Are you looking into double-glazing windows for your home? Whether you’re planning to purchase one or you already have them installed throughout your home, you are probably wondering how it works and how does it improves to the point of becoming standard for building regulations in the UK. And it’s nothing like magic. In this article, we’re going to explain the science behind double glazing windows and the benefits of having them in your home.
According to a study, double-glazed windows could save up to 12.4% on overall households’ energy consumption. It’s an efficient way to improve your home’s insulation up to 73% and reduce the noise that enters the room by as much as 70%—no wonder why it’s the top choice for most homeowners.
WHAT IS A DOUBLE-GLAZED WINDOW?
A double-glazed window is a window consist of two panes of glass separated by a layer of trapped argon gas which has 67% of thermal conductivity of air, making it a poor conductor of heat. Therefore, it helps to keep the warm air trapped inside your home and improve energy efficiency.
The extra glass pane also serves as a secondary barrier to noise, keeping your home peaceful and away from the hassles and clamour outside your place. It also adds security to your home, making it extra challenging for intruders to break.
Double glazing has been used in Scotland since the early 1870s, but it was just another window added into the frame rather than the fused and sealed product used in today’s modern windows. It is not as sophisticated as the products today, but that concept leads to more useful innovations.
At around 1930, C.D Haven from the US created the forerunner for our modern double-glazed window today. However, it was only released in the market after 22 years from his product conception due to several issues at that time like the challenge of producing two sheets of glass with uniform thickness and flat, and the World War.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Double glazing works by trapping an air layer between two glass panes. In the process of convection, there must be a good conductor for the heat energy to be able to transfer from hot to cold spaces. But the trapped air between the two panels is a poor conductor because it could not circulate. Therefore, this insulating barrier reduces the rate of heat loss and keeps the room warmer for longer.
Therefore, it offers three thermal benefits to your home. First, it reduces the amount of heat transfer, both in and out of your room, because the insulating barrier insulates it from differing air temperatures at either of the glazing window unit. The second function is it decreases noise pollution. The third benefit is that it helps to reduce condensation, which usually occurs on the inside of a single-glazed window. It happens when the warm air inside the house being cooled by the cold outside air. The double glazing concept in windows prevents the transmission of air temperature and therefore prevents condensation from occurring.
A double-glazed window is also a great option as it allows the sun to warm the inside of your house during winter because even if it insulates against differing air temperatures, it doesn’t insulate radiant heat.
Three Types of Gasses Used in Double Glazing
The gas used for as insulators before was simply an air, but these days, noble gases like Argon, Krypton, and Xenon are now commonly used as is it denser than air, which means that heat is transferred through them much more slowly. These odourless and non-toxic gases are excellent insulators. But each of them has its benefits and drawbacks. Here’s a quick summary of the qualities of each gas.
1. Argon Windows
Argon is the most commonly used gas in double-glazed windows and the industry-standard due to its ratio of cost to impact. By filling the space with a less conductive, viscous and slow-moving gas like Argon, convection current decreases. Consequently, it also reduces the overall transfer of heat between the inside and outside. This phenomenon results from the fact that gas is denser than air. The use of Argon can increase the energy efficiency of a window by up to 30%.
2. Krypton Windows
It is a less popular option, but Krypton is denser than Argon, which means that it offers better insulation and energy-efficiency. It usually suits triple-glazed glasses since it works best in gaps between panes that are around ⅜ of an inch. It provides an increased level of performance; however, it comes at a cost.
3. Xenon Windows
Xenon is the latest and most specialised window glass-filling option and the cutting edge innovation that offers excellent insulation. This gas is denser than Argon and Krypton, that’s why it’s even harder for heat to escape. It’s the best choice for large commercial establishments with exterior glass and multiple panes. However, the higher level of performance it offers also means that it is more expensive than the other two options.
BENEFITS OF DOUBLE-GLAZING
1. Better Heat Insulation
As we mentioned earlier, double-glazed windows provide better insulation than traditional glazing. It can improve your home’s insulation by up to 73%, thanks to its construction that offers a better barrier and prevents heat from escaping. So, you can enjoy cooler summers and warmer winters because your home can retain the heat it gained from the sun during the daytime and keep the heat outside during summer months.
2. Noise Reduction
With the double-glazed windows, you won’t have to worry about the noise anymore because it can reduce noise pollution by up to 70%. It’s a great option, especially if you’re living in a noisy neighbourhood or near an airport. It provides a quiet and serene environment and keeps you away from the loud and busy world outside and keeps your conversation within your house, so you can turn the music on and enjoy without disturbing your neighbours.
3. Increased Security
Double-glazed windows are equipped with a multi-locking system, and it is harder to break compared to single-paned windows. Therefore, it’s more difficult to open from the outside, and it’s harder for burglars to barge into your home. Additionally, choosing the laminated or toughened glass can increase the level of security of your home, keeping your mind at ease, knowing that no one can break into your house quickly.
4. Reduced Energy Consumption and Bills
With its increased insulation performance, you don’t need to frequently turn on the heat during winter months and air conditioner during the hot summer, which translates to much lower energy consumption and bills. And it’s not just an assumption because a study indicated that double-glazed windows could save 50% of the entire building loads,16.2% on gas, 0.2% on power consumption, and 12.4% on overall households’ energy consumption.
5. Increased Property Value
On top of the fact that it makes your home more comfortable to live in, it also increases the property’s value by 10%. It is more attractive to potential buyers than a house with single-glazed windows, so if ever you need to sell it in the future, you can be assured that you can get better deals.
6. Reduced Interior Fading
You may have noticed that the exposure of furniture, decors and carpets to UV rays of the sunlight can potentially damage it. But double-glazed windows reduce the amount of UV radiation that enters your home. And its insulation features protects your interior decor and furniture from much damage caused by significant temperature fluctuations. You can also increase the level of protection from UV light by adding a UV window film.
7. Less Condensation
When the windows become colder than the air inside the house, water droplets may appear in your windows due to condensation. These droplets can lead to the build-up of moulds, mildew and even health problems. Humidity can also cause the wooden window frames to rot. However, in a double-glazed window, the temperature of the interior pane is closer to the air temperature inside your home, therefore, avoiding condensation and costly maintenance and repairs caused by water damage.
8. An Eco-Friendly Solution
Since double glazing reduces the energy consumption of your home, this is therefore good for the environment. Choosing this environmental-friendly option helps in reducing the demand for fossil fuels and carbon footprints.
9. Easy Maintenance
Contrary to common assumptions, double-glazed windows are easy to clean and maintain. By cleaning it regularly, you can remove the dust that can potentially cause discolourisation. Wiping off the condensation also helps to avoid rotting of the window frames. You should also avoid abrasive cleaners because it might leave streaks in the glass. By taking these measures, you can be sure that your double glazing can stay clean and shiny and serve you a long time.
10. Enhanced Aesthetics
Double-glazed windows also improve the appeal of your house.
Most of the architectural profiles today can be fitted with double glazing without compromising on the original look and theme of your home. By getting experienced and qualified window fitters, you can be assured that you can achieve the look that you desire. We at P & J Windows provides a range of double-glazed window designs and fitting service, so check out our collections if you’re looking for new windows for your home.