In most homes, the more windows the better. It allows us to feel connected to the outdoors, enjoy natural light and feel the breeze. But it can really affect the temperature of your home.
Did you know, your home can lose up to 40% of its heating energy and gain up to 87% of its heat through its windows? Improving your window's thermal performance (the heat your home loses or gains) can go a long way towards minimising your home’s heating or cooling needs – and that means reducing your energy consumption and costs.
Double glazing is a smart choice to help improve your home insulation, keeping the heat out during the sweltering summer months while keeping the heat in over chilly winter days and nights. In fact, double glazing can reduce your home’s heat loss or heat gain by almost 30%. But what exactly is double glazing and how does it work? Let’s take a look.
What is double glazing?
When we talk about glazing, we simply mean the windows in your home. While the word itself specifically relates to the glass part of a window, it’s often used to describe the whole of the window, including the frame, window treatments or furnishings. It also includes glass doors and skylights.
When a single pane of glass is used to make a window, it’s known as single glazing. Single glazing isn’t very energy efficient as it tends to leak heat during winter and gain heat during summer.
Double glazing, as the name suggests, is a window that includes two panes of glass sealed into a frame. The panes of glass sit side by side, with a small gap between them, which makes them more efficient at keeping the heat in or out of your home.
How double glazing works
Because the two panes of glass in a double-glazed window are sealed into the same frame, they trap a layer of air between them. It’s this trapped air that acts as an extra barrier between your home and the weather outside – much like a fluffy doona traps warmth. This gap can also be filled with a gas like argon which is denser and more inert than air, making it a better insulator.
While double glazing has long been known to work well in colder climates, its insulating properties can help improve energy efficiency in homes in any climate, especially in heated and air-conditioned homes.
What about window frames?
It’s not just the glass in your windows that impacts your home insulation. If you’re looking to improve the energy efficiency of your home, you should also consider what materials you use for the window frame. The most common options include:
- Aluminium: light and strong, aluminium frames come in a variety of finishes but don’t insulate your home well as the metal conducts heat. However, if you like the look of aluminium and you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can choose ‘thermally broken’ aluminium which better reduces the heat flow through the frame.
- Timber: wood is a naturally good insulator, however, it can swell or shrink with changes in humidity, which can let a draught in. Weather stripping can be used to help keep the frame well-sealed.
- uPVC: also known as rigid PVC, uPVC (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) is a long-lasting, low-maintenance plastic that is widely used overseas and provides excellent thermal performance.
Why you should consider double glazing for your home
Double-glazed windows transmit less energy than single glazing, helping you improve your home insulation and energy efficiency. That means you’ll be able to keep your family more comfortable year-round while reducing the amount you heat and cool your home. The result? Reduced energy consumption and lower energy bills, a win-win!
When you insulate your home with double glazing you are also making your air conditioner more effective, if you are interested in upgrading your airconditioning unit, a reverse cycle air conditioner is a great sustainable option.
There are many other benefits to double glazing, too. Double-glazed windows also help to reduce the level of outside noise that makes its way into your home, provide added security to your home with their solid construction and reduce condensation build-up on your windows (which can promote the growth of nasties like mould and mildew).
It’s no wonder double-glazing has long been common in Europe (with many countries having triple-glazing in their homes) - and is on the rise here in Australia. Be sure to keep an eye on government incentives to help reduce the cost of double glazing - there’s an incentive currently available in Victoria, and no doubt there will be more to come.
Keen to install double glazing? Brighte can not only help customers with the upfront costs of double glaze installation.