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The Effects of High Altitude on Windows

By March 17, 2023 No Comments

Living in the Treasure Valley, you’re likely familiar with the effects of the altitude on everyday life. Residents know to stay hydrated, increase cooking times, and always protect themselves from the sun. But did you know that living at a high altitude can also impact your windows?

The Issue
Double- and triple-paned windows are filled with an argon gas that helps to regulate temperatures. When the window is sealed, the internal air pressure is the same as the external atmospheric pressure. If a window manufactured at a lower altitude is shipped to a higher altitude, the gas inside of the window will try to expand to adjust to the local atmospheric pressure.

The Effects
As the gas inside of the windows expands, homeowners may notice changes around their windows. The structural integrity of the window can be compromised as window frames warp, and window seals break. In the worst case scenario, the actual pane of glass may shatter or crack. In addition, the window will become less energy efficient, which can lead to unnecessary heat loss or gain and higher monthly bills.

What to Do
If you are installing new windows in your home, shop locally. Windows that are manufactured near your home or business won’t have to travel far or adjust to the local air pressure. Local window businesses also know what questions to ask to determine the best glass thickness, type, and size for your project. In some situations, a special high altitude glass that uses capillary tubes to allow air to flow between the panes of glass to adjust to changes in pressure is recommended. This helps to prevent the window from bowing out.

For more than 70 years Atkinson’s Glass and Mirror has been serving residents and businesses in the Treasure Valley area. With this long history, our staff members are experts in determining the right window for local homes and businesses. We offer a wide range of products from leading manufacturers and can help you outfit your home or business with windows that look good and perform well.

To learn more about our window offerings, call us at (208) 375-3762 or contact us online.