5 May 2008

Double glazed unit has steamed up

It has rained a lot here. Both these sealed units have failed because damp air has got into them and water has condensed on the cold glass inside the unit.
The TOP image shows a double-glazed unit which is irreparable. I will have to smash out the glass and replace it, beacuse I cannot remove the water any other way. Not job I am looking forward to.
The BOTTOM image shows a secondary glazed sealed unit. It uses bentonite clay (sourced from cat litter) as a desiccant. A few days later the clay had absorbed the damp and that panel was fine again. If that had not happened, I could have opened the container of desiccant and replaced it; a much easier job then replacing the glass. That is why I prefer secondary glazing to double-glazing: it is more robust, and therefore less wasteful.
Too often the heritage energy in construction materials is wasted. When a building is demolished and the materials used to construct it are reused the energy used to originally make them has not been lost, but if they go into landfill then the energy is lost.
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