For a very long time, English homes were horrendously notorious for leaking heat. The wooden frames and single glazing that had been installed decades prior caused homes to struggle to keep the heat in, even though timber is a natural insulator. The problem was that timber deteriorates badly over time, especially in the mild and unpredictable British weather. Water damage is sneaky when it comes to wood and often causes the material to become rotten slowly. The damage is not perceivable before it is beyond a state of repair.
Single glazing was equally a culprit in the poor insulation of British homes. Before the 1970s, single glazing was a mainstay in all of our homes, and it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that double glazing really started to take over. Single glazing is a poor choice all around, from security to noise reduction, but its chief drawback is how poor of an insulator it is. By having one pane of glass in contact with both the warm air inside the home and the cold air outside the home, the pane of glass will struggle to maintain a constant temperature. Cold air coming into contact with the glass will cool it, whilst the warm air from inside will try to warm it up again. The result of this push and pull situation is a surface that promotes internal condensation. Condensation occurs when the warm air from inside comes into contact with the cold window, causing the water vapour in the warm air to rapidly cool, leaving droplets on the window. The condensation then causes even more water damage to the already deteriorating timber frames.
The arrival of double glazing
Luckily, in the 1970s, double glazing and uPVC started to make waves on the market as the next best thing for reducing heat loss in the home. Double glazing opened the door for a thermally efficient nation, which has become increasingly important as we have moved into the second decade of the 20th century, with climate change causing more problems across the world. Furthermore, current world events are causing oil prices to skyrocket, meaning that it is ever more important for us to ensure that we’re spending our energy wisely and using it to full effect. So just how does double glazing reduce heat loss in the home exactly? Here at Double Glazing on the Web, we have the answers!
Double glazing is made from two panes of glass separated by a gap that is often filled with argon gas. The basic rundown of how this wonderful invention helps our homes goes like this:
- Two panes of glass are better than one! For the reasons stated above, single glazed windows struggle to maintain heat insulation, but two can manage it just fine.
- The insulating gap is filled with insulating gas! Argon does not transmit heat well, and therefore, it is difficult for heat energy to pass through it.
- The modern frames perform exceptionally well over a long period of time. Over time, old timber frames suffered from damage, gradually losing their insulating properties. Modern materials don’t suffer from the same degradation.
Two panes of glass
Two panes of glass help to reduce heat loss in homes for two reasons. The exterior pane of glass will be in contact with the cold outdoor air. Depending on the temperature outside, it will be cooled and warmed, but this temperature change won’t affect the interior pane. The interior pane will contact the more constant interior temperatures, keeping the warm air in the home.
The insulating gap
However, the insulating gap is the key player in keeping the home warm. Argon gas fills the gap or a similar insulating agent and separates the two panes of glass. Whilst the exterior glass remains cold and the interior pane remains warm, the insulating gas is unaffected by the opposing temperatures. Heat transfers through objects by the heat energy moving through the particles in the object. In our case, we’re talking about heat conduction. Generally, solid objects, where the molecules are packed tightly together, transfer heat well. Natural metals are the best conductors because they are exceptionally dense. The process is much more complex than how we’re phrasing it, but the molecules are not as densely packed with gas, making it difficult for heat to transfer easily between them. Therefore, with a gap full of insulating gas, the heat does not easily pass from the interior to the exterior.
Modern frame materials
Furthermore, the frames themselves are made from insulating properties too. uPVC, for instance, is an artificial material that has been specifically designed to keep heat in. The thermal insulation properties of uPVC are similar to timber but don’t come with any of the problems of weather degradation. This ensures that they don’t lose their insulating properties over time. Modern timber installations don’t suffer from this problem anymore. Still, the cost of coating them with the resin necessary to keep them from suffering weather damage makes uPVC the more affordable option at initial purchase.
Double Glazing on the Web
Here at Double Glazing on the Web, we want to make sure our customers are experts in all things double glazing. That’s why we run this blog to keep you informed of how double glazing works and its main benefits. Making informed purchases is important to maintaining a happy house, and we want to make sure we provide that. That’s why we compare the most competitive prices from across the industry so that you don’t have to! We’ll find you the best selection of installers for your project and present them to you so you can make the choice that bests suits your needs. Why not do it today if you want to get your comparison started? With our wonderfully easy to use online pricing tool, you can get started on your next home improvement project from the comfort of your own home! Give it a try!