What Is Vacuum-Insulated Glass and How Does It Work?

August 4, 2023



Vacuum Insulated Glass - Clera Windows + Doors

Your home’s windows play a huge role in how comfortable you are during extreme heat or cold weather. They also let in natural light to brighten up your house while maintaining the energy efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.

Traditionally, windows have been insulated with air or argon being put between the glass panes. However, vacuum-insulated glass is a new development in the industry that is changing the game, making new windows better than ever!

In this article, we’ll discuss all you need to know about this new window technology, what it promises, and how you can benefit from it.

What Is Vacuum-Insulated Glass?

It involves insulating a window with a vacuum-sealed layer rather than air or argon, creating a sealed barrier. Rather than filling the gap between the panes—which is often thinner than a human hair—with air or argon, a vacuum-sealed space is used.

When used together with a glazed low-E (low-emissivity) glass coating, your windows will be better than ever at maintaining a consistent room temperature. Low-e coatings help improve thermal heat transmission to keep cold air out and warm air in.

This type of window unit is made with a flexible seal on its edges, which is made of aluminum foil instead of a rigid seal. The spacers used in between the panes—referred to as pillars—are placed in a grid-like pattern within the gap.

What Are the Benefits of Vacuum Insulation?

There is an important distinction to be made: vacuum-insulated glass windows still use insulation, but it’s a vacuum-sealed layer rather than air or argon gas.

Typically, the efficiency of insulation is dictated by the thickness of the glass and the amount of space between the panes. Different types of window coatings can also be added to improve performance and get the most out of the window.

Vacuum-insulated windows take this feature a step further and ensure that heat and sound cannot cross the spaces in between the panes. The tiny sealed gap prevents this from happening by providing another barrier. This two-paned window unit performs just like a three-paned window, but with fewer expenses.

Benefits Of Vacuum Insulation - Clera Windows + Doors

Much like standard air or argon-insulated glass, vacuum-insulated windows can achieve an R-value of 10. This means they are excellent at keeping heat inside your room when the weather is cold and keeping temperatures cool when summer rolls around.

With that being said, many are opting for vacuum-insulated glass windows over these alternatives because it is lighter, thinner, and looks better. They’re also incredibly durable and can last just as long—often longer—than air or argon-insulated windows.

The lack of air between the panes also eliminates the potential for condensation to form on the inner surface of the windows, which can lead to mould growth, deterioration of window frames, and other moisture-related issues. It can also help reduce glare.

Lastly, one final benefit is that vacuum-insulated windows can also provide better sound insulation compared to traditional windows. This helps to reduce external noise and create a quieter indoor environment.

Thermal Efficiency In Greater Detail

Vacuum-insulated glass has four times the thermal insulation of normal, double-paned glass and several times greater than single-layer glass. These types of windows have an insulation performance equal to a 370mm wall of concrete, reducing the need for heating or cooling more than any other type of window.

They also have a much lower U-factor (thermal transmittance) compared to standard windows. This also contributes to them letting less heat escape during the winter and cold air during the summer. As a result, homeowners get improved energy efficiency as well as peace of mind knowing they reduced their carbon footprint.

How Long Do Vacuum Glass Windows Last?

Vacuum-insulated glass windows can last 30 years with proper maintenance. In general, there is less need for replacing panes or work on the seals. This added longevity should also boost the value of your home if you’re looking to sell.

Comparatively, standard air or argon-insulated glass windows have an expected lifespan of 10 to 20 years, typically as the seals around the panes’ edges leak and break. This causes the gas to escape, stripping the window of its insulating capabilities.

Overall, the simplicity and durability of vacuum-insulated glass windows make them a great option for homeowners looking to make a long-term investment. They can be relied upon for years to come, especially when backed by an industry-leading warranty.

 Vacuum Glass Windows - Clera Windows + Doors

Get High-Performing Windows at Clera

This concludes our rundown on vacuum-insulated glass. As you’ve learned, they’re a durable, effective, and high-quality alternative to air and argon insulation—now all that’s left to do is get them installed in your home!

Clera Windows + Doors has decades of experience in manufacturing, installing, and maintaining a wide range of windows for Ontario homeowners. We manage each window replacement project from start to finish, ensuring that we meet the level of craftsmanship our clients expect from us at each stage.

Contact us today to learn more about our services or to get a free estimate!

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