How are double glazed windows energy efficient, or at least more energy efficient than a single paned window? Each layer of glass and surrounding air space reradiates and traps some of the heat that passes through thereby increasing the window’s resistance to heat loss, thus they have a higher R-value than single paned windows. Double glazed windows are the best option for areas that require a high insulation value and you do not have to worry about the air in them; in factory-made double glazed windows, the air between the glass sheets is thoroughly dried and the space is sealed airtight, eliminating possible condensation and providing superior insulating properties. This is great for a few reasons. One it means your windows insulate well, but two, it means that if you windows have an air leakage, you will be able to know almost immediately because you will get condensation between the two panes, which will indicate the problem.
It is not common for double glazed windows to have problems, they are usually well made, and the air space between the two panes of glass remains airtight. However, improper installation, or damage to the window can cause the seal to be broken.
What else should you consider when ordering your double glazed windows? Well, for one thing you can get double glazed windows in a variety of glass types, and for regions or climates that get a lot of heat, or a lot of cold, a Low-E glass product is your best option. The properties of a Low-E glass product are such that it will reduce heat loss but admit solar gain. High solar gain Low-E glass products are best suited for buildings located in heating-dominated climates. Low-E glass products like double glazed windows is also the product of choice, or in other words, the most popular window product, for passive solar design projects. This is because the performance attributes of double glazed windows made from Low-E glass, in relation to other Low-E glass products which have been developed to reduce solar gain, are much higher.
Double glazed windows are great for the energy conscious, as they will reduce the cost of wasted energy in your home. However, even if you are not energy conscious they may be the right window type for you. The glass is strong and sturdy, and difficult to break, not to mention that there is the added bonus of not having to immediately replace the window should the outer pane crack or break. Because there are two panes you will still have a barrier between you and the outside world, and this will allow you time to shop for a new window, or be able to afford a new window before having to replace it.
Double glazed windows offer many advantages over single paned. Double glazed windows are not hard to find, and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. You can even have them custom made to fit your home should it be an odd size. So, when you are out window shopping, don’t look past the double glazed, look through them!