Solar Gold Spacer
Beyond the glass and the frame, one small component plays a critical role in window performance. This is the spacer, and most window manufacturers don’t talk about it. But at ImproveIt, it’s an essential part of how we build our top-performing windows.
What Does a Window Spacer Do?
In window construction, the spacer is sandwiched between the glass panes, keeping them secure in the frame, and evenly separated across the expanse of the window. The open space left between the panes is then filled with inert argon gas that boosts the window’s energy efficiency. Altogether, the glass, spacer, and argon gas comprise the “insulated glazing unit” or IGU, and the spacer has three important jobs:
Reduces heat transfer at the edge of the window
Basic physics reminds us that heat moves toward cold. This means heat from the sun in summer, and from your furnace in winter, will be drawn to the edges of your windows where they’re coldest. A high-quality spacer reduces this heat loss by increasing the window’s edge temperature, thereby improving the window’s overall thermal performance and energy efficiency.
Keeps the argon gas where it belongs.
The gas fill between window panes also contributes to energy efficiency. Gases like argon are denser than air, which slows the transfer of heat from one side of the window to the other. The spacer seals the gas inside the IGU so it can do its job. If the seal fails, the gas escapes, and takes a large part of the window’s energy efficiency with it.
Prevent moisture from fogging the glass.
On top of gas escaping, a broken seal gives an opportunity for moisture to become trapped inside the IGU, causing irritating condensation. Once condensation forms inside the IGU, it can’t be repaired.
How Does the SolarGold Spacer Excel?
In our mission to only offer the best products, we selected the SolarGold spacer because of its ability to out-perform in every area. ImproveIt is the only window company anywhere to carry this technology. You won’t find a company among our competitors with a spacer that reaches SolarGold’s performance. Here are four ways SolarGold is able to achieve this level of performance:
#1 – The spacer is made from a high-density oxygenated silicon desiccant. Flexible, and designed to absorb residual moisture, the SolarGold spacer is already off to a great start compared to rigid metal spacers.
#2 – Three hollow channels run the length of the spacer. This unique Air Cell technology is exclusive to ImproveIt, and maximizes SolarGold’s performance, even compared to other non-metal spacers.
#3 – With the ideal density, the spacer is then wrapped with a radiant vapor barrier sheathing. This thin layer of material further reduces heat transfer through the glass, and moisture intrusion from outside the glass.
#4 – A dual-seal process to apply the SolarGold spacer to the IGU completes the system. These seals work with the spacer to ensure moisture stays out, argon gas stays in, and that the whole IGU system can withstand the expansion and contraction that windows experience with weather changes.
Compared with other spacer systems, Solar Gold is 85 times less conductive than steel, and 950 times less conductive than aluminum. In other words, it’s essentially non-conductive – and you can’t get better than that.
To show our confidence in this exceptional product, ImproveIt backs its windows and the SolarGold spacer with a No Seal Failure guarantee as part of our Lifetime Window Warranty.
How did taking material out of the spacer improve its performance?
Think of it like a knitted wool sweater. Small gaps between the stitches reduce the density of the sweater, but allow warmth to stay trapped, keeping you cozier. The less-dense SolarGold spacer works the same way to keep the edge of the glass even warmer.
Three Reasons to Avoid Metal Spacers
Most manufacturers – even those with otherwise high-quality windows – continue to use metal spacers even though they underperform. Why? The answer comes down to cost. Metal spacers are a cheaper alternative to non-metal options. But while a metal spacer might keep pricing down, there are three reasons cutting corners on this component will cost you in the end.
#1 – Performance Loss
Popular Mechanics says as much as 50% of your window’s insulation performance is lost at the edge of the window where the spacer is situated. Metal spacers allow this energy loss to continue by conducting heat through the window.
#2 – Condensation Issues
Metal spacers allow for much larger variations in temperature at the edge of the glass. This trend makes irritating condensation more likely to occur.
#3 – Eventual Seal Failure
Worst of all, those temperature variations will cause the glass to expand and contract too much at the edges. Because of this, most metal spacers experience seal failure between 5 and 7 years after installation.
Want even more information about our windows?
Schedule your in-home window consultation today and speak to a window expert from ImproveIt Home Remodeling.