Most people who live in Washington State are familiar with winters. The days are short, the nights are long, and the temperatures are biting cold. Most people will dress accordingly to face the freezing weather because they know what cold temperatures can do to their bodies. But few people understand what the winter can do to their homes, more specifically, their windows. Winter can have a lasting impact and can hasten the need for replacement windows in Redmond, WA. So here are a few things to watch for with the thaw of spring:
Air leaks are not a major concern when temperatures are mild. But when it is freezing, a cold draft could make areas of your home extremely uncomfortable. There might be certain rooms in your home that always feel chilly. This will drive up your heating bill and cause unnecessary wear on your furnace. If you have a room like this in your home, you might want to check your windows for air leaks. Simply shut all exterior doors, turn on exhaust fans, and pass a candle or incense stick around the window and door frames. If you notice the flame or smoke pull inward, you probably have a leak. You can try patching it with caulk or weather stripping, but eventually, you will want replacement windows.
Insulated glazing units (IGUs) are the glass portion of the window assembly. The standard for the industry is two panes of glass. These are set apart by spacers, filled with inert gas for insulation, and sealed along the edges. But with time, the seals on these units will fail. Often this is the result of the thermal expansion and contraction due to temperature fluctuations. And condensation forming between the panes is a sure sign of a failed IGUs. It will no longer insulate as it should and could lead to a number of other issues.
While similar to air leaks, this type of heat loss actually stems from the glazing unit. Over time the inert gas used to insulate between the panes of glass will leak out. It will eventually diminish and be replaced with normal air. This will limit the efficiency of your windows and often result in significant temperature changes inside the home. You can feel it if you press your hand against the interior glass and it feels freezing cold. The only fix for a compromised IGU is a replacement window.
While not a problem in most modern homes, icing can still occur if the circumstances are just right. Usually, it occurs because a failed IGU comes in contact with humid air inside and freezing temperature outside. Ice forms on the inside pane of glass. It also could mean that ice has formed in the small cracks and gaps of the window assembly. And as the ice thaws and refreezes, the gaps will only get bigger. Eventually, it will break down the seals and lead to bigger problems.