Windows can be considered as part of the entry points into a home. They allow light to warm and illuminate a space and when opened, they can let in air for cooling.
Much more than this, they act as a shield against weather elements protecting your home from rain, snow, heat, etc. Additionally, they can add to the aesthetics of your home depending on their design and make.
Window designs have come a long way; there are many types available today. They include fixed, awning, casement, sliding, tilt and slide, tilt and turn, louvered or jalousie. There are also transom sidelight, lancet, oriel, bay, etc.
They can be made with different materials including wood, glass, uPVC and metal. Most times, these materials are combined to make them.
Modern windows are typically made of glazed glass and covered with some translucent or transparent material.
Glass has been a very effective material for making windows all through the years and most are made from it. Also, over the years, the technique of double glazing windows has become quite common.
What is a Double Glazed Window?
This is a window that is made with two parallel but separate sheets of glass. Separating the two glass panes is a still layer of air or gas with a spacer.
The spacer could be made of metal or a polymer strip and a drying agent to remove moisture.
Double glazed windows are referred to as integrated glass units (IGU). Once it is sealed, this integrated unit becomes airtight and helps to create double the insulation of a single glazed unit.
Double glazed glass can be made with a range of different types of glass like low-emissivity (low-E) as well as laminated.
These have metal oxide or silver transparent coatings applied to their surfaces.
Why Use Double Glazed Windows?
To satisfactorily answer this question, there is a need to understand why windows are important and why they are used in the first place.
The essence of using them is to protect from weather and other external elements while creating an avenue to let light as well as air in when needed.
Single glazed windows provide this but double glazed ones do so in a more efficient way. The idea is that the two combined planes of glass will offer a greater advantage as regards energy efficiency.
The two sheets as well as the buffer zone in between them provide a greater barrier against external temperature than their single-pane counterparts.
Each glass in itself does not provide much thermal insulation. The value is in the fact that it can seal in as well as maintain a buffer.
It is common to see these days that instead of just air in between the panes of glass, inert gas like xenon or argon is used. This helps to increase its resistance to the transfer of energy.
In summer, double glazed windows lock in the cool air inside your home while preventing heat from coming in. During winter, they help to stop heat from escaping and prevent cold air from entering.
All these help to maintain a more efficient temperature control in your home and it results in better savings on your energy bill.
Asides from its energy efficiency advantage, here are more reasons to use double glazed windows
Sound and Noise Insulation
Asides from weather elements, noise and external sounds are some major things that you want to keep out of your home. Double glazed windows impressively help to achieve this.
Whether the noise is from traffic, neighbors, trees and leaves rustling, passers-by, etc., your window will serve as a barrier to all these.
When moisture is on a warm surface, it forms water droplets and in cold weather can become frost. This can result in a room becoming colder and will force the occupants of the room to increase the heat.
The airtight buffer of a double glazed window helps to prevent the buildup of condensation as it blocks moisture during cold weather.
Another advantage to this is that it prevents mold which can be harmful to your health from building up.
It Provides Safety and Security
It is normal that when two things are combined, they are stronger and harder to break. Because they are tightly sealed, double glazed windows provide safety for kids and security against break-ins. They also cannot be forced open from the outside.
Some disadvantages associated with double glazed windows include their cost when compared to single glazed. They are more expensive to install. Secondly, it is not repairable but it has to be replaced if there is any issue with the window.
What to Look for When Selecting a Double Glazed Glass
Typically the space in the middle of the two panes is usually between 6mm to 20mm. It is recommended to use one with a minimum space of 12mm and a maximum of 20mmm for optimal thermal performance.
If what you desire is a better acoustic control or to reduce noise, then the recommended space is 150mm or more. However, such a large gap will allow convection between the two panes and it will not be as thermally efficient.
Double glazed glass with inert, low conductivity glass between the panes is much better than ordinary air as they will increase performance.
Also, the window has to be considered as a whole unit. This is because the framing material is equally important to its performance so select one that does not readily conduct cold and heat. The frames may also be enhanced to prevent this.
The spacer used and how the cavity is sealed is also of equal importance. If not properly sealed or if there is no adequate desiccant, it can reduce the window’s performance.
You can read further about all these here.
Using double glazed windows is beneficial for your home or space in many ways. For their insulating and thermal properties, they help to make your home energy efficient.
They also prevent outside noise, and act as a form of security and protection against external forces.
If you want a high-quality one, ensure to get it from experienced window professionals.