Double-paned windows are excellent at reducing heat transfer through the glass, unless the air pocket in between the two glass panes has been breached. When this happens, it causes fog to form in between the double panes in the summer and frost to form in the winter. If you are having a difficult time seeing out of a double-paned window in your home, it may be time to consider replacing the window so the window will work as it was meant to work. Any time there is moisture inside a double-paned window, it indicates that the window has lost its insulating capabilities. Here's what you need to know.
What causes fog and frost to form inside double-paned windows?
Double-paned windows should be sealed tight in order for them to be effective and to prevent moisture from causing problems with fog and frost formation. When the seal on this type of window is breached due to a small hole or a crack, air and moisture will get in between the window panes. The moisture comes from water vapor that is in the air, which is higher in density when the humidity level is high.
The different temperatures of the glass panes will cause the water vapor droplets in the air to move closer together near and on the cooler surface, which results in the formation of condensation. The condensation will have a foggy affect on the cooler side of the window pane. This is why the interior pane of double-paned windows will be covered with fog during the summer months when the air conditioning is on cooling the home. In the winter months, the cooler glass is on the exterior side, which causes frost to form.
Should you fix the double-paned window or replace it entirely?
There are several things you can do to prevent fog and frost inside your double-paned window. However, the remedies will not provide the same insulating capabilities as an uncompromised double-paned window. If your main concern is to have the insulation that double-paned windows provide, it's better to have the window replaced.
However, if your only concern is to get rid of the fog and frost, there are several things you can do. First, two small holes can be drilled in one of the window panes, with a one-way valve installed in each of the holes. One of the valves will only allow air into the cavity between the panes and the other valve will only allow air out of the cavity. This allows for movement of air and the water vapor in the air. But you also need to consider the amount of moisture that is regularly in that particular room or area in your home. For example, if your affected window is in the bathroom where there is a lot of moisture, this may not be entirely effective in solving your problem.
Another things you can do is have a window replacement company remove the glass panes and reseal them right in your home. As was stated earlier, it is difficult to remove all of the moisture in between the panes, as the environment in your home is not controlled. However, the window replacement company call place an absorbent material in between the window panes to absorb the moisture. Unfortunately, the absorbent materials will be noticeable, which could affect the aesthetic appeal of the window.
In conclusion, fixing the problem of a breach in a double-paned window will depend on the goal that you are trying to achieve. Speak with a window replacement company for more information to help you reach a decision on whether to repair or replace breached double-paned windows in your home.