Double Glazing

Double Glazing – A Home Owners Guide

Buyers Guides, Double Glazing, Energy Efficiency, Glazing Advice

What is Double Glazing?

Windows can be a leading cause of heat loss in modern households. One way of preventing this is to install energy efficient double glazing.

Double glazing is an effective method to keep energy bills low and prevent heat loss, keeping your homes warm and comfortable.

Double Glazing

Double glazed windows are made by creating an airtight environment between two panes of glass, separated by a spacer bar.

The cavity between the glass is filled with either dehydrate gas or, more commonly, an inert gas such as argon. The type of gas, spacer bar and the glass are all key factors in improving a windows energy efficiency, solar control and insulating properties.

An alternative to filling the cavity is to create a vacuum between the two panes of glass.

This is an excellent insulator as it prevents almost all heat loss through the glass system. However, in order for it to work effectively, it requires excellent sealing and regular maintenance in order to prevent the vacuum from diminishing.

Inert gases, examples include argon, krypton and xenon, are a far more reliable method for producing a thermally insulating glass system.



Energy Efficiency

Energy efficient double glazed windows are the most common system used in windows nowadays and are available in a variety of frames, including uPVC, aluminium and wood.

The frame material can drastically change the energy efficiency of the window, so it is important to choose carefully.

With all double-glazed systems, it is best to use another thermally broken material, such as thermally broken aluminium, to prevent heat loss by conduction.

All modern double glazed windows will consist of a pane spacer that is set around the inside edges of the panes to keep the two panes of glass apart.

To increase energy efficiency, chose a window which includes pane spacers with little or no metal, as metal is an excellent conductor.

Replacing older single glazed windows with more energy efficient double glazing can save the average household around £135 per annum on their energy bills.

For a small investment, homeowners can reduce their energy bills dramatically by improving the energy efficiency of their homes – double glazing is a simple and fairly cost-effective method to achieve this.

However, as double glazed panes are excellent thermal insulators, in the summer this can cause overheating inside homes or buildings.

Double glazing traps heat inside the home, creating a greenhouse effect.

The negative effects of this can be reduced by using a solar control film on the glass or by installing an opening casement system which will allow cool air to ventilate through homes.

Tripple glazing is also considered to be more energy efficient solution these days although the trade-off between costs and rewards (value for money) are a hotly debated topic.



Environmental Effects

Double glazing will reduce your carbon footprint notably by reducing the amount of fuel the average user needs to heat their homes every year.

Again, it is a simple way to reduce your impact on the planet while making your home more comfortable without turning off the heaters.

Another advantage of double glazing is its ability not only to keep the heat inside but also to keep the cold outside.

Energy efficient glazing reduces draughts and cold spots around the window opening; double glazing can make your home more comfortable and stabilise the temperature and inside environment.

Not only is double glazing an excellent thermal insulator, it is also a good sound-proofer. Double glazing can be used in areas of high noise pollution, such as cities or near industrial areas, to prevent unwanted outside noise from disturbing the peace inside.

Many homeowners chose to install double glazing because of its ability to reduce condensation on the glass face.

Energy efficient double glazing aids to prevent condensation build-up on the inside of windows.

This can be particularly useful in humid environments such as bathrooms where condensation build up can be an eye-sore.

It is important to choose a quality supplier to install your double glazing in order to prevent moisture from getting trapped inside them.

If the double glazing is not completely airtight when installed, they lose their energy efficiency and may need to be repaired or replaced.

A sign that your double glazed system needs to be replaced or repaired, is the build-up of condensation on the inside of the panes of glass. Any break in the vacuum, even very small breaches, can cause this condensation to build up and reduce the energy efficiency dramatically.

The Pros and Cons of Double Glazing

Pros:

·         Double glazed systems have a high energy efficiency.

·         An excellent thermal insulator. The system keeps heat energy in and prevents the cold from entering

·         Reduced energy bills result in a smaller carbon footprint. Double-glazing is an easy way to reduce your impact on the planet!

·         The fully sealed system prevents drafts and cold spots.

·         The insulating properties of double glazing acts as a great soundproofing material

·         Unlike single glazed systems, double glazing will bot fog up with condensation where there are dramatic changes in temperature inside and outside of a home

Cons:

·         As they are excellent insulators, they can cause overheating in the summer as they prevent heat from escaping.

·         Double glazed systems can easily be installed poorly or fractured. It can be necessary to replace them if the system is breached.



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