Dec08

Are insulated impact windows right for me?

Categories // Impact Resistant Windows

What are insulated impact glass windows?

With all of the options available for retrofitting a home with impact windows it can be overwhelming for homeowners to narrow down their options.  In addition to choosing frame materials, window tint, and styles, homeowners also must choose whether or not they want insulated glass.  While insulated glass is popular in northern climates, many homeowners in south Florida wonder whether or not they will benefit from insulated glass. 

What are insulated impact glass windows?

Insulated impact glass windows, also known as double-paned windows, consists of two separate panes of glass, one impact resistant, and the other non-impact, with a gas-filled space in between.  Both panes of glass, along with the gas are sealed within the frame. The gas filled space serves as an insulator between the temperature difference that exists between the inside and the outside.

So do homeowners benefit from insulated impact glass windows?  The answer lies within the location of the home.  In general, homeowners in colder climates will benefit from installing insulated impact windows, whereas homeowners in predominantly warm climates would benefit more from using LoE tint.

Pros:

  • Energy efficient (cold climates) – Homeowners will see increased savings on their energy bills thanks to reduced heat transfer.
  • Noise reduction – Impact glass by nature reduces external noise pollution due to the thickness of laminate glass.  The added secondary glass pane further assists in quieting outside sounds.
  • Style variety – Insulated impact windows offer the same variety of styles and frame materials as non-insulated impact windows.

Cons:

  • Condensation – Energy-efficient designs and weather-stripping keep cold air outside, but they also keep warm, moist air inside.  Condensation is formed when warm moist air comes in contact with cooler dry air.  Occasionally, insulated windows may form condensation in between the panes of glass.
  • Sacrifice glass – While the layer of glass placed facing the interior of a home is laminate impact glass, the exterior face pane of glass is not.  This means that the exterior glass is susceptible to breaking and if hit with an object the exterior pane will shatter.
  • Price – On average, insulated impact windows are at least 15-20% more expensive than non-insulated impact windows.  Depending on the size of the window the difference in price can increase.
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