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Is double-glazing worth the cost?

With all the hype surrounding green energy and efficiency it is difficult to decide what is the right choice for your home, especially with contractors quoting extortionate amounts of money for certain jobs. Most of us follow the logic that heat rises and so loft insulation is the first important step in insulating your property. But what is next? Do you double-glaze your windows and is it worth double-glazing? This blog looks into the benefits of double-glazing your home and possible alternatives that may be just as affective.

Double glazing all the windows in your home can be a huge job and an expensive investment but the savings you may make in the long term may make it worth it. Lets take a look.

Heat lost through windows:

Research has proven that up to 18% of heat is lost through the windows. This means if you have single glazed windows your bills will cost more than they need too, you will be damaging the environment more than necessary and you will have to cope with additional problems such as condensation in your home and noise from outside.

What are double-glazed windows?

Double-glazed windows are basically two panes of glass place together with a vacuum in between. The glass itself helps to insulate your home, but the key is the trapped air because air temperature cannot penetrate a vacuum so bounces back. This means the heat is kept in your home in winter and the heat is kept out of your home in summer. Sometimes the vacuum can be filled with argon or nitrogen. These slow moving gases are so dense that they will reduce the transfer of heat out of your home even further. You can also choose to place a piece of laminate between the two panes of glass to help increase the strength and safety of your windows. This thin membrane also cuts down any UV radiation coming through your windows.

Why double glaze?

If you only have single glazed windows you are going to pay more to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, especially in winter. Single glazed windows do not contain heat very well and the single glass panel transfers heat very easily from the outside to the inside of your home.

Additional benefits:

Double-glazing not only helps with insulation but can help reduce damp and condensation in your home. When you only have a single glazed window, the outside air is so different to the air temperature in your home that water deposits on the coldest object, usually the window. When you have a double glazed window, the internal pane of glass is at a notch closer to the temperature in the room, which reduces the chances of the internal air getting dew-y.

Cost of double-glazing:

The cost of double-glazing varies depending on the size of your windows and glass doors and how many you have in your home. A window of the size 60 x 90 cm can start at £250 and up with glass doors costing around £900. You need to be prepared to spend upwards of £2,500 on your windows. It is certainly an investment and your double-glazing may take you a while to pay back. However your property will be warmer and quieter and the price of your property will increase sometimes as much as the initial investment.

Double Glazing Standards

There is a standard called a thermal efficiency rating that is used on boilers and other domestic appliances in the home. The rate runs from A being highly efficient, down to G. It is worth finding out what the rating is for your double-glazing if you wish to install new windows.

Are there any alternatives to double-glazing?

There are some alternative options to installed double-glazing in your home. This information is especially useful to those with traditional glazing on their home that they will to retain. They are also ideal for those on a budget.

  • Heat Saver Shades – these blinds attach to your windows with Velcro and can help with draughts enormously. They are however a little tricky to deal with but they do roll up and down allowing you to be able to see out of your lovely windows.
  • Thermal lined and interlined curtains – These curtains have a thick cotton layer similar in texture to cotton wool, that lies between the fabric and back lining.
  • Insulating shutters: These shutters, which are installed on the internal side of your windows, are considered a highly efficient way of keeping the cold air out and the warm air in.

It seems very clear that some kind of double-glazing of sorts is vital to your home and it’s efficiency. What types of glazing have you opted for and how has it affected your home? Did you find a more lucrative alternative that we haven’t mentioned above? Let us know in the comments box below.

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