What could be better than to stand comfortably in front of the window, a mug of hot chocolate in your hand, your toes nice and warm in your slippers, and looking out at the chilly winter landscape. Unfortunately you got your utility bill this morning, so you have some idea how much it costs to keep it warm on the inside when it is so cold on the outside.
And here you stand in front of what is basically a big hole in your insulated wall. Is all that expensive heat leaking through your window? Of course it isn’t. You have highly thermal pane windows installed.
These insulated glass units basically consist of a pair (though sometimes three) of layers of glass with air or argon gas trapped between them. The air or gas is a terrible conductor of heat, so the window makes an effective insulator, holding the heat in the house and keeping the cold out.
As long as the space between the panes remains sealed. If the seal is broken, the insulating value of your double pane windows goes, well, out the window.
Why Windows Get Foggy
Over time the seal of the individual panes of a thermal pane window can fail for a number of reasons. As solid as your home feels, it is actually constantly in motion. This may be due to the foundation settling, it could even be the result of living in the seismically active Pacific Northwest!
Have you ever felt the ground shaking when a large truck goes by? Your house is generally strong enough to handle these tiny, and not so tiny movements. The seals of your thermal pane windows certainly should be flexible enough to remained sealed. Through the years this material may have stiffened, and the seal compromised.
When your windows become foggy, or you notice condensation between the panes, it is a sign that the seal has failed. If your window is made up of several smaller panes, and not all of them are fogged, you may be tempted to just replace the damaged panes. This may seem like the most economical course of action, but dealing with the individual panes, especially trying not to disturb the seals of the other panes, is a job for a professional glazier. Keep in mind that the conditions that caused a few of the panes to fail have probably affected all of the panes, so it is just a matter of time until more of them fail.
How to Replace a Foggy Window the Easy Way
Replacing the entire window may be a better option than repairing the individual panes. Replacing a window unit is not a small job, but it is within the range of a competent home handyman. However there is nothing wrong with calling the professionals for the job. That way you are guaranteed that the job has been done correctly, and you will have years of trouble free service from the window.
Best of all, next winter, when you are standing in front of the window with your hot chocolate, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that your utility bills will be lower!