As your replacement windows approach the end of their lifespan, failures become a more frequent occurrence. The first sign of window failure you’ll typically notice is a gradual increase in your electricity bill. This is because your windows work alongside your heating and cooling system to keep your thermal envelope intact and your energy consumption efficient. Heating and cooling make up more than 40% of your home’s total energy use, so when your windows begin to fail, this can translate directly to a higher bill.
Let our experts at Renewal by Andersen® of Portland explain the effects of failing windows on your home’s overall energy efficiency.
Dual-pane replacement windows have a thin layer of insulating gas sandwiched between two glass sheets. Argon is usually used in many common windows, but it’s not uncommon for high-efficiency products to use krypton as well. These inert gases are kept in place by a special seal around the glass panels. With regular use, it normally takes up to 25 years, the typical lifespan of a window, before the seal is worn down. When this seal breaks, the gas escapes and your windows’ U-factor goes up, making it harder to maintain an insulated thermal envelope within your home.
Signs of Seal Breakage
The most common symptom of seal failure is warping. The negative pressure left behind by the escaping gas can distort the glass surface, which results in visible warping. If you suspect this is the case, the first thing you want to do is to clean the surface thoroughly with a clean, non-abrasive cloth. This is just to check that the distortion is not caused by any dirt on the surface. If the distortion persists, it’s time to consider replacing your windows.
Seal breakage can also cause condensation in aging windows. This happens when moisture in the air comes in contact with a colder surface, just like when water droplets form on the outside of a cold glass of water left out in the sun. Modern windows are actually designed to keep condensation levels low, so any water or moisture occurring on your windows could potentially mean a break in the seal.
From replacement windows to patio doors and everything in between, you can trust the professionals at Renewal by Andersen of Portland. Call us at (503) 419-3960 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free in-home design consultation and request a no-obligation estimate today. We serve homeowners in West Linn, Tigard and Beaverton, OR, as well as surrounding areas.