Even if you recently got new windows, no one is protected from potential glass breaks and sealed unit failure.

Whether it’s an untimely opened door, hail, or even pebbles flying from underneath the lawnmower, at one point or another this summer you may find yourself with a broken glass in one of your windows.

A broken glass is more than just a visual problem. Cracks can lead to sealed unit failure and render your windows ineffecient.

As we mentioned before, a broken glazing is not just an esthetic issue. Once the glass is broken so is the airtight seal that keeps the vacuum or the gas fill in. That’s why it’s not enough to try and replace just the glass, most times you have to change out the entire sealed unit.

In this case, your best bet is to try and get a new sealed unit from the same company that manufactured and installed your windows. 

There are several reasons for this. The main one is the unit’s fit. Although there are companies that specialize in sealed unit replacement, nothing fits as well as the original unit designed for that window. Even if it is measured correctly, the replacement from another company still may not fit precisely, requiring additional caulking, and affecting the overall efficiency of your windows.

Another big reason you’re better off going with the original company is the substantial difference in price. Even if the broken unit is not covered by your company’s warranty, the price you will pay is generally much lower. Most window replacement companies will charge existing customers up to $300 for a new sealed unit, and up to a couple hundred dollars for the actual replacement.

With companies that specialize in sealed unit replacement, you are generally paying at least $150 for every time someone comes out to your house. Assuming the unit needs to be measured and then installed, that’s at least two appointments you are paying for. Furthermore, because they specialize in this type of replacement, these companies charge substantially more for the actual product, with prices ranging between $700 and $1200. Depending on the size of the window in question, it may cost the same or less to replace the entire window with a new replacement company.

Another good reason to use the original company for your service is that there is usually some warranty you can negotiate. Obviously, the company wouldn’t cover another external damage, but they generally provide warranty for pressure cracks or manufacturing defects. Sealed-unit replacement companies built their whole business on this issue, so they seldom provide any warranties.

A broken or cracked sealed unit doesn’t always mean the whole window needs to be replaced, especially if it has been installed within the last ten years. But if you’re not careful, you may spend just as much money, and still end up with a lesser quality product.

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