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How does Double Glazing Work?

Posted on December 16, 2016

A house with single glazed windows is becoming something of  a rare sight these days, as double glazing became standard in new builds in the 1980’s and replacing windows became a popular choice. Here at Glevum we started in 1984 – the year that Band Aid were number one – with “Do they know it’s Christmas”.

If you remember Band Aid the first time round then you may just remember mornings of waking up to freezing temperatures with condensation streaming down the inside of the windows.

Thanks to double glazing, this is now a thing of the past. But how exactly does it work and what are the benefits?


The Workings of Double Glazing

Double glazing units are made up of two panes of glass separated by a spacer bar. A gap of up to 16mm filled with either air or argon, krypton or xenon gas lies between the two panes and increases the level of insulation provided by the windows.

The air or gas creates a barrier due to the fact that it does not have enough room to circulate, making it a very poor heat conductor. This reduces the amount of warmth that passes through the windows, so keeps the room warmer for longer.

Benefits of Double Glazing

There are various benefits of double glazing, starting with a reduction in energy costs and of course a warmer, more comfortable house to live in.

  • Energy Costs: While it can take some years to gain back the amount you invested in double glazing, you will instantly notice a reduction in your monthly energy bills.
  • Comfort: Double glazing will create a warmer and more comfortable house to live in. The frustrations of heating a house to still feel cold will be gone and you will be able to enjoy a cosier home.
  • Environment: Installing double glazing has a significant positive effect on the environment. Heating less will produce less carbon dioxide, leading to a lower carbon footprint.
  • Reduction in Noise (from the outside at least!): You will also notice a reduction in the amount of noise you hear from outside your home. This is of most benefit to those living on busy roads with large amounts of traffic.
  • Increased Capital Value: Capital value will be increased when selling a house if it is double glazed throughout.
  • Bye bye condensation: Double glazed windows create very little or no condensation due to the added insulation.
  • A More Secure Home: Finally, double glazed units are much harder for intruders to get through, meaning the security of your property will be heightened.

What Decisions need to be made?

Hasty decisions should not be taken when installing or changing double glazing throughout your home. There will be many decisions to be made, some of which you will need professional advice for from experienced providers.

The Type of Glass:  There are various different types of glass and your double glazing firm should be able to guide you through the options.

The Type of Frame:  When it comes to frames, aesthetics can play as much a role as the technical side. UVPC is the most common, long-lasting, easy to maintain and recyclable.  Some companies still install wooden double glazing but this comes of course with an ongoing need for maintenance.

Service, quality of work and experience can be harder to gauge though recommendations and customer satisfaction scores from sources like The Best of Gloucester give a good indication.

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