All you need to know about double glazing guide, Property window advice
All You Need To Know About Double Glazing
1 February 2022
Double glazing is very popular indeed. Many millions of homes are equipped with this setup, which effectively prevents the excessive transference of heat from inside a building to outside. Here is just about everything you need to know about double glazing.
The Purpose Of Double Glazing
Insulation And Heat Retention
The primary purpose of double glazing installations has always been as an insulating feature. Single panes of glass are not very good at preventing heat transfer at all. Anybody that has ever touched the outer edge of a single pane window on an especially cold day can attest to the fact that heat escapes readily from them. By installing double glazed windows, homeowners can make sure that they are not spending a ridiculous amount of money on heating bills no matter what the weather.
A great deal of environmental damage occurs as the direct result of inefficient home heating. Almost all kinds of heating systems have a negative impact on the environment, and the more they are used, the worse their impact will be. Double glazed windows are increasingly being marketed towards people who want to reduce the carbon footprint produced by their home. Double glazing is not a one-step solution, however. Alternative heating methods and energy sources must be sought and embraced if home heating is to become completely carbon neutral.
Double glazing installation is not cheap – although a free window installation company will help advise you on government grants to pay for your windows. Luckily for people who take the jump and install double glazing, the returns start after only a few years. Money saved on inefficiently heating a home more than covers the money spent on a double glazing installation in many cases.
A Brief History
Before going into how double glazing works as an insulating innovation, it is necessary to briefly outline the history of this innovation.
Double Hung Windows
Double glazing evolved from an earlier window design type: the double hung window. You may have seen double hung windows in older houses before. This kind of window is composed of two sliding sashes – one of which can slide over the other to create an opening at either the top or bottom of the window pane. Double hung windows were in use for hundreds of years. Although they are not inherently more insulating than single glazed glass windows, they did provide the blueprint for installing two panes of glass on a single frame. Some manufacturers made storm windows – extra panes that could be added to double hung windows. This increased insulation by a noticeable amount.
Thomas Stetson was the first person to patent a window unit in which two panes of glass were permanently bound in order to provide increased insulation. His 1865 US patent is the direct ancestor to modern double glazing and worked, in many ways, just as modern double glazing does. Two panes of glass were separated by a sealed reservoir of air, making heat transfer from one side of the window more difficult. Stetson’s idea took a long time to perfect and market: it was only in the 1930s that his concept was incorporated into a usable and marketable product.
It was not until the 1940s that double glazing became popular with people trying to refit their homes for warmth and efficiency. In the 1940s, double glazing windows were marketed under the name ‘Thermopane,’ which is still used in the industry as a generic name for any kind of double glazing to this day. Thermopane became immensely popular with Americans living in the chilly North East of the country.
How Double Glazing Works
The principle behind double glazing is very simple: to provide a layer of air or gas in between twin layers of glass to decrease heat transfer. The earliest double glazing simply used air. Unfortunately, air is a rather good conductor of heat, so these windows were not particularly efficient.
The real breakthroughs occurred in double glazing when innovators started using low conductivity gasses in place of air. Noble gasses such as argon have around 67 percent of the conductivity of atmospheric air. This drastically reduces the amount of heat that can ‘get through’ the protective layers. New framing insulation stored in PVC structures also helps prevent the egress of hot air or the ingress of cold air. Due to the gas being used as an insulating element, almost all double glazing setups cannot be taken apart by homeowners without specialist training.
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