Cut Heat Loss Through Glazed Windows and Doors

Double glazing is the name given to the modern glazing system where a window is formed by two panes of glass spaced several millimetres apart. This arrangement, when sealed, traps air in between the panes thereby forming an insulating layer.

A drying agent such as silica gel is added (out of sight) prior to the unit being sealed and this ensures that no moisture is present inside the finished unit. One of the first signs of failure of a double glazed unit is condensation on the inside of the unit between the two panes and this would indicate that replacement is required as the units are not serviceable and cannot be repaired. Once a double glazed window is no longer air-tight, it’s effectiveness decreases.

The replacement of standard windows with double glazing can halve heat loss and will also provide a marked reduction in outside noise and also internal condensation. It will generally have a beneficial effect on the look of your property as well as it’s resale value. Additionally, the main entry point for an intruder is via the windows or doors. Modern UPVC double glazed windows provide an extra level of security due to their durability and the built in multi-point locking system..

Richard Bawden, Trade Partnerships Manager at the Energy Saving Trust (EST) stated in 2005: “Our homes are responsible for 28 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions and improving windows, especially replacements in the home, is an important step in combating energy loss.”
Approximately 60% of heat loss from a home is through standard windows. The adoption of double glazing mitigates heat loss substantially and as a consequence homeowners will not need to spend as much money on heating bills – approximately 10 to 12% less. Using less energy to heat your home will be environmentally beneficial and help to reduce green house gas emissions.

If your home is situated in a location that suffers from noise pollution, the use of double glazing is strongly recommended as this will greatly reduce outside noise.

Timber framed windows can often be susceptible to rot and condensation and they will usually need regular maintenance in the form of painting, patching and re-filling. Un-plasticised Polyvinyl Chloride (UPVC) double glazing is very low maintenance and would only require minimal cleaning.

In some peoples eyes UPVC double glazing can be aesthetically unappealing. However, there are a large range of styles of double glazing. In addition to UPVC, there are aluminium or hardwood frames available. UPVC generally insulates better than aluminium for instance, but if you have an older style property an aluminium frame may be more aesthetically pleasing. Some restrictions are imposed upon double glazing installations and these are based on the age and location of the property and so it is advisable to check with your local planning office beforehand. In conservation areas the local authority will normally insist on timber frames being fitted so as to minimise the impact on the area as a whole.

Double glazing comes in a large number of sizes and styles, so it is virtually assured that you will be able to find a style to suit your property.

UPVC windows or doors are considered to be the most durable frame for double glazing installations. Not only that, they are for the most part the cheapest option, easiest to maintain and they provide the best insulation. The standard colour for UPVC is white but there are now a wide range of colours available (discolouration is very rare). Most good firms will be able to give you a wide range of colour options.An installation can be either internally or externally glazed. Internally beaded windows are considered to be the more secure option.Most UPVC systems are multi-walled with internal re-inforcement via an aluminium or steel box section approximately 3mm thick. Typically, the thicker the walling, the stronger the section will be. The actual frame itself is typically 60-65mm thick. The thickness of the frame will have a bearing on the structural strength.

Aluminium framed double glazing has decreased in popularity with the advent of UPVC frames. Although aluminium frames are very strong, are virtually intruder proof and are not subject to warping or twisting, they have a relatively poor insulation performance when compared to UPVC (unless they are fitted with a thermal break). When one takes into account the fact that aluminium frames cost more than UPVC, it is easy to see why their popularity has waned. As is the case with UPVC, aluminium frames are available in a number of different colours and require very little maintenance, but they are less readily available so there is less choice between providers.

Timber frames are the most expensive choice but arguably they are aesthetically the most pleasing and if your home is a listed building, they are the only choice for replacement windows or doors. A wide variety of hardwoods are available as well as pine or cedar with a variety of stains. These type of frames are not as hard wearing as UPVC or aluminium and one must take into account the frame thickness as this will affect the structure strength. A softwood frame will have a substantially shorter life span than UPVC or aluminium and could be prone to warping. One should expect that after 5 years a timber frame will need to be re-painted.

If you have essentially sound windows but you wish to improve thermal or noise insulation, a viable option would be to opt for secondary double glazing. Essentially, secondary double glazing refers to an extra glazed window being fitted internally against the main window. This is beneficial if the property is listed or in a conservation area and it can be a cheaper option than choosing an entirely new double glazed window.If the main aim of installation is to improve noise insulation, it is advisable to opt for the increased rigidity that an aluminium frame would provide.

Double Glazing Brochures and Quotes

If you are interested in getting double glazing for your home but you are unsure of where to start first, we would recommend that you apply for some quotes and spend some time online looking through the available products and styles available from the leading manufacturers and installers. This will give you an idea of the cost of your project and will also allow you to browse through the full range of double glazing on offer completely at your leisure.

We currently recommend Anglian Home Improvements for double glazing installations.

Get a free Anglian double glazing brochure from Anglian or request a quote for double glazing on your home. This UK-wide company has been in operation for over 50 years and the standard of work is of a consistently high nature.