Double Pane Windows

Double Pane Windows Installation, Repair and Replacement

A double pane window, also known as an Insulated Glass Unit or IGU, is a window with two panes of glass separated by a vacuum or gas (like argon). Twice as efficient as a single pane window, IGUs are designed to reduce both energy loss and outside noise like street traffic, keeping your home warm in winter, cool in summer and quieter all year long.

The Science Behind Modern Units

Even though double pane windows are more expensive, given the choice, most homeowners who can opt to install double pane windows or IGUs, which keep warm air indoors during heavy winters and keep cool air in during humid summers. Single pane windows do not have air pockets; heat passes through glass more readily than air. The air pockets in an IGU reduce the windows conductivity resulting in a better-insulated home. The twin panes are held in place with a spacer made of moisture-absorbent material called desiccant and the entire unit is sealed to prevent the inner air chamber from escaping. To further improve the insulating properties of the window, Glass Doctor offers IGUs with argon or krypton gas in the air space and Low-E glass. Learn more about glass types on our “All About Glass” page.

Why Choose Double Pane Windows

Homeowners who opt to build new construction homes with double pane windows or replace single pane windows in existing structures experience many benefits immediately after installation including:

  • A reduction in your home’s energy bill; some units save homeowners up to 50 percent in energy expenses.
  • Reduce carbon footprint
  • Reduce noise pollution
    • This quality is especially valuable to our clients who live in busy, urban areas.
  • IGUs prevent 25 percent of the sun’s heat from entering your home, reducing glare and UV damage to carpeting, drapes and furniture.

These benefits are seen to varying degrees based on the number of windows replaced and other energy saving measures employed.


How to Install or Replace a Double Pane Window

If you’re considering upgrading from single pane windows or double pane windows or updating worn-out double pane windows, look no further. Glass Doctor is here to help!

Good Panes Gone Bad

Over the last two decades, IGUs have become the standard window option for new construction, but many homes in America were built in the 1980s, according to the American Housing Survey. Homes built before or during in the 1980s are more likely to have single pane windows or IGUs that have aged past their usefulness. If your windows aren't energy efficient, your HVAC system makes up the difference at your expense. Warning signs your double pane windows have outlived their usefulness include:

  • A milky appearance to the glass
  • Condensation forming between the panes
  • Distorted or broken panes

Windows account for 25 percent of residential heat loss. It’s critical if your windows are in disrepair you seek a solution. Still not sure if you should upgrade your windows? Try one of these DIY efficiency tests to see if your home windows are as efficient as they could be.


Double Pane Window Installation and Replacement

If one or both panes of your double pane window are showing signs of age or disrepair, it’s time to consider replacing an individual pane or the entire window. The experts at Glass Doctor are here to give you step-by-step instructions for both processes.

To replace an entire window:

  1. The old window must be removed in its entirety (including casing, trim and sill plate).
  2. Prepare the space for a new window
    • Clean the opening and remove any dirt or debris
    • Repair or replace any damaged lumber or material
    • Ensure the opening is level and square
    • Remove any siding or resize the opening to accommodate the size of the new window
  3. Install the window using the manufacturer recommended hardware and adjust the fit with shims until sit is plumb and square.
  4. Finally, add spray or traditional insulation to any gap surrounding the window frame. Replace any siding, trim or casing.

How to Repair an IGU

At Glass Doctor, we routinely perform three common double pane window or IGU repairs; condensation removal, seal repair and glass pane replacement.

To remove condensation, Glass Doctor experts drill a tiny hole into the insulated glass unit, spray a solution to dry the condensation and patch the hole. Seal repair often requires separating both panes from the seal, cleaning the interior of the glass and reassembling the unit.

Replacing a single pane of glass is ideal for a double pane window that has only one damaged pane. However, it is a process that requires specialized equipment. To replace a single pane of an IGU, you must:

  1. Remove the rubber glazing that seals the pane in place on the inside and outside of the unit.
  2. Cut the sealant lose from around the frame to free the pane. Do not worry about losing any vacuum seal or gas at this time. If you are replacing one pane of your IGU, it’s likely that the gas has already escaped and that the vacuum is not functioning.
  3. Gently lift the freed pane from the frame using handheld suction cup.
  4. Clean the frame, apply new silicone to the pane channel and gently set the new pane in place.
  5. Install new glazing around the frame to secure the window in place.

To find out if your IGU window is a candidate for repair, read our “Repairing an IGU” blog post or contact your local Glass Doctor.


No Time to Replace Your Window Panes?

No worries. Count on Glass Doctor to replace the glass of outdated units. You can always count on Glass Doctor to deliver a premium customer service. Contact a team member today to discover the difference double pane windows can make in your space.

Save time, money and energy by calling your local Glass Doctor to replace your window or window pane. For 24/7 emergency glass repair, call (833) 365-2927.