Foggy windows are really embarrassing. To escape from it, we should know at least the basic of window defogging services.
The dreaded window fog divides owners of double-glazed windows in two camps: those who have experienced it, and those who are still going to experience it. This blight on windows that otherwise look to be in good condition, is caused by ruptured seals.
Double-glazed windows are sealed units, consisting of two panes of glass held apart by spacers, and stuck together with a seal around the edges. This seal holds in an inert gas, such as krypton or argon that increases the thermal insulation of the unit. When this seal fails, moisture can enter the space between the panes of glass, and cause mineral deposits to accumulate on the glass, just like on your shower door. Alternatively, if a low-emissivity (Low-E) coating has been applied on the inside, this layer can oxidize, causing the glass to look foggy or dirty.
The easiest solution in dealing with foggy windows is to simply replace the glass with a new insulated unit. This way, you will have a crystal-clear view again, and you will also have tip-top thermal insulation, along with a full manufacturer’s warranty.
If you’re thinking that this is quite a wasteful thing to do, to throw away the perfectly good glass, you’re right. In answer to this wastefulness, several companies are now offering window defogging services. If you are conservation-minded, you might be jumping for joy. But before you get a contractor to come and defog your windows, you should know some things about how this works, and if it’s really a suitable alternative to glass replacement.
The most basic thing to know about window defogging is that it only removes the fog, and prevents the window from fogging up again for a period of time. This is sometimes covered by a warranty. It does not return the thermal insulation back to what it was original because the process does not involve refilling the escaped argon or krypton gas. This is not necessarily a problem since the biggest benefit of defogging is that you don’t have to throw away an otherwise perfectly good window.
If energy savings is a big concern, consider first the energy it requires to manufacture a unit of double-glazed glass. It will take many years for the energy savings to match the energy cost of a new unit. It is also worth keeping in mind that, if it’s only one single window in a house with many windows, the decreased insulation of that one window is not going to make that much of a difference. In fact, double-glazed windows, even with a ruptured seal, still provides more thermal insulation than single-glazed windows. Another thing to consider is that, if you live in a more moderate climate, you may never experience the full benefit of double-glazing, since they are most effective in winter.
One last thing to know about window defogging is that it will probably be quite a bit cheaper than to replace the glass with a new sealed unit. So it is a little bit beneficial as per economic view.
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