Today’s glass windows are made differently to how there were a few generations ago. You can expect to see almost no single glazed windows anywhere – although they do still exist – because the benefits of multi-glazed windows are numerous. So, how are modern window panes made? They are made as a factory-sealed unit. There is a certain type of gas between the panes and the multiple panes are completely sealed along the edges so that nothing can get in or out from the gaps between the panes. That sealed ‘unit’ then is married to the window frame, sealed again to it so that the whole piece is also airtight and watertight.
You have probably seen windows in people’s homes where the seal between panes of a multi-glazed window was compromised. It can be the seal between the panes or even the glass itself if the glass gets even the slightest crack. It might be invisible to the naked eye, but the smallest of hairline cracks can be enough to completely destroy the appearance and effectiveness of a multi-glazed window. Over time, that crack or puncture will inevitably let moisture in. In a home I owned many years ago, the windows were very old indeed. Not only did moisture but actual insects found their way into that gap. Dead bugs accumulated over time, after they progressively gnawed some kind of hole into the gap, and I suppose, produced some kind of ‘graveyard of the flies’. Once the seal is broken, the window should be replaced. As moisture and other stuff collects inside that gap, it makes the window look filthy. You can’t get inside the gap in order to window wash the insides of it, so your house windows will look like they have not been washed forever.
Replacing the whole unit within a frame is, yes, doable. Most standard sized window frames allow for the replacement of their pane units because they have standard dimensions. You can order an off-the-shelf until to replace the one you had, and it can then be easily installed by a window installation professional.
Why triple glazed over double glazed windows?
Personally, I would opt for triple glazed windows over double glazed simply because they offer a significantly great insulation solution, but at a marginal extra cost.
Added privacy: if you’ve ever visited a glass seller, you’ll have noticed that most glass is actually not 100% but a pleasant shade of green. Who know why that’s the case – I suppose it’s something to do with the type of base material they use – but the three layers (panes) of glass in triple glazing can have a wonderful factor of privacy to it. Triple glazing makes it difficult for anyone to see inside your house during broad daylight.
Sound reduction: Each additional pane of glass reduces the amount of sound that makes it from the exterior of your house to the interior. If you live on a busy street – of if you expect your street to become busier in the future – you might consider triple glazing. I have noticed more and more recently that my traffic aware GPS takes me on back streets in order to avoid rush hour traffic. And it seems to send veritable convoys of commuters through the same back street neighborhoods, which must be a bit of a pain for neighborhood peeps who expected their peace to remain undisturbed. So, because of such traffic aware GPS systems, all but the cul de sac inhabitants can expect their streets to become noisier with time. Triple glazed windows fixes that.
Heat insulation: Aluminum window frames are excellent conductors of heat. Which means they are poor insulators. If you’ve ever touched a metal window frame in freezing weather, you will know this. The frame is so cold, it is taking on condensation and in turn makes the windowsill wet, sometimes permanently so for several months. Vinyl window frames, on the other hand, offer supremely good heat insulation, and all but seal your house very well against the elements. The gaps in the double or triple glazed windows, together with the vinyl frames, keep the warmth in – and the cold out – when it counts.
Increased home value: For that little bit of extra cost, triple glazed windows can have a remarkable effect on the appearance of your home. If you are planning to sell it, a walk-through will be impressive as the would-be buyers see how private and how quiet the interior of the home is. And if you don’t plan to sell your home soon, you still have the distinct advantage of a comfortable home for as long as you live in it.
If you initially bought good windows, it will be easier now for you to fix a 3-pane unit. Better quality windows from manufacturers with good reputations, are easier to work with and will respond well to your attempts to replace the pane unit.