By Fenster 11 January 2021

What Is Double Glazing And How Does It Work?

What Is Double Glazing And How Does It Work?

The days when many people had to make do with single-glazed windows are over. There’s a simple explanation for that. Single-glazed windows (being a window with one pane of glass) are not suitable. 

A single glazed window allows as much as 60% of the heat to dissipate from the house to the outside world. And that’s just unacceptable, in terms of the environmental issues and cost of heating your home.

Today, many people choose double glazed windows because they are more energy-efficient when maintaining heat inside the house.

Today, you can go a step further and install triple-glazed windows to further insulate your home, with more layers of glass.

What Is Double Glazing

As the name suggests, double glazing refers to a window that consists of two panes of glass.

The window’s key component is the insulated glass unit (IGU) or double glazed sealed unit, which sits in a frame of timber, aluminium, or uPVC.

The IGU consists of two glass sheets separated by a spacer bar to form an air gap filled with an insulating gas like Xenon, Krypton, or Argon gas.

These days, 6 out of 10 houses in the United Kingdom are fitted with double glazed windows. 

The main advantage of double glazing is thermal insulation. – thermal insulation being the ability to retain heat in a room while stopping the outside cold air, making your rooms more energy-efficient.  

Another advantage is noise pollution, such as not letting in outdoor noise to the home and improving the overall home security.

Double-glazed windows are energy-efficient and are available in various window frame materials (including traditional wood and uPVC) and styles

How Does Double Glazing Work?

The concept behind double glazing is that it creates an air gap between the glass panes which insulates against heat transfer between varying temperature zones (outside temperature and inside temperature).

The space (usually 6-12mm) between the glass panes forms a gap (naturally filled with gas) that slows down thermal transfer (cold or hot) by conduction, increasing thermal efficiency.

The air gap does not ‘trap heat,’ but it works by slowing down heat transfer, minimising heat loss. It essentially reduces the rate at which heat escapes from inside a home to the outside, which gives a double glazed window its insulating properties.

How Does Double Glazing Reduce Heat Loss?

Double glazing minimises heat loss via a thermal cushion and gas insulation confined in the sealed unit.

When cold air hits the glass pane’s exterior surface, the pane of glass transfers the temperature to the gas layer.

The gas layer minimises the thermal transfer level and decelerates the conduction of heat between two varying temperatures.

Simultaneously, when warm air from inside the room hits the interior pane of glass, the gas reduces the transmission of warmth from inside, which helps retain heat in the room.

For a double glazed unit, the exterior glass pane and interior glass pane will have varying temperatures.

How Does Double Glazing Reduce Noise?

Apart from being an excellent thermal insulator, double glazed windows help reduce the intensity of noise coming into a property, compared to single glazed windows.

Sound is created through vibrations, and the energy from a sound wave travels from its source point until it gets to our ears. Therefore, if another glass pane acts as an extra layer, it will get in the way of the sound wave reducing noise from entering the room.

The larger the gap between the glass panes, the greater the acoustic insulation advantages. 

By increasing one glass pain compared to the other will enhance the acoustic insulation.

Trickle vents fitted to the windows for ventilation purposes can allow unwanted sound to enter the property. To fix this problem, you can try fitting special acoustic ventilators. 

Triple glazing is also effective, but, as explained above, it’s only beneficial if the glass panes have varying thicknesses.

How Does Double Glazing Reduce Condensation?

Our air contains tiny molecular water droplets invisible to the naked eye. 

When the air is warm, the molecules holding the moisture are spaced apart. As the air cools down, the water molecules get closer to each other. When the water molecules get too close together, they merge to form a visible liquid, referred to as the ‘dew point’.

Condensation occurs when moisture-laden air gets in touch with a cold exterior – like a windowpane.

When you cook food, boil a kettle, or have a hot shower, the surrounding air gets filled with more moisture than usual, and condensation appears on the bathroom mirrors and kitchen windows.

In the double glazed unit, the air in the gap holds a low amount of moisture that could manifest on the glass surface if the temperature difference changes.

Each sealed unit contains a crystalline desiccant inside the spacer bar. The desiccant’s role is to draw moisture out of the air gap and maintain a dry space between the glass panes.

Interior condensation occurs when the sealed unit seals start to fail, and more moisture enters the sealed unit. The desiccant gets saturated and cannot hold any more moisture, and as a result, condensation occurs in the unit.

The reason for seeing so much condensation manifesting on single glazed glass is that it is vulnerable to the cold, which triggers the dew point from water vapour in the surrounding air.

What Is The Best Glass For Double Glazing?

The best energy-efficient glass to use for double glazing is the low emissivity (Low-E) glass. 

Low emissivity (Low-E) glass usually contains an invisible metal oxide coating, typically on one of the interior glass panes – next to the gap. It allows heat and sunlight in but stops the amount of heat allowed to get out again.

The Benefits Of Double Glazed Windows

We’ve outlined the advantages of installing double glazed windows to your home:

  • Warmer in the winter – A Double glazed window is perfect for insulation. Double glazing also helps capture natural heat and store it for the colder months, which is an excellent method to keep your house insulated during winter.
  • Energy cost savings – When you use double glazing, less energy is required to cool or heat a room. In turn, results in low energy costs, saving you cash in the process.
  • Cooler in the summer – Double glazing traps the sun’s heat through the windows during summer, which helps keep your room cooler.
  • Safety and Security – When you have double glazed windows fitted throughout your house, your home’s safety and security is enhanced. A Double glazed window is sealed tighter and is much tougher to break compared to other windows.

*Less condensation – Double glazed glass minimises moisture accumulating on your window panes since the airtight seal stops condensation from accruing. Other windows usually let condensation to manifest, which results in window panes growing mould over time.

*Less noise – Fitting double glazed windows create a quitter and less noisy home. If you reside in a noisy area or live by a busy road, installing double glazed windows can be the best option.

Fenster Glazing is a double glazing company in Milton Keynes to help you cost-effectively fit new windows to your home. Contact us today.

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