Insulated glass units became an alternative option for most homes during the mid-1950s. Before then, individuals were used to using traditional single-pane glass windows, which were less energy-efficient, and were less durable. The single-pane glass windows had very clear glass that allowed the high transfer of heat from both the interior and exterior parts of many houses.
The advent of insulated glass attracted many people to start using them in their houses due to their versatility and numerous benefits. Insulated glass intensified its popularity due to its insulation properties due to its thermal capabilities. It estimated that it helps to reduce heat loss by 50% over single-pane glass due to its capability to maintain both cold and warm temperature conditions.
In the contemporary period, the newly advanced breed of insulated glass units has gained more popularity compared to the past decades. The advanced creation of insulated glass has enabled it to gain more capabilities. Insulated glass units have become an effective approach to conserve energy and a viable option to help one reduce their energy bills while sustaining reliable, relaxed temperatures in our homes and even offices. Their versatile nature has enabled users to select their desired frame materials that fit their budget.
Features of Insulated Glass Unit
It is vital to comprehend the features of insulated glass units and how they work to effectively conserve energy. The first thing you’ll notice about most insulated glass units is their glazing structure which is made by two or more panes of glass that are commonly referred to as double-pane insulated glass. The double-pane insulated glass is typically made up of two or more glass, which is separated by a cavity and the edges of the insulated glass are usually sealed.
The composition of the insulated glass unit is usually between 3mm to 10mm depending on your preference. This thickness is a standard configuration for most households, but you are not limited to intensify the thickness. The layer in between the double-pane glass is estimated to be almost 20mm. In recent architectural designs, the typical configuration of commercially used insulated glass units are considered to have a standard thickness of 14mm to 24mm and a maximum thickness of 50mm.
The space in between the double-pane insulated glass is mostly filled with non-conducting gases such as argon or krypton or filled with vacuum. The krypton and argon gases work to improve the insulated glass unit’s heat transmission since they are denser than air. The other vital component of an insulated glass unit is the spacer. Spacers are used to provide fixed gaps between the panes of the insulated glass. They help to separate the two panes where they meet at the edges of the window frame. The spacers are also filled with a desiccant, which absorbs moisture and water molecules to prevent condensation on the insulated glass unit. Desiccants are also referred to as drying agents.
They commonly use drying agents such as silica and Zeolites which do not corrode with the insulated glass unit. Sealants are also used to prevent the gas in between the insulated glass panes from escaping. The main sealant used is the butyl sealant that seals the insulated glass and the spacer airtight. Other sealants used include silicone and polysulphide which are mainly used as secondary sealants.
Window frames are vital features used to prevent heat loss. Window frames contribute to a window’s general energy effectiveness. Frames also act as casement panes that hold the insulated glass unit together. Window frames are of different types ranging from wood, vinyl, aluminum and fiberglass where some of these frames provide greater thermal resistance than others. Wood frames have been in use since the advent of insulated glass windows and doors.
Wood is a good insulator, but it requires to be regularly maintained for it to last for a long period. Wood frames are prone to rot when they are exposed to extreme weather conditions or even be attacked by insects like termites. Vinyl frame material is also a good insulator that has considerable moisture resistance, thus it is not prone to condensation.
Aluminum frames are resilient and thus have more durability compared to other frame materials. However, the metallic composition of aluminum frame materials makes them good conductors of heat and thus, they are poor insulators and not efficient when it comes to conserving energy. Fiberglass frame materials are typically more effective compared to other frame materials. Fiberglass is durable and good insulators making them be energy-efficient compared to wood and vinyl frames.
Benefits of Insulated Glass
There are numerous benefits of insulated glass that have led to many people using them but also have played a huge role in changing the architecture landscape. Some of the common benefits of insulated glass include energy-effectiveness, versatility, noise reduction, easy maintenance, and increased property value. Insulated glass units are versatile. You can add the insulated glass unit to any opening you desire since they can be customized to fit the size of any opening. Thus, they can be used as windows in your home or even commercial buildings, you can also use them for both your interior and exterior doors.
Insulated glass helps to reduce heat transfer from your interior home to the exterior or vice versa during both the cold and hot temperatures. During the cold season, they help to maintain hot temperatures in your house by preventing heat to escape to the outside environments. During the hot seasons, they prevent excessive heat from entering your house and thus maintain cool temperatures. Therefore, you do not need to use any air conditioners to regulate your home’s temperature and thus, help to reduce your energy bills.
Insulated glass units also play a huge role in reducing noise in noisy environments. The air between the double-pane glass does not allow much air to pass through. Having thicker glass materials and adding insulators like argon and krypton help to reduce noise even more. By adding an insulated glass unit to your doors and windows is a great way of intensifying the aesthetic appearance of your home. The other benefit is that you can customize the shape and size of your insulated glass depending on the shape of your windows and doors, which also adds property value to your house.