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; many types are available today. They include fixed, awning, casement, sliding, tilt and slide, tilt and turn, louvred or jalousie. There are also transom sidelight, lancet, oriel, bay, etc.
They can be made with 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 translucent or transparent material.
Glass has been a very effective material for making windows all through the years; most are made from it. Also, over the years, double-glazing windows have become quite common.
What is a Double Glazed Window?
This is a window 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, 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 team.
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, it is necessary to understand why windows are essential and used in the first place.
We are using them to protect from weather and other external elements while creating an avenue to let light and air in when needed.
Single-glazed windows provide this, but double-glazed ones do so more efficiently. The idea is that the two combined planes of glass will offer a more significant advantage as regards energy efficiency.
The two sheets and the buffer zone in between them provide a more significant 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 maintain more efficient temperature control in your home and result 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
Aside from weather elements, noise and external sounds are essential things you want to keep out of your home. Double-glazed windows impressively help to achieve this.
Whether the noise is from traffic, neighbours, trees and leaves rustling, passers-by, etc., your window will be 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 force the occupants to increase the heat.
A double-glazed window’s airtight buffer helps prevent the buildup of condensation as it blocks moisture during cold weather.
Another advantage is that it prevents mould, which can harm your health from building up.
It Provides Safety and Security
It is expected 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 of double-glazed windows include their cost compared to single-glazed windows. 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 length of 12mm and a maximum of 20 mm for optimal thermal performance.
If you desire better acoustic control or reduced noise, the recommended space is 150mm or more. However, such a large gap will allow convection between the two panes and will not be as thermally efficient.
Double-glazed glass with inert, low conductivity between the panes is much better than ordinary air as it 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 are also of equal importance. It can reduce the window’s performance if not properly packed or if there is no adequate desiccant.
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 security and protection against external forces.
If you want a high-quality one, get it from experienced window professionals.