How does double glazing work?

UK Home Improvement

How Does Double Glazing Work?

Double glazed windows are now installed as standard in new houses while many older houses have upgraded their single pane windows to their double glazed counterparts. The heat and sound proofing properties of double glazing are common knowledge, but do you know how this is achieved?

What Double Glazed Windows Are Used For

Windows are designed to let in light, while blocking air and objects from entering the house. A single pane of glass is relatively poor at providing insulation. Windows are only a few millimetres thick, providing little resistance to heat passing through them into the outdoors, making it more expensive to heat your house. The idea of double glazed windows is to let light through while blocking the transfer of heat, making windows much better insulators.

How Double Glazed Windows Are Structured

Double glazed windows are simply two panes of glass with a space in between them. The space between the windows is very well insulated so that little or no air can leak between the panes of glass. There is also often a desiccant between the panes to absorb stray moisture and to stop fog from forming. Windows can be clear or covered with a tinted or reflective coating.

How Double Glazed Windows Insulate

Double glazed windows are particularly effective at providing insulation for two reasons. Firstly, doubling the amount of glass simply doubles the amount of material heat has to escape through, slowing down heat transfer and keeping more heat inside the house. Secondly, the space inbetween each pane is filled with air. This air acts as a buffer due to the fact that air is a poor conductor of heat compared to solid materials such as glass. In this situation, the glass panes either side slow the movement of air, keeping more heat inside the property.

If you would like to upgrade to double glazed windows, seek a local glazing specialist in your area. In some cases, there may be grants available to help towards the expense. The payback time on double glazing for the average household is long, so do not expect to recoup the cost within ten years at a minimum. Double glazing is best used in conjunction with other insulation and draught proofing solutions to reap maximum benefits and reduce the payback time.


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