If you’re interested in learning about the technical aspects of this popular technology, you’ve come to the right place. Double glazing’s unique design is highly effective in reducing heat loss, noise pollution, and condensation, making it a popular choice for homeowners looking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, particularly in older properties. In this article, we’ll look into the workings of double glazing and explore the many benefits this innovative window technology can offer you.
What is double glazing?
Starting life as far back as the 1930s, double glazing is a type of window design that’s become increasingly popular in the UK since the late 1970s. This popularity has grown further over the years, thanks mainly to its energy-efficient properties, to the point where over 90% of homes now have some kind of double glazing fitted.
Double glazing is manufactured as a sealed unit comprising two panes of glass separated by a small 20mm gap, typically filled with air and gas, and an outer frame, usually made from uPVC, aluminium, or wood. The two panes of glass working together with the gas give the insulation needed to keep a property warmer in cold weather and make it more energy-efficient.
How does double glazing work?
Double glazing creates an insulated barrier between the inside and outside of your home. Two panes of glass are separated by a gap of around 20mm, filled with a mixture of air and around 90% gas, such as argon or nitrogen. The gap acts as an insulator, preventing heat from escaping or cold air from entering your home.
These gases are denser than air, creating a vacuum that prevents air circulation between the panes. As it slows down air movement, the gap can’t be penetrated by hot or cold temperatures, reducing heat transfer to keep your home warmer. But double glazing can also feature low-emissivity coatings, helping to reflect heat back into your home for even greater energy efficiency.
How effective your double glazing is will depend on the materials’ quality and the windows’ quantity and design. Choosing high-quality materials and a design appropriate for your climate and living conditions is important. If double glazing is installed correctly, it can provide many years of energy-efficient, comfortable living.
What are the main benefits of double glazing?
While an obvious choice for homeowners looking to replace their existing windows, double-glazing offers many benefits over traditional single-pane windows, including improved energy efficiency, soundproofing and noise reduction, and eliminating window condensation.
Double glazing to reduce heat loss
The primary function and benefit of double glazing is its ability to improve energy efficiency in your home. Double-glazed windows can provide far greater insulation than single-pane windows, helping to stop up to 60% of the heat inside your home from escaping.
In reducing heat loss, your home stays warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, resulting in fuel savings, lower energy bills – and a reduced carbon footprint. There’s also an argument between double glazing vs triple glazing, which could be an even more efficient option for your home.
Double glazing to reduce noise
A secondary, but no less important, benefit of double glazing is its noise-reducing qualities. Again, that insulated gap between the panes makes a huge difference. Acting as a sound buffer, it helps absorb sound waves and noise from outside and prevents them from going through and into your home.
As both high and low-frequency noises can be greatly reduced, sometimes by as much as 30 decibels, it’s often favoured by homeowners who enjoy living in a busy town or city or are close to busy roads or even a flight path. If necessary, the 20mm gap in the window can be widened to reduce louder noise even further for a more peaceful and comfortable living space.
Double glazing to reduce condensation
If your home currently has single-glazing, condensation might be a common occurrence, particularly during the winter. This happens when the warm, moist air indoors comes into contact with a cold surface – like your single-glazed window.
Double glazing will help reduce condensation as the window’s internal gap helps keep the internal pane of glass warmer, so moisture is less likely to build up on it. Having no condensation will also help reduce or even prevent dampness and mould from developing in your home.
Double glazing frequently asked questions
Double glazing is a popular home improvement that can help increase your home’s energy efficiency, comfort, and security. However, there are often questions you might have before deciding whether double glazing is right for you. In this section, we’ll answer some of the most common FAQs about double glazing so you can make an informed decision.
How long does double glazing last?
Once installed, double glazing can give you years of trouble-free, low-maintenance enjoyment, with a typical effective lifespan being around 20 years or more. Much depends on this figure, with factors including product quality and installation practices potentially having an impact.
Most reputable installers will guarantee their products, but if you’re not sure how old your double glazing is, issues including drafts, leaks, cracks in the frames, or misting inside the glass could be signs you need to replace them.
How much does double glazing cost?
Again, various factors can affect this, such as how many windows you have and how big they are. For a standard double-glazed casement window with a uPVC frame, costs can generally start at around £600 per window. This will increase with other window style options and larger or bespoke sizes.
The only way to get an accurate cost for your home is to have a full survey carried out by an approved installer. You may also be eligible for a double glazing grant to make any replacement windows more affordable.
How much money can I save with double glazing?
Again, this will come down to different factors. But installing A-rated double-glazed windows to a standard semi-detached house with gas central heating and single-pane glazing could save around £200 a year in energy and over 300kg of CO2 emissions.
Installing higher grade A+ rated double-glazed windows into the same property type could increase savings by up to 20% on energy and 35% on CO2 emissions. However, savings will be less impressive if you’re just replacing older double glazing.
Architecturally-designed glass extensions from GlasSpace
This article should give you a good understanding of how double glazing works and answer some common FAQs to get you started. But, as designers of frameless glass rooms, extensions, and box extensions, GlasSpace uses structural, solar-controlled glass that gives you the benefits of double glazing – and more.
When you want to give your home a stunning extension with an ultra-contemporary look, our architecturally-designed structures can incorporate a truly frameless finish to flood it with natural, thermally-controlled light. Our team has expertise in every detail and can help you with expert consultations and design and installation details.
So contact us today and let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll give you the information you need and a no-obligation, free quote.