As the temperature continues to rise, along with the cost to keep homes cool, consumers are searching for ways to save money while staying comfortable. Forty percent of utility bills are spent on heating and cooling, and the Department of Energy estimates that as much as $35 billion in energy costs are lost annually through inefficient windows. So, how can you avoid watching money go out the window?
Insulated glass units (IGUs) are a great option to maintain the temperature in the home and keep costs down. IGUs are windows made from two or more pieces of glass separated by a sealed air space that is either vacuumed out or filled with argon or krypton gas. An insulated spacer containing a moisture-absorbing material, called a dessicant, is placed around the perimeter of the unit to keep moisture out while preserving the gas or vacuum inside. Finally, the glass is installed using a high-grade sealant to keep moisture out.
Because of their unique design, IGUs are capable of preventing heat transfer from the summer sunshine, while also keeping cool air from escaping outside, maintaining the desired temperature inside the home. As a result, air conditioning systems run less, saving energy costs. Many IGUs have the ENERGY STAR designation and as a result, can reduce household energy costs by as much as 15 percent. This can result in saving as much as $500 a year on utility bills.
While IGUs can have a significant energy saving advantage, not replacing a unit that has failed can negate this benefit. As soon as you suspect that an IGU has failed, usually indicated by the window becoming cloudy, you should contact a certified glass specialist, as the window is no longer properly insulating your home. According to the Department of Energy, 20 percent of a home’s heating and cooling energy is wasted each year on air leaks, poor insulation, or inefficient heating and cooling. In many cases, the glass on a failed IGU can be replaced without having to replace the entire window frame, saving you time and money.