Windows with double-pane glass can help reduce heat transmission between your home’s indoor and outdoor spaces. While the service life of a window equipped with double-pane glass is typically uneventful, sometimes the glass may end up with some discoloration. In today’s post, local general contractor 3JM Exteriors, Inc. shares a look at what causes this, and how it can be prevented.
How Double-Pane Windows Work
To understand the causes of discoloration, let’s first take a look at how double-pane glass works. Windows, along with entry doors, skylights, exterior walls, and the roof, form an enclosure known as the energy envelope. These components have one thing in common: they are all insulated. The energy envelope helps maintain consistent indoor temperatures by reducing thermal transfer. Without insulation, heat would freely pass between your home’s indoor and outdoor spaces, which would increase your home’s heating and cooling requirements, ultimately resulting in high utility bills and an uncomfortable home.
While standard insulation is used on exterior walls and the roof, it’s a different case with windows, since glass is both transparent and naturally conductive. This is why during winter, it often feels cold near windows with traditional single-pane glass. Double-pane glass solves the insulation problem by separating the window interior and exterior surfaces with a vacuum. The lack of contact between sides dramatically reduces heat conduction. This has proven to be so effective that most window replacement manufacturers offer double-pane windows as a standard insulated option.
How to Prevent Discoloration
Discoloration on double-pane windows happens when excessive indoor humidity infiltrates the sealed space between the panes. Trapped moisture may react with the air inside this space, which may be (optionally) filled with an insulating gas at the factory. Discoloration may appear as dark-colored streaks on the glass surface. Unlike streaks caused by soot or dust, scrubbing won’t remove them. If your windows have them, check your warranties as some window manufacturers offer warranties that provide coverage for double-pane glass discoloration.
To prevent discoloration, make sure your relative indoor humidity is set to more or less 50%. A humidifier/dehumidifier system can help keep relative indoor humidity at this level. Inspect your windows and have them fixed in case you notice leaks.
3JM Exteriors, Inc. is your leading provider of siding repair and window installation services. Give us a call at (630) 985-6494. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Naperville, IL, and surrounding communities.