Maximising Energy Efficiency with Double Glazing

Published: January 1, 2024
Windows, Doors & Conservatories Showroom in York

If you are looking for a home improvement measure that will maximise energy efficiency in your home, double glazing is a step in the right direction.

Double-glazed windows are made with two panes of glass rather than the traditional single pane, with an insulating layer of inert gas between the panes.

This makes them extremely energy efficient, and they can reduce your home’s energy usage significantly.

Striving for energy efficiency can help reduce your carbon footprint, and double glazing is a great tool to accomplish this goal. 

Understanding The Basics

Double glazing works by creating an additional level of insulation between your home and the outdoors. This is accomplished through the use of several components:

  • Two Panes of Glass – A double-glazed window has two panes of glass, each 4 to 6 mm thick.
  • Spacer Bars – Spacer bars hold the panes of glass the correct width apart and contain desiccant to decrease moisture.
  • Inert Gas Filling – Inert gas, typically argon, but sometimes xenon or krypton, creates an insulating layer between the panes of glass.
  • Low-E Coating – Some double-glazed windows have low emissivity coating, to further increase their energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency Benefits

Double glazing prevents heat gain and loss, reducing your heating and cooling costs.

In cold weather, double-glazed windows keep the cold out and prevent the loss of heat.

In warm climates, double-glazed windows help save on cooling costs by keeping cold air in and warm air out, as well as deflecting UV rays.

This means your heating and cooling system can work more efficiently, using less fuel, and reducing your carbon footprint, while also saving money on your energy costs.

The Science Of Insulation

Traditional, single-glazed windows allow heat to transfer from one side of the glass to the other. Double glazing, because it involves two panes with a space between, prevents the heat from transferring.

Within the double-glazed windows is a gap filled with inert gas, which acts as an insulating layer, increasing energy efficiency.

Windows with low-E coating are even more energy efficient, because of their reflective properties. The heat is reflected back to the source, staying inside during the winter and outside in warmer weather.

Choosing The Right Double Glazing

Once you’ve decided on double-glazed windows, there are decisions to make about the type of double-glazing you will choose.

Frames can be made of wood, aluminium, or uPVC.

UPVC is the most popular frame type, durable, long-lasting, and available in a wide range of colours and styles.

Wood is a beautiful option, but requires more maintenance and more frequent replacement than other options.

Aluminium is a cost-effective choice, as are composite frames, made from aluminium and wood.

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There are also different glass options, to increase your double-glazed windows’ function and energy efficiency.

Low-E glass is a good option for making windows more energy efficient, but some options are more noise-resistant, more protective against UV rays, and even fire and bullet-resistant.

No matter what kind of windows meet your needs, it’s important to have them installed professionally so that they will be not only installed correctly but also guaranteed,

Maintenance And Longevity

One of the wonderful things about double-glazed windows is that they have low maintenance requirements.

They will need to be cleaned at least once a month, and you will want to inspect them regularly, to make sure the seals are intact and there are no issues that may require repair.

Regular cleanings and inspections, replacement of worn seals, and repainting of wooden or metal frames every few years can extend your double-glazed windows’ lifespan.

Triple Glazing Vs. Double Glazing

Triple glazing has three panes of glass, rather than two. This is naturally more insulating, but is it better?

In some cases, particularly if your home tends to be warmer than average, triple glazing may be overkill.

While it may seem like a good option to install windows with better heat retention, triple glazing can be too much in a home with a lot of light, or during a heatwave.

If you live somewhere warm, double glazing is a better option, and it’s also typically the best choice for south and west-facing rooms, which get more sunlight than rooms that face north or east.

Enhancing Efficiency In Extreme Climates

The windows you choose should be appropriate for the climate in which you live.

If you live somewhere cold, make sure you choose energy-efficient window frames.

Metal frames are the least effective, while composite or uPVC frames are the best options.

Additionally, choose low-E glass, to reflect heat and prevent heat transfer.

If you live in a hot climate, uPVC frames are a good choice, because they resist fading, moisture, corrosion, and insects, and are maintenance-free.

And just as low-E glass keeps the house warm in the winter, it can help keep heat out in the summer.

In coastal areas, aluminium, fibreglass, or uPVC frames are recommended, because they won’t sustain moisture damage like wood will.

Government Incentives And Rebates

Under the Green Home Grant Scheme, homeowners and landlords can receive vouchers to help them improve their properties with energy-saving features like double glazing.

There’s also the ECO (energy company obligation) grant, which may be helpful.

Talk to your local council to determine whether or not you qualify for incentives, and visit the Simple Energy Advice website for more information.

These incentives may be able to help you offset the cost of double glazing, which provides long-term value in terms of energy savings.

DIY Vs. Professional Installation

If you are handy, you might want to install your double-glazed windows yourself to save money.

Be aware, though, that your local council’s building control department will need to deem you a “competent person” before you get started, and will then need to sign off on your work to make sure it meets the proper standards.

Hiring a FENSA-registered installer is a better idea, because not only will this kind of professional be able to self-certify the work, but you will also have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your windows are properly sealed and insulated.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much can I save on energy bills with double-glazing? On average, about £235 per year.
  • Is double glazing suitable for all climates? Yes.
  • Can I retrofit existing windows with double glazing? Yes, and this can help with the preservation of historic homes.
  • What is the role of low-E coatings in energy efficiency? Low-E coatings reflect heat, keeping it in your home in the winter and out of it in the summer.
  • Are there any government incentives for energy-efficient windows? Yes
  • Does the type of frame impact energy savings? Yes, because some frames prevent heat transfer and provide a better seal than others.
  • How does double glazing reduce condensation on windows? Double glazing reduces the temperature differential between the external and internal window panes, preventing moisture from forming on the inside of the window. Double-glazed windows also use a desiccant to absorb moisture.
  • Can double glazing be used in historic homes? Yes, as long as it’s designed to retain the home’s character.
  • What are the differences in efficiency between double and triple glazing? Triple glazing is more efficient because there’s an additional pane of glass.
  • What is the average lifespan of double glazing? Up to 20 years with proper maintenance, and, in some cases, even longer.

Choose Double Glazing To Maximise Energy Efficiency

When you are ready to reap the long-term benefits of an energy-efficient home, look to Eliments to help you find strategies for maximizing energy efficiency, including double glazing.

For over a decade, Eliments has been enhancing and improving homes, providing high-quality products and excellent customer service to hundreds of happy customers.

Because we have flexibility in our manufacturing process, we can fabricate custom-made products that set us apart from other window manufacturers. We create products to suit your property, within a timescale to suit you, and all of our windows and doors are manufactured to Veka specifications.

If you are looking for the very best windows on the market today, contact us through our website for a free quote.

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