How to Fix Foggy Insulated Windows

Today, most homes no longer use single paned windows, instead using windows that have multiple panes, which are spaced slightly apart. This can provide a great deal of insulation and prevent heat from leaking out of the house, thereby reducing heating costs.

These types of windows, which are often referred to as double glazed, triple glazed, or merely insulated glass windows, cost a good deal more than traditional windows, but over the years, this is often offset by energy savings.

What Causes the Windows to Fog Up?

While insulated windows can be great for saving money on heating and cooling, there are a few problems that can occur.

Usually, the most common problem is that the glass will cloud up, which is the result of the seal between the panes of glass being compromised. This allows moisture to build up between the glass, which can not be simply wiped away with a rag.

Quick Fixes vs Replacement

When the seal of an insulated window is compromised, it will almost always require that the window pane is replaced.

There are a number of do-it-yourself products and even companies that claim to be able to repair these windows, but in most cases, the repair is only temporary. The most common way is to either inject a dry gas into the window or suck air out, creating a vacuum. However, this is a rather complicated process and rarely lasts for an extended period of time. Also, the special tools are required.

Once the windows seal is broken and the pane becomes foggy, it is almost better in the long run to replace the entire pane, which is usually not as expensive as it sounds.

Check the Windows Warranty and Order a Replacement

Most manufacturers offer a warranty on their windows, which is usually between 5 and 10 years. However, there are some that even offer a limited-lifetime warranty.

So, it is a good idea to first call up your manufacturer to determine if the windows are still covered by their warranty. It may also be a good idea to check consumer reports or similar sites, just to make certain there was not a recall on the windows, although this is rare.

If the windows are not under warranty, the manufacturer should still be able to provide a replacement that is considerably less expensive than simply purchasing a new window.

So is it Worth Trying a Quick Fix?

Since repairing a foggy window pane is only temporarily effective and is usually a rather complicated procedure, it is almost always in the best interest of the homeowner to simply replace the foggy insulated window pane.

This is one reason that it is better to invest in a higher quality window with an extended warranty, than simply purchasing the least expensive insulated window you can find.


Mitchell Asmar said on 01/11/2010 @ 8:12
The headlind captions says "How to Fix Foggy Insulated Windows", however, the article says nothing concrete on how to fix the problem. Just a waste of reading.
Steve said on 01/11/2010 @ 8:18

Thanks for your input Asmar. I am sorry you were not able to find the information you needed and added some headers to hopefully make the article easier to understand.

The premise of the article is that even though there are several ways to temporarily fix a foggy window pane, they are usually only temporary fixes, as well as being too complicated for your average DIYer.

If you spend anytime browsing around or even checking your local yellow-pages, you are sure to find a number of companies that claim to be able to repair a foggy double pained window, but since this is almost always a temporary repair, with it sometimes not working at all, replacing the faulty pane is usually the best choice.

This might sound expensive, but it all comes down to quality over quantity, with spending a little more on a quality fix(replacement) being in the best interest of the homeowner.

The other repair methods, such as inserting a special gas into the pane and sealing it or sucking the air out to reestablish a vacuum seal, are simply not very effective and end up only being a short term fix. Hopefully, your windows will still be under warranty, but if not, the manufacturer can usually provide a replacement pane that is not too expensive.

Another important part of the article on how to repair a foggy window is that when purchasing double pane windows, it is better to spend a little more on quality windows that have an extensive warranty, as again, quality is usually more important than quantity when it comes to home improvement. For example, there are several companies that offer lifetime warranties not only on the window glass itself, but also on the screens, so even though they have a higher upfront cost, any problems will be covered under warranty.

Again, Asmar, thanks for taking the time to comment and I this information helps you make a more educated choice when it comes to repairing your thermal windows, as well as when it comes time to purchase a new set.

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