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Contemporary double glazed windows are pretty much a necessity for modern homes. There are various types of double glazed windows and some are superior to others, but double pane windows are a great solution to help keep your home warm and even reduce the amount of noise you can hear from outside. But what is double glazing and how do double glazed windows work? Read on to learn the answers.

What is Double Glazing?

Double glazing is, essentially, a window that incorporates two panes of glass. The window’s primary component is the double glazed sealed unit, also known as an insulated glass unit (IGU). This sits in a frame made from uPVC, timber or aluminium.

If you are confused about how energy-efficient double insulated windows are put together, the IGU is made up of two sheets of glass separated by a spacer bar. This creates an air gap, which has insulating gas (usually argon) pumped into it. Essentially, you have two sheets of glass separated by an invisible gas that helps prevent heat loss.

Fitting double glazed windows provides the benefit of thermal insulation. In other words, it helps to retain heat in a room whilst preventing the cold air from outside from entering. In a nutshell, it makes your building more energy-efficient.

Does secondary glazing work? Well, the measured difference of this type of window glazing was deemed to be so significant that they prompted a change for building regulations in 2002. As of that year, anyone replacing uPVC windows would have to have a double glazed unit with a minimum rating of C, unless the property is a listed building or in a conservation area.

Who Invented Double Glazing?

Double glazing styles have changed throughout the years, and there was a time when everyone lived with cold, rattling windows. It is generally considered that the first types of double glazing appeared in Scotland in the 19th century. The harsh elements in some parts of the country prompted some to experiment with adding a second pane of glass to their window fitting.

Commercial double glazing first came about in the USA in 1930, later patented as ‘Thermopane’. Fitting double glazing became commonplace in the homes of Americans through the 1950s. If your main interest is the origin of ‘double glazed windows near me’, it was in 1965 when commercial double window products began to appear. In the 1980s, fitting uPVC windows became the norm for British households.

How Does Double Glazing Work?

The primary mechanism of double glazing is the air gap between the two panes of glass. This is what insulates against heat transfer between the interior of your home and the exterior. Two panes of glass are sealed in a unit and separated by 6-12mm by a spacer bar, and the space in between is filled with argon gas.

In modern double glazed windows, this air gap slows down heat transfer, both hot and cold, via conduction. It doesn’t trap heat, but it slows down its movement so that neither heat nor cold can pass through the window. With air unable to pass through the narrow gap between the panes, air convection is slowed, thus reducing heat transfer.

Why Does Fitting Double Glazing Reduce Heat Loss?

The thermal insulation of the air contained in the sealed unit of double pane windows keeps heat loss to a minimum. Cold air hits the external pane of glass, and that cold transfers through to the argon gas layer. Argon is known for having a 34% reduced thermal transfer rate to air. As such, it drastically slows the rate at which heat can be transferred.

Essentially, less of that cold is able to pass through the argon and reach the internal pane of glass. Similarly, warmth from inside your home does not transfer quickly to the outside, so more of that warmth is retained inside the room. Essentially, with double window glazing, the outside pane of glass and the inside pane will not be the same temperature.

What Types of Double Glazing Glass Reduce Noise?

Fitting aluminium, timber or uPVC windows with double glazing reduces noise by absorbing some of the sound and slowing the vibration frequency. The argon gas will diminish some of the sound waves, so you will hear less of the noise from outside.

However, not all secondary glazing is equal in this regard. Different thicknesses of glass with different distances between them have different outcomes. Specialist noise reduction window glazing is the most effective for this.

What is the Best Double Glazing for Reducing Condensation?

Single glazed glass becomes very cold, inside and outside, when external temperatures drop. This causes water vapour in the air to condense when it comes into contact with the glass, Double glazing reduces this because the internal pane of glass is far less affected by the external temperature than the glass in a single glazed window.

As part of modern uPVC window insulation, the windows are designed with a robust seal to prevent moisture from getting in between the two panes of glass. Any moisture that does get inside is prevented from causing condensation by a crystalline desiccant that draws moisture out of the air gap to keep that internal space dry.

Is Solar Gain Possible with Modern Double Glazed Windows?

Solar gain is when warmth from the sun enters a building. Double glazing doesn’t prevent this, as the thermal energy from sunlight passes straight through the glass in infrared radiation.

It is possible to order low-emissivity glass for fitting a window with double glazing. This technology uses a microscopic magnetron that reflects shortwave radiation away. The daylight will retain its clarity, but that build-up of thermal energy will be reduced.

How is Double Glazing Made

The sealed unit is fundamental to the design of modern double glazed windows, and it is vulnerable to failure. Manufacturing quality is all-important. Here’s how high-quality double pane windows are made:

  1. The two panes of glass are cut to size.
  2. The spacer bars are also prepared to size with the desiccant inside.
  3. Warm edge spacer bars are a sophisticated blend of stainless steel and polypropylene.
  4. One pane of glass is positioned with the spacer bars. This is moved through an argon-filled chamber, wherein the second pane of glass is precisely positioned.
  5. The unit is sealed, with the argon trapped inside, with a bitumen-based sealant around the edges.

Assembly is typically done mechanically to ensure minimal stress on the pane or other unit elements. Once the sealed unit is complete, it is ready to be assembled into the chosen frame.

What Are the Benefits of Contemporary Double Glazed Windows?

We have talked about thermal transfer, sound frequency, conduction and solar gain. But how does double glazing work to benefit your home or other building?

Basically, the energy efficiency of your home improves with double glazing, meaning your energy bills and your carbon footprint are lower. In turn, you will also add value to your home, so it is definitely a worthwhile investment.

Why choose Eco Thermal Design for your new windows?

Eco Thermal Design has transformed countless homes across Barnsley, Sheffield and other areas of South Yorkshire. We are experts when it comes to windows and can help you find the right windows for your home. Our expert team can help you decide on the right window for your home, and our team of fitters can complete their work to the highest standards, causing you minimal disruption along the way. We’re proud of the quality of our products, work and people, which is echoed by our customers in our Which Trusted Trader reviews.

If you would like to speak to one of our window experts or get a quote, you can contact us here or give us a call on 0800 009 6241.

What Our Customers Say

“Quality products are only as good as the team that fit them and in our case both the product and the fitters resulted in a first class and professional installation. Respectful of our home and tidied up at the end of each day….Thank You”
Les Finucane

“Excellent service from Eco Thermal again. Would recommend to anyone. Also good to have a local firm that you can trust.”
Ross Duguid

“Very happy with the whole process and of course the finished installation.”
Michael Senior

You can also read our reviews on Which Trusted Trader where we are rated five stars.