Home Ideas

What is Double Glazing?


Double glazing is a common enough term but do we all understand what it really means?

Home IdeasThe window opening in a building has developed over many hundreds of years. At one time in history it was nothing more than a hole in the wall. Fortunately, over time we arrived at the glazed window. A single pane of glass which lets the light in whilst at the same time offering protection against the elements.

As good as this system was over and above other more primitive forms of protection it was found to be a major cause of heat loss from within the building.

Despite its continued widespread use, today it is a very inefficient way of stopping the warmer air from within a building from escaping. In the absence of more effective glazing the inside of the building is constantly needed to be reheated in order to maintain a warmer temperature.

The science of Double Glazed windows is not new. It was first invented in the U.S.A. In the 1930’s and although slow to develop it became commonly used in the U.S. in the 1950’s. Despite its existence for over 80 years many buildings in the U.K. have yet to benefit from the extra insulation qualities that Double Glazing brings.

So what is Double Glazing and how does it improve the quality of inner environment of a building?

double glazing

It’s simply a process in which a window is formed by using 2 panes of glass with a space between them. The space can be variable, usually 5 to 21 millimetres.

The trapped air, inert gas or partial vacuum between the panes acts as an effective layer of insulation. Double Glazed windows can save as much as 60% heat loss compared to single paned windows. (see this price guide)

Cold spots, and draughts which not only contribute to an overall reduction in temperatures within a room but which can also make sitting in certain parts of it less inviting are eliminated if the source was through or around the window frame.

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So what is Double Glazing and how does it improve the quality of inner environment of a building?Nothing looks worse than water streaming down window panes brought about by a marked difference in the internal and external temperature on either side of a window. Condensation is eliminated as the temperature difference is greatly reduced with the fitting of this type of window.

So too is noise. Whether the noise originates from any source outside the window or in fact from within the building the double panes ensure that the amount of noise passing through them is far less than the single paned window.

Benefits of uPVC double glazed windows

  • Reduced heat loss
  • Reduce noise from outside
  • Condensation eliminated
  • Reduced heating bills
  • Better security
  • Longer life span than single glazed
  • Longer life span than softwood windows
  • Internal beading for more security
  • Multipoint locks for more security

Secondary Double Glazing

When those dark grey days of winter start to draw in and when those westerly winds begin to blow is the time we can be thankful we have double glazing.

If your windows are streaming with condensation as the warm air in the room condenses on the cold single paned windows or you are feeling the need to grab that second jumper or cardigan, then perhaps it’s time to be thinking now of Double Glazing those single paned windows.

Double glazing not only reduces the heat being lost through the windows but it stops those draughts and cold spots around window frames that can make life so uncomfortable.

If those heating bills continue to rise and finances are feeling as cold as the weather outside now is the time to be thinking about saving money by thinking about insulating those windows.

But Double Glazing is so expensive’ I can hear you say. But it need not be.
Double glazing can be installed at relatively low cost cutting down on those heavy heating bills and making life much more comfortable.

A less expensive form of Double Glazing is Secondary Double Glazing.
Secondary Double Glazing offers the benefits of Double Glazing but differs in that it is not as expensive. Using this form of double glazing a secondary window is fitted inside the existing window within the window reveal and with the minimum of inconvenience and disturbance.

The end result achieves two thickness’s of glass with a larger void in-between. This has the same effect of reducing heat losses but because the void is larger it has the added benefit of reducing noise. So if you have noisy neighbours or live near a busy road with lots of noisy traffic or even near an airport where noisy aeroplanes are passing day and night then secondary glazing can be the answer.

It might be that you are involved with a building that generates too much of its noise from within. Perhaps you run a youth club, a disco, or simply like playing your music very loud. Secondary insulation will stop the amount of noise that is heard by your neighbours.

The effectiveness of Secondary Double Glazing can perhaps be measured by the number of Public Buildings that have been fitted out in this form.

There are times when although we might want Double Glazing we are not allowed to by the planning authorities. If you live in a listed building or a conservation area the planning restrictions are much more concerned with preserving the original look of the exterior of buildings. In these circumstances the fitting of a window inside a window will give the benefit of double glazing without altering the outward appearance of the building.

double glazed windows

There are those who prefer the aesthetics of a wooden frame. It may be that your window frames are in very good condition and you can see little reason for changing them. In these circumstances Secondary Double Glazing is the answer.

With the ever increasing cost of fuel for heating a building there has never been a greater need to ensure that a building is effectively insulated. A single paned window can lose as much as 25% of the heat from any room. By providing Secondary Double Glazing you can reduce that heat loss and save money by doing so.

If you are particularly concerned by the need for added security perhaps you need to think of the added security that providing a second window can give. Any intruder is going to find it more difficult to penetrate two windows than a single one. Another good reason to consider this form of glazing.

Fitting Secondary Glazing need not be as challenging an experience has having every window in the house replaced. It is possible to replace single windows and secure the benefits to be derived from double glazing by treating each window as a separate task to be undertaken.

So at a time when we need to give greater concern to ensuring that we avoid unnecessary heat losses whether that be concern at the extent of our individual carbon footprint or because we need to minimise expenditure it is right to ask what might we expect to save by installing Secondary Double Glazing.

Savings will be made and the environment within the building will be more comfortable as draughts, condensation and noise are reduced or eliminated however the extent of those savings are dependent on so many factors, such as the temperature difference between inside and outside the building, the size of the windows, the extent of current draughts and whether the existing windows adequately sealed, the type of glass to be used in the new windows and even the type of frames in the old windows.

What can be said with certainty is that Secondary Double Glazing will improve the Heat and Noise insulation of any room it is used in.