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Why Double-Pane Windows Suffer Discoloration

Heat gain and heat loss through windows account for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use, according to the Department of Energy. That’s why most homeowners prefer double-pane windows. Compared to a single-pane window, double-pane windows are more energy-efficient and can help lower electricity costs. However, because double-pane windows are designed differently than conventional single-pane windows, there will also be different warning signs. A warning sign you should keep an eye out for is discoloration.  

What causes discoloration in double-pane windows? 

Moisture Problems 

In general, indoor humidity levels should not exceed 55%. If indoor humidity exceeds that threshold, excess moisture can leave black or dark-colored streaks on your window glass. Other signs of high indoor moisture levels include moist, clammy air, the smell of mold and mildew, rotting wood and foggy windows. 

Foggy Windows

Keep in mind that foggy windows can be a sign of a more serious problem. If you can’t seem to wipe off the condensation on the window glass, your window’s glass sealing may have been damaged. The space between the two glass panes is filled with either argon or krypton, two colorless, non-toxic gases that can prevent heat transfer. If the glass sealing is punctured, moisture can infiltrate this space and fog up the glass. In most cases, a window replacement is needed. 

Keeping Indoor Moisture Levels at a Manageable Level 

To keep indoor humidity levels between 40 and 50% (the ideal range according to the EPA), you can install a dehumidifier, upgrade your HVAC, or improve indoor air flow by installing larger windows. 

Can Discolored Windows Still Be Repaired? 

It depends on the extent of the discoloration. Since discoloration doesn’t affect the structure of the windows, it’s possible to replace some of the window components. However, it’s best to consult a contractor from one of your local window and roofing companies

Looking for experienced contractors in your area? 

All American Roofing, a company with nearly four decades of experience, offers professional exterior services, including window and siding installation services. To request a free consultation, call us at (405) 787-0400 or (918) 583-0100. You can also fill out this form.