As temperatures have been in the teens lately, more people are noticing the draft that is coming through their windows. Why is this? What can be done to keep homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer?
Insulated glass units are defined in the industry as two panes of glass separated by a spacer and sealed around the edges creating an air pocket between the two lites of glass. This air pocket is what creates the insulating factor that can help keep your home warmer in the winter.
The degree of insulation is dependent upon the thickness of the glass, and the width of the space inbetween the two panes. The thicker the glass and the larger the space, the better insulative quality you will have.
Accordingly, upgrading your window glass to a Low-E glass adds insulative efficiency as well. (Disclaimer: all manufactorers of Low-E glass have a slightly different tint to them that can be noticeable when the sun’s rays are at their sharpest.) Getting an insulated glass unit with Argon gas inbetween the lites instead of an air pocket helps as well.
But be careful – if your existing window is a single lite of glass and you wish to upgrade to an insulated glass unit, merely replacing the window glass will not work. If you currently only have space for one pane of glass (i.e. 1/8″) trying to fit an insulated unit (i.e. 3/8″) will not fit! You will have to replace the entire window.