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Benefits of double glazed windows

30 Aug 2011

If you are busy renovating, building your dream home or just considering changing the windows in your home to upgrade its aesthetics, it is beneficial to consider double-glazing. Charl Jacobz, National Marketing Manager for leading wooden window and door manufacturer, Swartland, offers some useful information and guidance on double-glazing solutions.

 

There are many benefits to bringing more natural light into your home. For one, utilising natural light instead of switching on your light fixtures saves energy. It also brings out the natural beauty of your furnishings and finishes, and it has the potential to instantly lift your mood and improve your sense of wellbeing.

“For years now, we have seen major architectural and interior design trends moving towards minimising the barrier between the outdoors and indoors, and fenestration has played a major part in making this possible. However, including a lot of windows or stack doors in the design of your home may be beautiful, but if they are not well insulated, it is not always the most practical or energy efficient thing to do,” explains Jacobz.

 

He says that a whopping average of around 40% of energy loss in a home occurs through standard, single pane windows, but that double glazing can greatly minimise this: “Double-glazing and insulation can easily reduce the energy spent on regulating the temperature in your home by as much as 50%. It substantially reduces and regulates thermal loss from the inside and solar heat gain from the outside – keeping your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. It is also an environmentally friendly solution – our homes cause around 28% of all carbon dioxide emissions, and replacing single pane windows helps to reduce these emissions and combat energy loss.”

Double-glazing explained

Double-glazing is the glazing process in which a window is formed from two panes of glass, with the space in between filled with dehydrated air or a gas such as Xenon or Argon. The two panes of glass form a layer of insulation and are separated with an aluminium spacer, encapsulated in a primary silicone coating and then sealed with a secondary silicone or bitumen (waterproofing agent) sealant. The air trapped between the two panes of glass form a layer of insulation.

 

Jacobz elaborates: “In any kind of fenestration, heat is lost from the warmer surface, such as the room-facing pane, to the cooler surface, such as the outdoor facing pane. By filling the cavity of a double-glazed window with dehydrated air rather than normal air, the exchange between the two glass panes is greatly reduced. The molecules of dehydrated air are much less mobile than normal air, which means that they transfer much less heat by convection or conduction and therefore boast better thermal insulation characteristics.”

Other benefits of double-glazing

Apart from excellent energy savings, double-glazing offers a host of other benefits – Jacobz lists them:

- Acoustic insulation: Double-glazing provides first-rate acoustic insulation and reduces outside noise levels. Noise pollution can be a real problem if your home is located in a highly populated area, near to a busy road or in a very windy area for example. However, double-glazing can go a long way to protect your home from the disturbance of noise pollution. It will also contain noise levels within your home, so you won’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbours.

- Added security: When glazing with 6.38 safety or intruder-proof glass, double-glazing provides excellent security for your home because its composition and design makes it very difficult to break through.

 

- Reducing condensation: By installing quality double-glazed windows, the problem of condensation is greatly reduced as heat is reflected back into the room and the inner pane is warmer.

- Draught-proofing: Quality double-glazed windows should boast all-round rubber seals in the frames to ensure that when closed, no draughts can get through, even in very windy areas.

Selecting the window frames

Double-glazing is positioned within a window frame, and therefore, care should be taken to select a high quality window frame as it can affect the overall insulation properties of the double-glazing by up to 30%.

“Timber window frames can be a stunning addition to the indoor and outdoor aesthetics of any home, however they also boast a smaller carbon footprint than other traditional materials, making them an environmentally-responsible choice to boot,” says Jacobz.

 

Selecting the right glazing

To reduce heat loss, double-glazing window components need to be made of materials that are low thermal conductors, such as using timber frames for example. This will also apply to the actual glass that is used in the window.

The cost

Of course, double-glazed windows cost more than their single-glazed counterparts. However, Jacobz notes that the initial extra cost of double-glazed windows will end up saving you a lot of money in the long-term by reducing the money you will spend on heating your home: “Swartland’s double-glazed windows cost approximately two-and-a-half times more than similar single-glazed counterparts. However, it is important to remember that they can reduce the money you spend on heating your home by as much as 50%, and so over the course of their lifespan, they will end up paying for themselves a number of times over.” – Antonella Desi

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About the Author
Antonella Dési

Antonella Dési

Freelance lifestyle writer at property24.com

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