Windows not only let natural light into your home but play a very large role in your home’s energy efficiency, and can be a huge source of heat loss or gain. When your energy costs go up, your electricity bills can push your budget to the brink. So, it makes sense to find energy-efficient options to install on your windows or doors that help with heating and cooling your home.
But, how effective is double glazing, and what is it?
Defining Double Glazed Windows
What is double glazing?A double glazing system on your windows features closed units that have two pieces of glass with an air gap separating them. This gap has to be a minimum of 12mm. The gap gets sealed, and then it acts like a space or break between the outside and inner pieces of glass. The air gap on double glazed windows are filled with gas that boosts the insulation factor between the pieces of glass. Double glazed windows are energy efficient windows, and double glazing can reduce your home’s heat gain or loss by up to 30% in comparison to a traditional single pane window system.
Double glass acts a lot like fibreglass batts or wool clothing as it uses thermal insulation by trapping the heat between the two panes of glass. Glass is also a great heat conductor, and this means that it usually transfers the heat right through the doors or windows with single glazing. On the other end of the spectrum, air is a very poor conductor when it comes to heat, so any trapped air will form an insulation barrier between the hot air on one side of the window and the cool air on the other.
One way to measure how well your windows prevent heat from escaping is by looking at the U-value. For Australian products, the U-values are usually 2.0 to 10.0 W/m2.K. The heat rate takes into account the assembly process, which includes the effect of the seals, glass, frame and spacers. The lower this value is, the higher the heat flow resistance is and the better it insulates.
Double Glazing Windows vs Single Glazed Windows
As you may have guessed by the name, existing windows with single glazing feature one glass pane. So, the only thing between the outer temperature and your house is one pane of glass. This typically doesn’t give you great temperature control or thermal performance. Also, a window with single glazing isn’t very efficient when it comes to heat gain or loss, which can lead to more expensive energy bills.
Double glazed windows feature two panes with a small air gap between each pane of glass. The extra pane of this window type helps to create better insulation between your home and the outside air, provides better thermal performance and helps you to save on energy bills. Also, double glazed glass panes feature tinted or laminated glass, but outside of this, it’s very similar to windows with a single pane of glass.
Benefits of Installing Double Glazed Windows
Across Australia, more property owners are choosing to install insulated glass units because they offer all of the benefits of single glazed windows plus more. These double glazed windows can give you all of these benefits because they feature dual panes of glass with a pocket of inert gas or a vacuum that eliminates condensation.
A few of the biggest benefits of installing these energy efficient double glazed windows include:
- Increased Security – Having a secondary glazing on your windows makes them safer than single panes and provides extra security for your home. The dual panes of glass feature internal beading, and you can laminate or strengthen them to make breaking them harder. Also, some double glazed windows come with a uPVC frame, and the joints get welded right to the window frame to make them stronger.
- Lower Energy Bills – Double glazed windows are very energy efficient, and due to the insulating qualities double glazed windows offer, they automatically bring your energy bills down, making them cost effective as well. You’ll spend less heating your space or running the air conditioning while maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home in both summer and winter.
- Reduce Noise – Maybe you want to keep your office or home quieter. A double glazed window system offers noise reduction capabilities by filtering out twice as much noise pollution as you’ll get with a window with single glazing. By double glazing your windows, you can make your home 25% to 50% quieter than any single pane existing window.
- Thermal Insulation – Windows and doors with double glazing increase insulation. Single pane windows allow cold or heat to go right through the glass into your home, but the increased insulation you get with double glazing will cut this heat exchange, saving you money on your heating and cooling bills.
Double Glazed Window Installation Process
Up to 40% of a home’s heat can be lost at the window through conduction or radiation and up to 87% of a home’s heat can enter through solar gain.
Double glazed windows will help you lock heat in or keep heat out of your house, and they offer very good acoustic insulation. They have high energy efficiency in colder climates when you have to use artificial heating indoors and in hotter climates when you have to switch on the air conditioner, meaning you save money on your energy bills.
However, the final overall aesthetic, cost and effectiveness can vary based on how they were originally installed, your local climate, and the types of frames and window films used. The Australian Window Association recommends finding which climate zone you live in to help you select the best windows for your home or business to help reduce the noise level and heat loss or gain you experience.
Generally speaking, installing double glazed windows is better done when you renovate or build your home, but you can also retrofit current windows and doors. Removing and installing windows can be a very precise and messy project, so you don’t want to take it on yourself. You’ll need to consider redecorating, re-plastering and refitting your curtains or blinds. If your windows are in load bearing walls, it’ll require more care to install them. This is why you should speak to a professional to discuss the best options for your home.
Secondary Glazing on Existing Windows
If you’re not building or renovating your home, it’s possible to retrofit secondary glazing to your current windows. The installer will fit a second glass pane to the current window, and they can attach it using magnetic strips or build it into the existing window frame.
Our double glazing system is easily added to existing windows and this is a more cost-effective option to help reduce heat transfer and noise while lowering your power bills than pulling out the current windows and installing double glazed ones. Also, depending on whether or not the installer can create a vacuum or air gap between the panes and the product you pick out, you might be able to mimic double glazed window benefits.
Increase Energy Efficiency
If you still have single pane windows in your home and want to potentially lower your energy bills, consider choosing double glazed windows. If you want to make the most of all the benefits offered by double glazed windows, contact Climateframe Double Glazing today for a free quote or browse our wide range of double glazing products. As an expert window supplier, manufacturer and installer, we can handle any size project.