Have you ever seen two or three reflections cast from certain windows? Though it may seem like a trick of the light, chances are, what you’re looking at is double-pane or triple-pane windows. These windows are known as insulated glass, sealed glass, or insulating glass units (IGUs).
Insulated glass windows make use of more than one sheet of glass. These sheets are parallel to each other and are typically filled with air or a noble gas in between. As implied by the name, the main benefit of these types of windows is added insulation.
This blog will answer all the questions you might have about the cost of insulated glass windows, what benefits they offer to make them worth your while, as well as how they’re made and why argon gas is used as a filler between the glass.
After reading this article on how insulated glass is made, you will be one step closer to making an informed choice regarding having these types of windows installed in your home or property.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Types of Insulated Glass or Sealed Glass for Windows
There are three main types of insulated glass. Though they may have subtle differences, their structure is the same: they have more than one glass pane that are spaced apart and sealed.
1. Air-Filled Insulated Glass
Some insulating glass units are filled with air because air, by itself, can be a good insulator. These are typically used in commercial settings due to their relatively low cost, making them more easily bought at scale. The downside, however, is that air does not offer the same insulating properties as argon and krypton.
2. Argon-Filled or Krypton-Filled Insulated Glass
Argon and krypton are colourless, odourless, and non-toxic noble gases that can be used to fill the space between the glass panes of an insulating glass unit. Gas-filled windows are standard with new construction and replacement windows because of their thermal conductivity. Of the two options, argon is more commonly used because it is more readily available than krypton, however, krypton is known as a better insulator.
3. Insulated Glass with Low-E Coating
As we all may have experienced at one point, poor insulation can severely increase power bills. Apart from insulation, which protects from the hot and cold of the external environment, it is also important to regulate the solar radiation that passes through to the interior space.
Solar radiation, especially infrared rays, carries solar heat directly. Meanwhile, unregulated amounts of UV rays can damage and bleach your interiors.
Having insulated glass windows is not enough to protect from solar radiation. Therefore, insulating glass units can also be coated with a low emissivity (Low-E) coating which makes use of microscopic layers of metal oxides to minimize UV rays and infrared rays that pass through. During manufacturing, any of the three types (air-filled, argon-filled, and krypton-filled IGUs) mentioned above can be upgraded to have this type of coating for better energy efficiency.
A Look at The Anatomy of Insulated Glass or Sealed Glass
Before we talk about how insulated glass is manufactured, let’s talk about its main components.
1. Glass Panes
The panes of glass used for insulated glass windows can be clear, reflective, tinted, laminated, or even decorative.
2. Window Spacer
The glass panes rest on a window spacer that allows them to be positioned parallel to each other. Window spacers usually have a desiccant that absorbs moisture and prevents fogging. They are also available in various materials like plastic, steel, or aluminum.
The space between the two panes of glass can be filled with air which is, by itself, a good insulator. However, standard insulation consists of noble gasses like argon and krypton.
Most modern insulated glass units have a primary and a secondary seal that surround the edges of the glass. These form an effective boundary to keep moisture out to help the insulated glass maintain clarity.
How Insulated Glass or Sealed Glass Windows Are Made
Now that we’ve talked about the parts that make up insulated gas units, this is how window sealed glass is made:
- First, the window spacer is manufactured and filled with a desiccant. The desiccant is placed into the cavity of the window spacer where it will breathe through to the in-between space of the glass panes through very small holes on the surface of the spacer. The holes, however, are so small that it does not allow the desiccant to shuffle around. Simultaneously, the glass will also be prepared.
- The window spacers are then shaped or bent to the right size using a machine. They are sized precisely as this contributes to how tight of a seal the insulated glass will have.
- The window spacer is then given the first coat of sealant.
- Then, the panes of glass are arranged on the window spacer.
- The partially-finished insulating glass units are then placed in a vacuum chamber where they are filled. The vacuum then pushes the window spacer, glass panes, and the primary sealant together, securing the filling inside.
- A final seal of silicone is then applied to the insulated glass, thereby fortifying the entire unit.
Why You Should Invest in Insulated/Sealed Glass Windows
There is a marked difference between the cost of a single-pane window when compared to a double-pane window. Double-pane windows can cost around 5-7 times more than single-pane windows. Meanwhile, the price difference between double-pane windows and triple-pane windows is only around 10-15% more. But, is the added cost worth it? The following benefits show you just how worthwhile of an investment insulated glass windows are:
- They keep the heat out during hot weather and retain heat in the home during the colder seasons;
- You will save more on power bills;
- They reduce noise coming from outside;
- They offer stronger glass windows with better security; and
- They are durable and long-lasting glass windows for your home.
Insulated Glass That You Can Count On!
Looking for insulated glass for your home, office, or property? Here at Clera Windows + Doors, you can customize your insulated windows down to a specific shape or even to the type of glass you would like to use.
Our windows are designed to not only bring aesthetic appeal to your property but to also help you cut down on energy costs. Through our 41+ years of manufacturing and selling glass windows, we never stop innovating and finding ways to give our customers the best windows and doors, along with a hassle-free installation process.
To top everything off, because we manufacture the windows that we sell, we can offer them at the best possible price. So what are you waiting for? Schedule a FREE consultation with us today!