Double glazing is the use of two separate glass panes fitted so as to create a sealed empty space between them. This is most typically found in windows, however doors featuring glass sections employ double glazing as well. The thin gap between panes is either filled with normal dry air or argon gas, which is less conductive than air meaning it insulates better.  Common in many parts of the world, double glazing improves not just thermal insulation, but also acoustic insulation and security. Neuffer offers a range of both windows and doors which all feature double glazing standard. 

The Advantages of Double Glazed Windows

Multiple glazing serves a range of purposes in any home and can be customised to excel at one or several of them at once. These include: 

  • Sound reduction
  • Thermal insulation
  • Burglary protection
  • Privacy
  • Shade from the sun

The two pane design of double glazing, whether sash, casement or in a door, creates the opportunity to fill the space between panes with a noble gas. Argon is the most commonly found and cost effective, being far less conductive than air. That means energy has more difficulty passing through it leading to higher insulation. This includes both thermal energy (heat) and acoustic energy (noise). Krypton is also used but while its performance is indeed better than argon, is not worth the added initial expense outweighs any benefits in terms of cost efficiency.

Different Types of Glazing for different Purposes

It is also possible to manufacture double-glazed windows using laminated safety glass with integrated tear-resistant foils. These foils provide superb security as the foil keeps the broken glass in place, ensuring the entire window retains its structural integrity against further forced entry attempts. Another glazing option is tempered glass. This type of glazing might not be the perfect choice when burglary protection is the main focus, as it does not feature tear-resistant foil. Tempered glazing, however, shatters into tiny blunt pieces when broken, preventing the creation of dangerous shards of broken glass. Thus, this type of glass is a safety measure, invaluable for any household with children though does not improve security. 

In addition to safety and security, special privacy glazing such as frosted glass is available. This offers visual privacy to areas like windows, side lights by doors and the like. Being translucent, it allows natural light in while not allowing outsiders to see inside. 

Double Glazed Windows and Heat Transmittance

Perhaps the most important properties of modern windows with double-glazing are their thermal insulation abilities. The gas infill between individual panes does not only protect from noise, it can also decrease the heat transfer. A combination of panes in differing thicknesses as well as heavy gas infills creates excellent energy efficiency. Cold air from the outside is stopped, reliably keeping heat on the inside of the house. The results are double-glazed windows with outstanding U-values.

The Uw-value - also known as heat transfer coefficient - measures the amount of heat energy that escapes through one square meter of a double-glazed window in one second. The smaller the U-value, the better the thermal insulation.

The Uw-value measures the entire window, both glazing and frame and is composed of the Uf-value (frame) and Ug-value (glass). Choosing an energy efficient frame is also important in addition to the glass. uPVC typically offers the best energy performance followed by aluminium clad uPVC and timber.

Uw-values reaching 0.80 W/(m²K) or less even meet the passive house standard. In the long term, efficiency windows will pay for themselves, saving you money on energy bills every month over the lifetime of the window. Since the glass panes are the largest surfaces on any window, attention should be paid to the details of their construction and the overall Uw-value.

The Technology behind Double Glazed Windows

Although triple-glazed windows ensure the best possible insulation, double-glazing has several advantages in terms of the installation procedure. For one, thinner walls require frames with smaller installation depths. Since double-glazed windows typically require less space, they are ideally suited for such situations which is often the case for renovations. Smaller window frames also reduce costs, as less material is used in the construction of double-glazed window models than triple.

Further, it is of importance to consider the frame itself as well as the surrounding masonry.  Neuffer offers uPVC and timber, as well as aluminium clad versions of each. Should you require larger frames, make triple-glazing models the preferable choice. Likewise, the U-value of frame and casement should match that of the surrounding wall. Even the most advanced windows cannot reliably prevent heat loss if the masonry surrounding them is poorly insulated.

The Benefits of Double Glazed Windows

In order to provide fitted window products for any wall opening, double-glazed windows are available in almost every conceivable size, just like their single and triple-glazed counterparts. Frames and casements can also be customised in size and shape to fit even any installation situation.

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