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How Do The Extreme Temperatures Of Colorado Affect Your High Altitude Windows?

If you live in an area with cold winters like Colorado, you know how important it is to have windows that can withstand the elements. High altitude windows are great replacement windows for homes in a cold climate because they’re specifically designed to prevent heat loss.

 

These windows are usually made with multiple panes of glass, which creates a barrier against the cold air outside. In addition, high-altitude windows are often equipped with special coatings that reflect heat back into the room. As a result, they provide superior insulation and can help to keep your home warm and comfortable all winter long in colder climates.

 

How Does The Freeze/Thaw Cycle Affect Windows? Why Does Frost Form on Windows?

The freeze/thaw cycle is a phenomenon that occurs when water in the environment transitions between its liquid and solid states. During the freeze phase, water freezes into ice crystals, which expand as they freeze. This can cause significant damage to structures, especially windowpanes and other glass surfaces.

When these frozen structures thaw, excess pressure can build up within them and cause cracks or even cause the glass to shatter. To prevent freeze/thaw cycle damage to windows and other delicate surfaces, it is important to keep them well-insulated during periods of cold weather. Homeowners in these harsher climates can prevent damage to their windows due to these freeze/thaw cycles by getting the right type of window replacements. With proper care and protection, windows will be able to weather the harshest winter conditions with ease.

Why Does Frost Form on Windows?

 

 

When water vapor in the air comes into contact with a cold surface, it condenses and forms tiny droplets of liquid water. If the temperature of the surface is below freezing, however, these droplets will turn into tiny crystals of ice. This process is known as deposition, and it’s what causes frost to form on windows.

 

The amount of frost that forms on a window depends on several factors, including the temperature difference between the indoors and out, the humidity level, and the amount of sunlight the window receives. 

 
Frost Form on Windows

How Can You Prevent Frost From Forming?

There are a few different ways to prevent frost from forming on your windows. One way is to keep the temperature inside your home consistent. When there are drastic changes in temperature, it can cause condensation to form on your windows, which can then turn into frost.

 

You can also use a dehumidifier to help keep the air inside your home dry, which will prevent condensation from forming.

When it comes to preventing frost on your windows, there are a number of different options at your disposal. One of the most drastic measures is to replace your single-paned windows with more energy-efficient double-pane or even triple-pane windows.

Why The Materials Used In Your Replacement Windows Are So Important In Colorado

Fiberglass is an excellent insulator, making it ideal for any Colorado home. This material is strong enough to endure the harsh conditions of the region. And is available in finishes that emulate the gorgeous surface of wood is as astonishing as its energy efficiency. It has R-values ranging from R5.9 to R-11, making it one of the most energy-efficient exterior materials available. 

Fiberglass expands up to 87% less than vinyl, and it remains stable in extreme temperatures; with an expansion rate that is more consistent with the glass for a tighter seal, maximizing your home’s energy efficiency. One important factor to consider is choosing the best window sidings for extreme temperatures.

Triple-Pane Windows

Low-E Coatings

Triple-Pane Windows
Low-E Coatings

 

Triple-pane windows can boost energy efficiency by 20%, but complete IGUs or insulating glazing units are far more resistant to extreme weather. Their hermetic seals keep moisture out by trapping gas in between panes. Because krypton and argon are high-density and exhibit slow heat transfer, these gasses are most often used in high altitude triple-pane windows.

 

 

Summers in Colorado can exceed 100 degrees, so your windows will have to work extra hard to keep you cool. Metallic oxide is used in low emissivity coatings to deflect UV rays without affecting the light that enters your home. This metallic coating also reduces heat transfer and prevents radiant energy in the summertime. Low-E glass coating attracts low-wave heat, which keeps you warm when the weather gets cold. 

Double Glazed Windows & Triple Glazed Windows

In cold climates, the weather can lead to a lot of heat loss through the windows, which can quickly drive up your energy costs and make it difficult to stay comfortable during the winter months.

One option that is particularly effective in cold climates is double- and triple-glazed windows, which have a low U-factor and high Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) . These types of windows are designed with multiple layers that effectively prevent heat from escaping through the glass, thereby keeping your home warm and cozy all winter long.

Additionally, if you choose windows with a high SHGC coefficient, they will allow more solar heat into the house during the cold winter months, helping to offset some of the heating costs as well. So if you live in a cold climate, be sure to invest in quality triple or double-glazed windows for your home.

 

Double-glazed window specifications:

 

  • Whole-window U-value: 0.30 – 0.39 (lower values are optimal)
  • Whole-window SHGC: 0.42 – 0.55 (higher values are optimal)
 

Triple-glazed windows specifications:


  • Whole-window U-value: 0.19 – 0.26  (lower values are optimal) 
  • Whole-window SHGC: 0.33 – 0.47 (higher values are optimal)

 

Triple-glazed windows are an excellent choice for cold climate homes, and houses that are designed with energy efficiency in mind. 

 

Sloped Glazing For High Altitudes

The air pressure inside your windows is altered by the elevation where you live, and this can add to their wind load. The glass pane in the middle could distort which can lead to window failure. A thicker glass could help, but you’ll also need support structures inside that can handle Colorado’s high altitudes.

This is a problem that needs to be addressed or the glass could shatter by mid-winter. Sloped glazing, especially when paired with edge-supported glass and hardened components, is the best solution to withstand high winds.

Warm Edge Spacers

 

Because much of Colorado’s climate encourages mold growth, your windows must provide more than just heat resistance. They must also deal with condensation. According to a study conducted by the Passive House Institute, simply managing the borders of your windows can have a significant impact on this problem. That’s exactly what spacer bars do. These simple strips of plastic, metal, or foam reduce condensation by sealing gasses between the panes.

 

They also extend the life of your windows by reducing sealant stress. The relevance of the latter should not be overlooked. Insulating glass units are prone to shattering at high elevations. They stretch, deflect, and get damp. A simple spacer can help your windows to last as long as possible.

 

 

Choosing The Best Window Replacement For Your High Altitude Window Replacement

Colorado is known for its extreme temperatures, which can take a toll on your home. Your windows are one of the most important parts of your home when it comes to dealing with harsh temperatures and extreme weather. 

 

Nex-Gen Windows & Doors offers high altitude windows and replacements that are built to withstand the extreme temperatures of Colorado. Our windows are made with thermal protection and an airtight seal that will allow your home to maintain a comfortable temperature, all year long.

 

Be sure to drop us a line or shoot us an email if you have any other questions for your windows!