Today it is rare to find a single pane window. Instead, the core element of the modern window is an insulated glass unit (IGU). IGUs make windows stronger, more durable and more energy efficient. Here is some basic information about IGUs and how they perform as well as a few symptoms to watch for that show you need window repair in Evanston, IL.
Windows are the weakest link in the exterior envelope of a home and the most likely culprit for energy losses. Windows, like the roofing and siding, are subjected to a lot of wear and tear from the elements, day in and day out. But unlike siding and roofing which are made of more solid materials, windows are more delicately made. For hundreds of years, windows were made of single pane glass. These didn’t hold up well and required a lot of window repair. Fortunately, manufacturers developed something more durable and energy efficient.
What is an IGU?
These windows feature two or more panes of glass separated with a spacer and sealed together as a single unit. Double glazed IGUs have two panes of glass. Triple glazed IGUs have three. And homeowners can get as many as four panes of glass in a single unit. Every additional pane of glass adds to the final cost of the unit, and sometimes the savings do not outweigh the cost.
And along with more panes of glass come other features as well. Each glass lite has two surfaces. A double glazed unit has two panes of glass with a space between and four surfaces, a triple glazed unit has three panes of glass with two spaces and six surfaces, etc. And with all these spaces and surfaces homeowners have several advancements they can choose from including low-E coatings, tinting, reflective surfaces, and decorative glass.
Inert Gas Fills
It isn’t normal air in the spaces between the glass. Manufactures seal a noble gas between the panes. These gasses have more density and do not expand and contract with fluctuations in temperature. The top three options in use are argon, krypton, and xenon. Argon is more readily available and performs well in larger spaces like in double glazed units. Krypton and xenon are not as readily available and perform better in tighter spaces like on triple or quadruple glazed units.
How to Know When Seals Fail
Unfortunately, there are pressure differentials between the outside air and the inert gas inside IGUs. This means the noble gas usually escapes at a rate of about one percent per year. And the lifespan of an IGU will vary depending on the material, climate, and quality of construction. How do you know when an IGU has failed? Moisture is the most common occurrence. The window will appear foggy or hazy between the panes and will not wipe away.
If it is time for window repair in Evanston, IL contact us at Scientific Home Services. Our experts will provide the best possible products and services. Call (847) 752-0370 or visit 7240 Saint Louis Ave., Skokie, IL 60076.