When you are an environmentally conscious homeowner, you realize just how important energy efficiency is for your home. You want to maintain a good home value and enjoy reduced household bills. As you strive to keep it green, you must minimize dependency on fossil fuels for energy and opt for renewable sources. Embracing eco-efficient home improvements can help you reduce gas consumption. One of such renovations is installing double-glazed windows. Do you know how these windows work? How different are they from single-pane windows? What are the added benefits? For a better understanding, read about double glazing here.
Double Glazing Explained
Standard windows are designed with a single pane, whose thickness is only a few millimeters. This makes it a poor thermal insulator: It quickly gets hot and cold, depending on the climate. Controlling the indoor temperature in a house made of single-pane windows can be hectic. This is where double glazing comes in.
Double glazing uses two windowpanes and a gap between them, which can be filled with gas or air. The airy space adds a layer of insulation, regulating the indoor temperature more effectively. The use of such a mechanism can reduce summer cooling costs and winter heating costs. In order to support such a system, the insulated glass unit is installed within a wide window frame.
Whenever the temperature levels are different inside and outside, heat always finds a way to seep through. The most common weak points are cracks, uninsulated ceilings, doors, floorboards, and windows. Double glazing prevents heat from escaping from the house in winter, keeping it warmer and cozy. In summer, it keeps off hot air from entering the house. The thicker the double-glazed glass, the more efficient it becomes.
The gap between glass panes offers an effective barrier for blocking temperature changes. When the glass is too hot, its molecules tend to move faster, spreading the warmth further. On the other side, air molecules are loose (not in close contact). This increases the resistance to energy transfer, unlike in the case of solid matter. This phenomenon stops heat from moving through the double glazing. Typically, the space between panes ranges from 6 to 20 millimeters.
It is best to have a minimum gap of 12 millimeters for optimal thermal performance. Usually, this gap comprises inert gas like xenon, krypton, or argon. Inert gases are non-reactive and safe for home improvement. Air-filled windows are less expensive than their gas-filled counterparts. Since gas is heavier than air, it makes your house more comfortable, hence a higher price tag. When choosing between inert gases, here is what to consider:
- Xenon is pricier but offers higher insulating benefits for residential properties
- Krypton is ideal for triple-glazed windows as it works well in extremely thin gaps
- Argon is the most affordable gas for double glazing
Double glazed glass may be tinted or laminated, just like typical window glass. To know if a window has double glazing, hold an object to the glass and wait for a reflection. A single-paned window will give one reflection. Two reflections indicated double glazing. Properly installed double glazing can enhance heating/cooling efficiency by 30%. It achieves this in three ways:
- Preventing heat loss
- Stopping draught
Types of Double Glazing
Different types of double glazing are designed for different weather conditions. The three variations are:
- Smart glass: Perfect for moderate climates, the smart glass is a low e-glass (emissivity glass) featuring anti-glare film. It reflects harsh sunrays and minimizes heat entry from outside during a hot season.
- Thermal glazing: It is recommended for extreme climatic conditions with highly fluctuating temperatures. Here, smart glass in double or triple glazing is used to improve insulation by about 68%.
- Standard glazing: It features two panes of ordinary glass. It is suitable for any climate. Standard glazing could also involve float glass. This is molten glass that has been spread on molten metal to produce an even finish.
Added Benefits of Double Glazing
Sealed double glazing also helps dampen noise in medium to high frequency, e.g., human voice. If you need reasonable acoustic control, you might want to increase the insulator gap to 150mm or more. Nonetheless, a larger gap can be a leeway for convection, which diminishes the insulation performance. The best approach is to use low e-glass or thicker laminated panes. These will distort sound waves and enhance the acoustic function. So, if sound waves hit the surface, some will be absorbed while others will bounce off, making your house quieter.
Compared to traditional windows, double-paned glasses are safer. Two sheets of glass are more difficult to break since they are sealed more tightly. For extra security, consider laminated or toughened glass.
Another advantage of having double-glazed windows is less condensation. Thanks to air-tight seals, the moisture settling on the windowpanes is significantly reduced. Regular windows allow condensation to accumulate, and this often results in mold.
Is Double Glazing Worth It?
Now that you know how double-glazing works and its benefits, you might be considering a quote. The decision is undoubtedly worth your expenditure. Double-glazed windows will be twice as insulative as single-glazed units. Whether you are adding new glass on doors and windows or remodeling your space, you could save so much house bills in the long run with double-paned windows. It is worth noting that insulating options don’t end at double glazing. You can explore triple-glazed windows as well.