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Insulated Glass Units: What Are They And How Can They Improve My Home?

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When it comes to choosing new windows for your home, you have a huge variety of different types of glass that you can have in your windows to choose from. Window glass is not all the same, and there are different benefits for different types of glass. One type of glass that is becoming more and more popular for home use is insulated glass, often times called insulated glass units. Insulated glass units differ a bit from standard glass, and have many added benefits.

What are Insulated Glass Units?

Insulated glass units, often just referred to an insulated glass windows, are windows that are composed of two or more panes of glass. Space is left between the two panes of glass, and then the window's are sealed hermetically two or three times leaving space between the glass. The window is sealed two times, ensuring a tight, leak free seal. The space between the window creates natural insulation. Insulated glass windows sometimes have a laminated layer in between the panes of glass, adding even more insulation to the window.

What are Insulated Glass Units Composed Of?

There are many different parts that go into creating an insulated glass window to ensure that it insulates properly and stays effective for years. First, there are the panes of glass which have been separately glazed and sealed. The glass sits in a frame typically composed of reinforced aluminum.

The space between the two or three panes of glass don't just sit empty. Within the frame lies what is a called a desiccant. Desiccants are substances that will absorb moisture that might happen to find it's way into the space between the windows.  The desiccant typically lines the bottom and sides of the frame and can be either silica or zeolites. These substances naturally absorb moisture, sucking it from the space in the window.

Occupying the space between the glass is not only a desiccant, but the space can be filled with argon, krypton or zeolites. These gasses are referred to as thermal performance gasses. These gasses have an advantage over plain old oxygen, as their chemical composition makes them natural insulators.

Insulated glass windows, as well as having each individual pane sealed, are also sealed two times once the panes, desiccant and thermal performance gas is inserted.

What are the Benefits of Insulated Glass Units?

Insulated glass units have benefits that extend beyond the benefits that standard glass windows offer your home. The most obvious benefit of insulated glass windows is the insulating properties that they provide. Studies on standard windows show as much as 10 to 15% of a home's energy can be lost through the windows. Insulated glass windows reduce loss of cold and warm air, as well as prevent the entrance of outside air, ensuring that your home uses less energy.

Insulated glass windows are also specially created to prevent moisture from building up. In typical windows that are not insulated, moisture can not only mess with the insulating properties of a window, but can degrade the frame, sealant and glass. Moisture can degrade your windows much faster than they would typically degrade.

Insulated glass windows are typically composed of types of glass that filter more UV rays from the sun than standard windows. This means that your carpet, drapes, tables and other furniture won't degrade due to UV exposure as quickly.

Insulated glass windows are also much thicker than standard windows. This means that not only do they break less easily than standard windows, but they are able to filter out much more noise from outside your home.

Whether you are in desperate need of new windows, or are looking for a simple way to improve your home, insulated glass units just might be what you are looking for. These windows are affordable and beneficial and are a great way to give your home a small upgrade. Talk to window professionals such as Ken Caryl Glass Inc. to get started.