As old windows begin to break down they are likely to develop gaps in the assembly and seal failure on the insulated glazing units (IGUs). Unfortunately, the problem is often invisible, though it can certainly start to show up on energy bills from year to year. Fortunately, replacement windows in Phoenix, AZ can offer you renewed protection. What is an IGU? How do you spot seal failure? How do you fix the problem? Read on to find out.
Construction of an IGU
Most modern windows come with a standard of two panes of glass sealed together as a single unit. A spacer keeps the panels separated and manufacturers fill the space between with an inert gas. These noble gasses have more density than air and are not as reactive to temperature fluctuations. This helps improve energy efficiency in modern windows. But the seals are not perfect and eventually, they will wear out, break down, and result in leaks.
How to Check for Leaks
It isn’t easy to know if your IGU has a leak. Afterall the inert gas is just as invisible as normal air. So here are a few steps to follow to help you spot seal failure:
1. Clean Your Windows
It can be hard to determine anything if your windows are filthy with dirt and grime. Take a moment and thoroughly clean your windows inside and out. This will give you a chance to examine them more closely and make out if there are any concerning problems.
2. Check for Distortions
Seals on insulated windows are not sealed perfectly. Most estimates conclude IGUs leak as much as 1% of their gas fill per year. This is because of the pressure differential between outside air and the inside gas. The leak can go faster or slower depending on the window construction, altitude changes during shipping, and the climate. The result is a gradual depressurization. And as more of the inert gas leaks out, the glass begins to collapse slightly towards the center. This bowing can produce distorted reflections in the glass if you know what to look for.
3. Watch for Condensation
Another clear sign of seal failure is moisture caught between the panes of glass. You might notice fog forming and dissipating depending on the weather. Or, more likely, you will find a smudge you simply can’t remove. The haze between the glass comes from the introduction of normal air, which contains moisture. It gets trapped between the panes and the only way to truly restore the window is with a replacement IGU.
Because seal failure is not something you can easily repair, you will want to contact a window professional the moment you notice something strange about your windows. If your windows are relatively new you can try to file a warranty claim. If they are no longer covered by warranty you will have to get replacement windows in Phoenix, AZ. Contact Freelite Inc. for a hassle-free quote today. You can call us at (602) 233-1981 to set up an appointment. Or you can come by 331 W. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85003.