Double Glazed Windows
Double glazed windows, also known as double paned windows, are designed to eliminate drafts and provide highly effective insulation wherever windows are used. Comprised of 2 layers of glass separated by a spacer, the “dead” space between the panes is usually filled with an inert gas, further enhancing the insulative properties of the window. The spacer, most commonly made of thin gauge steel or aluminum, is of often filled with desiccant to prevent condensation between the panes. Whether placed mainly for the purpose of providing light or to take advantage of a great view, double glazed windows are available to meet any need.
There are many styles of double glazed windows. Sash and casement windows come in a variety of sizes and may be opened to allow air movement. Fixed windows and skylights may not open but provide light and, especially in the case of a picture window, an expansive view. Some double glazed windows are manufactured with decorative frames placed inside the “dead” space, giving the appearance of many panes of glass while retaining the insulative value and being easy to clean. To further enhance the insulative qualities of a window, the glass may be tinted or coated with a film of polyester or metal. In addition to protecting curtains and furniture from sun damage, some coated windows also have a reflective surface on one side.
There are many advantages to double glazed windows. In addition to providing an increased level of insulation from heat or cold, they also insulate against outdoor noise and increase security. The two layers of glass, coupled with a built-in locking mechanism, may provide a strong and effective deterrent against intruders.
Double glazed windows are an investment that will pay for itself through savings in energy costs. The length of time this takes is based on a number of factors. In addition to the climate in which the building is located, the type and cost of energy used to heat and cool in that particular area also needs to be taken into consideration.
In most new construction, double glazed windows are standard. When upgrading from single pane windows in an existing structure, an owner often wants to know whether dual pane windows will increase the actual value of the property. The answer depends on a variety of factors specific to the market conditions where the property is located. Regardless of the effect on property value, double glazed windows increase the comfort and salability of a home.
Installing double glazed windows requires knowledge and skill. Incorrect installation may result in damage to the window or reduced efficiency. For an experienced do-it-yourselfer with the proper tools, installing the windows may be an option. In most instances, to safeguard against problems and protect the investment already made in the windows, a professional should be consulted.
From an environmental standpoint, double glazed windows are a responsible choice. The decreased rate at which heat is lost during cold weather or gained during hot weather allows homes and other buildings to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature while using much less energy than is required with other types of windows, thereby conserving scarce resources.