WHY IS DOUBLE GLAZING EFFECTIVE IN THE MODERN HOME?

Throughout modern homes, double glazing is a constant, for a good reason. Double glazing will boost your home’s energy efficiency, saving you money, keeping you warmer and reducing your home’s impact on the environment. However, many people are put off upgrading or replacing their current windows because of the potential price tag, so you want to ensure the double glazed windows are right, and effective, for your modern home. 

Brief history of double glazing

Over the last century, double glazing has evolved immensely. It was thought to be first developed in Scotland in the 1870s, where Victorian homeowners were trying to develop methods to increase the thermal insulation of their homes, especially during the colder months of the year.  However, despite being invented back in the Victorian era, the double glazed window boom didn’t hit the UK until decades later. Post WW2 houses were cold, draughty and extremely difficult to keep warm, and it wasn’t until 1965 that the government passed the first national building regulations. Encouraging builders to invest in energy saving technology and materials was one of the rules introduced to help cut costs. Before you know it, uPVC windows were introduced to the UK from Germany and everyone was replacing their windows. By the 1990s, double glazing in homes had increased from just 16% in the 1970s to over 60%.

How does double glazing work?

Double glazing uses two panes of glass, separated by a layer of argon gas. Once the panes are sealed, your windows will be completely airtight and ready to provide you with improved performance all year round. Double glazing provides the home with an array of property features:
  • Does double glazing prevent heat loss?
Conduction involves heat being transferred through a material, so when a property uses single glazing, heat hits the glass and then is passed through the glass to the outside - significantly increasing the heat loss from the house.  Double glazing works against this as the conducted heat is transferred to the air between the panels. As argon is a poor conductor of heat, the process when heat is transferred through a liquid or gas, the second pane of glass prevents the conducted heat from convecting - eliminating the heat transfer of the property. Argon gas has a 34% reduced thermal transfer rate to air and slows down the conduction of heat between two differing temperatures.
  • Does double glazing reduce outside noise?
When sound waves hit glass, it will vibrate the window pane, which in turn, vibrates the air on the other side of the window and passes the sound on to listeners inside the room. Therefore, when a property has single glazed windows there isn’t much protection from sound and it can easily travel through. If your property is in a noisy area, effective double glazed windows are an absolute must-have. Double glazing reduces the transfer of sound waves as the sound has to permeate not just one, but two layers of glass, which dampens it. As long as the window itself is fitted correctly, with no tiny gaps for noise to get through, sound wave vibrations will be disrupted when passing through the glass. 
  • Does double glazing reduce condensation?
Condensation is a huge problem in houses with single glazed windows, causing mould, damp, and other structural problems. Condensation manifests when vapour in the air comes into contact with a colder surface and single glazed glass is more susceptible to cold, so as a result, condensation forms inside the home. Double glazing helps to reduce condensation on your windows as the glass surfaces are going to be a lot warmer, preventing the condensation process from occurring. Due to the air gap in between the two panes of glass, this helps to keep the internal pane of glass closer to room temperature due to the lack of heat lost through the windows. 

What are the benefits of double glazed windows?

Here at Brackenwood, as the home improvement experts, we know the many advantages of installing double glazed windows in a range of properties:
  • Energy efficiency 
Although double glazed windows may be a costly investment at first, as we have already touched upon, double glazing windows make a huge difference to energy efficiency. So much so, in 2002, the government updated building regulations to say that all replacement windows must be a minimum double glazed C rated - unless the property is a listed building or in a conservation area.  Double glazing allows the property to retain most of the heat it gains from the sun during the day, so in the winter, the heating doesn’t need to be turned on as often. Similarly in the summer, the cooler house means you are going to be more comfortable rather than stuck in a stuffy house. 
  • Increased property value
Making any improvement on your home will be beneficial in terms of the property price. Upgrading your windows to energy-efficient double glazing is the easiest way to modernise any property. Even if you are not planning to sell-up straight away, double glazing is known to significantly improve how comfortable your home is to live in for your household, as well as making the property more attractive to potential buyers in the future.  Research has revealed that double glazing can actually enhance your property’s value by 10%. By simply changing the windows on your property, or upgrading damaged ones, the investment can provide your property with much more presence on the market. Double glazed windows also require little to no maintenance, especially when they’ve only recently been installed, which is certainly a bonus when purchasing a property. Homebuyers are always looking for properties that they are going to have to do little to no work on when they move in.
  • Tightens security
Single glazed windows are unfortunately very easy to smash or break, as there is only one pane of glass to damage. When you want your property to feel more secure, double glazed windows are a great option as they’re harder to damage and be forced open from the outside. Double glazed windows are more secure than single glazed windows because they are twice as tough. Due to their extra strong design, this is bound to discourage unwanted intruders and make your premises more secure. 
  • Insulation
As we have already mentioned, with the additional pane of glass, double glazed windows act as a better barrier from the outside world, keeping your home at a comfortable temperature in both summer and winter. On the colder days, heat won’t be escaping left, right and centre, you can enjoy a warm and toasty home without wasting money on your energy bills. Likewise with summer, double glazing prevents the heat protruding into your home, keeping it as cool as possible. 
  • Environmental impact 
If you are conscious about your carbon footprint, double glazed windows are the way forward. Reducing energy use by installing double glazed windows is much kinder on the environment as it prevents burdening the country’s energy suppliers with wasted heat loss. By spending less on your energy bills each month, inevitably your carbon footprint is going to be reduced. 

How much does double glazing cost?

When it comes to how much double glazed windows cost, there are many factors to take into consideration. From the size, style, framing, even the energy rating of the glass, all of this needs to be accounted for in the overall cost. Of course, the higher the quality of the windows, the more expensive they will be. Here at Brackenwood, we passionately believe that upgrading from single glazing to double glazing shouldn’t be a financial burden and we will do all we can to help this be affordable for you. We offer a range of funding options to those who are interested in double glazed windows and we will happily discuss these with you in more detail. With our help, you will always get the very best quality at the very best price.

Conclusion

At Brackenwood, we know how effective double glazing is in the modern home. Whilst there are a number of double glazing benefits, the main advantage is that it will make your property more energy efficient. Double glazed windows are an investment for the future and your existing windows and doors may not currently be providing the level of insulation that they should which, in turn, causes excessive heat loss, a high amount of carbon emissions and wasting energy.  When investing in new windows, they pay for themselves in terms of the reduced energy bills and the increased value to your house. You are also never short of styles and designs to suit you and your needs and requirements.
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