Clera Windows + Doors Blog

What are Sealed Window Units and When to Replace Them

Thanks to sealed window units, getting replacement multiglazed windows is now a straightforward process. 

If you’re curious about how sealed window units work, this one’s for you. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this innovative window glazing system.

Keep reading to learn more!

A set of sealed window units or insulated glass units on a metal rack

What Are Sealed Window Units? 

Sealed window units are part of an advanced glazing system that features two or more sheets of glass separated by an adhesive spacer and filled with air, argon, or krypton. The whole unit is then sealed along the edges to prevent a vacuum or gas from leaking.

They have enhanced insulating and energy-efficient properties when compared to single-pane glass. The more panes of glass, the more insulation the sealed window unit provides. For this reason, sealed window units are also known as thermo, thermal units, insulated glazing, or insulating glass units (IGUs).

Common Causes of Damage to IGUs 

There are several reasons why sealed window units fail over time, such as:

A faulty seal on an IGU means the glass unit is no longer providing insulation effectively. Depending on how bad the air leakage is, this may cause a significant increase in your energy bill.  

5 Signs Your Sealed Window Units Need To Be Replaced 

Check out these tell-tale signs that indicate your sealed window units have been compromised and require immediate replacement. 

1. Foggy and Moist Windows 

If you see fogging or moisture collecting in between the glass panes of your multiglazed window, it means the seal is broken and your IGU is already defective. The fogging in between panes is a sign that the outside air’s moisture has infiltrated the space between the glass, thereby causing condensation

2. Cracked or Chipped Glas

Whether you have single-pane or multipane windows, seeing a crack or a mere chip on the glass can impact its performance and is a sure sign that you need to get them replaced. 

3. Drafty Windows 

Check your sealed window units for drafts, which is another clear indication that the seal is no longer working as it should. This situation can be solved by weatherproofing your windows or getting new replacement IGUs, depending on how bad the damage is.

4. Glass Distortion 

A distorted glass means the krypton or argon gas has started to leak and has caused the unit to collapse into the center, creating a warped image. 

5. Water Leaks 

Another sign that your sealed window units have been compromised would be water dripping or pooling around your windows or window frame. This should be taken seriously before it leads to expensive water damage and root rot.

Can I Replace IGUs By Myself? 

No. As far as obtaining a new sealed window unit is concerned, it is not a DIY job. We do not recommend DIY installation of the glass either. Replacing sealed window units is a tedious and technical process best left to professionals. 

If you think you need to have your IGU repaired or replaced, the best way to go is to contact a window repair specialist. It’s important to understand that some sealed window units are not commercially available but made to order for large-scale window companies.

Luckily, you don’t have to go through all the hassle if you purchased your exterior windows from a manufacturer that offers ongoing customer care and an extensive warranty. For instance, if you purchased a window from Clera Windows + Doors, all you need to do is contact us and we will take care of the rest. We also have one of the most comprehensive, no-nonsense lifetime warranties in the industry. 

A photo of a man removing a window sash

When Is It Time to Get New Replacement Windows

In some cases, replacing the sealed window unit isn’t enough. It’s time to get new replacement windows if you’re experiencing any of the following problems.

1. Difficulty Closing Or Opening Your Windows. 

For wooden window frames, this could mean warping or rot due to water damage. Aluminum windows are also vulnerable to corrosion, which leads to functional problems. 

In some cases, however, it may just be an issue with the window’s hardware, which can be replaced easily, so make sure to check!

2. Decaying Window Frames 

If, aside from broken sealed window units, your wooden or aluminum window frames are showing signs of deterioration due to old age and constant exposure to extreme weather, it may be time to swap them for a brand new window replacement. This is why many homeowners opt to get vinyl window replacements; they offer excellent insulation and are virtually maintenance-free. 

Ready to start shopping for new windows? Check out our handy guide on What to Look for When Replacing Your Windows

Energy-Efficient Windows by Clera 

At this point, you may have a rough idea if you’re better off with replacement sealed window units or entirely new windows for your home. Whatever you need, our window experts at Clera Windows + Doors are here to help! We have over 40+ years of experience designing, manufacturing, and installing durable and energy-efficient windows, including sealed window units for our extensive collection of premium-quality vinyl windows. 

Contact us today for a free home estimate!

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