The windows installed in your property are an important part of the energy efficiency of your home. They are one of the largest factors within your control that has an impact on your heating costs. The right type of window (correctly installed) will help keep essential heat in and cold air out during the winter months. During the summer they can also serve to deflect some of the heat and keep cool air inside when you need it most. Double glazed (double pane) windows are one of the most popular investments you can make for your home. If you don’t already have double glazing your heating bills will likely be much higher. Double glazing will almost certainly make your home more energy efficient and cut your heating costs.

Double glazing refers to windows that are made with two sheets of glass. They are installed in the window frame in layers with a vacuum seal. Sometimes a heavy inert gas such as Argon, Krypton or Xenon is used between the panes to help with thermal conductivity. This method helps reduce heat transfer between the panes causing less energy to be lost through the glass.

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Layers Do The Trick

The key concept that makes double pane windows work is the two pieces of glass and the vacuum seal in-between. This is a similar concept to wearing multiple layers of clothing in the colder months of the year. You don’t necessarily need a huge coat when it gets cold outside as adding more layers of clothing is an effective method of retaining body heat. The same principle is used in double glazed windows. More layers will mean better heat retention and triple glazing (three panes) is now becoming more and more common also. It is however much more expensive and the difference between double and triple glazing is much less profound than between single and double glazing. Double glazing is most definitely the sweet spot in terms of performance and cost.

Glass Types

Double pane windows use a similar glass to single pane. Typically it’s some variation of tempered glass. However modern engineering means that there are several aspects of the panes that in recent years have begun to offer more and more. One such offering is self cleaning panels. This may sound like a dream come true for most people however it does require very specific conditions to be effective. In certain situations it may be something to consider but the technicalities are complex and beyond the scope of this article. Other innovations in acoustic tolerances (noise reduction) have also been made. If for example you live near or on a busy road this may be something of interest to you.

Energy Efficiency

As mentioned one of the biggest benefits of installing double glazed windows is the energy savings they provide. By some estimates, up to 60% of a home’s energy is lost through it’s windows. By replacing all or even a portion of the windows in your home with double pane windows, you can drastically reduce your energy consumption. As an example if you were to replace all of your single-glazed windows with energy efficient double glazing it could shave up to £140 per year from your bill. In turn, using less energy will reduce your carbon footprint.

Not only do double glazed windows keep the climate within your home temperate, they allow the outside elements such as sunlight into your home. Leaving blinds open when it’s sunny in colder winter months can allow sunlight to come into the home and heat it. Also energy efficient windows will reduce unwanted noise from outside your home. Double glazed windows can help to reduce condensation build-up on the inside of your windows.

Cost of Double Glazed Windows

It used to be that double glazed windows were more than their single pane counterparts simply because they were a newer, upgraded product class. Home owners could expect to pay 30-40% more for the double glazed version of a window. These days however that is no longer the case. In fact, most windows sold now are double glazed windows and it has become a standard in the window replacement industry. Consumers may be hard pressed to even find a single pane window manufacturer.

If you’re considering new windows for your home and you have the old single pane versions, it’s time for an upgrade. Double Glazed Windows offer many energy saving benefits and can help you recoup your investment by not having to re-heat or re-cool your home.

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