What Is the Purpose of Insulated Glass?

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What Is the Purpose of Insulated Glass?

Sep. 07, 2021

Windows are an important source of heat loss in the home and the use of insulated glass can brighten up a home without sacrificing energy efficiency. Insulated glass units (IGUs) prevent heat loss through glass windows and doors. Most modern homes and buildings use insulated glass. The windows offer the same benefits as single pane windows and energy efficiency can help homeowners save money.


Why is it called a unit?

Insulated glass is often referred to as a unit because most components are dependent on another component to achieve proper performance. Unlike single panes of glass, IGU panes are part of a sealing system that cannot be replaced on its own. IGU's are known by different names including: 'double glazing' or 'double glazed windows'.

Triple Glazing Glass

Triple Glazing Glass

Insulating glass units


The glass in an IGU can be of various thicknesses or types. Laminated or toughened glass can be used in areas where security or strength is a priority, and IGUs can also contain up to three panes of glass where additional thermal or acoustic insulation is required. Thicker glass is more expensive, but more efficient.

Triple glazing glass can provide a better thermal and sound insulation than other types glazing. Triple glazing glass also named triple panel insulating glass, triple glazed glass. Triple insulated glass has three panels of glass and can add additional warmth, also triple glazing is often a more energy efficient glazing unit. Triple glazing can be IGU insulated glass unit.


IGUs utilise spacers that separate two panes of glass where they meet at the edge/frame of the window. These spacers usually contain some sort of drying agent to absorb moisture between the panes and prevent fogging. The width of the spacer depends on the gas used for insulation and the type of window. Generally, the wider the spacer, the more efficient (and expensive) the window will be.

Low-E Insulated Glass

Low-E Insulated Glass


Window frames 

insulating glass is used in many different types of windows where efficiency is required: double-hung windows, viewing windows, casement windows and skylights use insulating glass to prevent heat loss.


The gases used between panes of glass vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Typically, an inert gas (e.g. argon, krypton or a mixture of both) creates an insulating barrier between the interior and exterior.


Insulating glass unit performance

Windows are a well-known issue when it comes to energy efficiency. By keeping the ambient indoor temperature insulated from the outside world, IGUs help to reduce your energy bills. The performance of insulating glass depends on the thickness of the glass and the insulating space between each pane.


Low-E IGU 

To improve this further, window coatings can be used in conjunction with insulating glass to create an efficient window that reflects sunlight in warm climates and even absorbs and holds sunlight in cold climates. The coating is applied to the interior of the IGU to reflect UV light back into the house to keep it warm, or coated on the exterior to prevent the sun from heating the house.

For optimum performance, multiple surfaces of the IGU can be coated, although this requires a higher cost. In a double pane window there are four surfaces that can be coated.


Insulated glass window positions

Not every window in your home needs the same coating. South-facing windows see the most sunlight exposure and may require a different coating to north-facing windows. Depending on budget, homeowners may find it more practical to invest in more efficient IGUs for south-facing windows.


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