wait to replace the units in question. The longer you wait, the more money you’re losing to high energy usage.
At Riot Glass, we specialize in replacing insulated glass units with top-of-the-line new double-pane or triple-pane windows. Since we also offer a full range of security glazing products, we can also help you improve your building’s security while we’re at it.
Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free window replacement consultation.