What is Double Glazing and How Does it Function?

Double-glazed windows are some of the most common and modern household accessories on the open market. Not only do they save you a significant amount of money on heating costs, but they can be purchased in nearly any style imaginable. Thus, they are as aesthetically beautiful as they are fully functional. However, the science behind double glazing is just as important to take into account. If you are thinking about replacing your single-glazed windows or should you hope to learn about the technology behind double glazing, the information below is both practical and relevant. So, what is double glazing and how does it work? Let us take a closer look.

Double Glazing Explained: The Basics

There are several components of a double-glazed window. The most obvious is the presence of two panes of glass separated by a thin layer of  gas such as nitrogen or argon. Gaskets are thereafter fitted around the periphery of the panes in order to keep the gas trapped in place. There are also spacers which will be utilised to keep the two panes of glass from touching one another (as well as to provide greater structural stability). These spacers are made from a material that does not conduct heat, so they will not affect the thermal properties of the window. Now that we have taken a look at the basic components of a double-glazed window, what is double glazing and how does it work?

The Surprising Use of Air as an Insulator

Most of us associate thermal insulation with materials such as the fibreglass within walls or a down winter jacket. However, did you know that specific gases are also powerful insulators? You might be surprised to learn that argon (an inert gas) is up to 34 per cent less conductive when compared to normal air. In other words, it will help to retain a great deal of heat. This is critical in terms of double glazing, as this natural barrier helps to protect your home from extreme temperature variations between the interior and exterior. Therefore, one of the most crucial components of a double-glazed window is the gas between the panes of glass as opposed to the panes themselves.

More Than Thermal Insulation Alone

The most well-known benefit of double glazing is the fact that this configuration will save you a substantial amount of money on energy costs. While this is important during the autumn and winter, let’s remember that it is just as applicable over the summer months. Double glazing helps your home remain cool; reducing the amount of money spent on air conditioning.

Still, another unique attribute of double glazing is that this type of window provides an effective acoustic barrier. If you live within a major urban area or near a busy motorway, the chances are high that you are well aware of noise pollution. The layer of gas between two panes mentioned earlier also acts as an excellent insulator against outside sounds. However, other factors such as the vent size and the age of the windows themselves will inevitably come into play.

The Concept of Passive Solar Heat Gain

While this might appear to be slightly scientific terminology, the notion itself is actually quite simple. Double-glazed windows are manufactured with a thin metallic layer on the panes of the glass. This coating essentially acts as a thermal “filter”. While allowing warmth from the sun to enter into a room, it also prevents any interior heat from escaping. This eventually results in a minor greenhouse effect that will save you a great deal of money on heating costs throughout the colder times of the year.

An Excellent Return on Investment

Although the concept of using two panes within a single window was invented as far back as 1952, it is interesting to note that this application has only caught on during the past few decades. Double-glazed windows now represent an important component of any home, and for good reason. Not only are they truly stunning to behold, but they will reduce heating costs by a significant percentage every year. Thus, the chances are high that double-glazed windows will eventually pay for themselves.