Modern windows are typically created with double glazing, which is made using two panes of glass in a uPVC, timber, or aluminium frame separated by an air gap that can be filled with insulating gas in some cases. Double glazed windows provide a variety of benefits for the home, offering improved insulation over single-pane windows, and more protection against breaks and cracks.
How Does Double Glazing Work to Keep Your Home Warm?
Double glazed windows are excellent for providing higher insulation for your home. The typical 6-12mm space between the two panes creates an air gap that slows thermal transfer via conduction.
Many people believe that heat loss is stopped by the heat becoming trapped in the panes, but it is the slowing down of the movement of heat that reduces the loss. As air cannot circulate between the gaps in the panes, air convection is slowed which reduces the transfer of heat, be it the cold weather from the outside or the warmth from the inside.
The air gap creates a sort of thermal cushion between the panes, which acts as a barrier to create a sealed unit. When cold air hits the outside pane of glass, the pane transfers the cold to the air gap which circulates it to prevent the cold air from seeping into your home.
The Effects of Condensation on Windows
Windows steaming up can look unappealing and leave behind streaks and marks when the condensation eventually evaporates. Condensation can also lead to damage to the frames and window sill from water droplets running and gathering. Leaving water to sit increases the risk of mould and limescale build-up, which can seriously impact the effectiveness of frames like timber, aluminium, and uPVC, which are all created to withstand the problems caused by moisture build-up, but water damaged seals in direct sunlight can lead to cracks and crumbling.
Will Condensation Impact Your Health?
In short, yes. Condensation can lead to black mould gathering on the window sill and in gaps in the sealant between the frame and glass. Black mould not only looks unsightly, but can lead to some serious health problems, with symptoms starting off with wheezing, skin rashes, and itchiness.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), black mould can contribute to and worsen asthma, allergic fungal sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, and chronic rhinosinusitis, among many other conditions. Exposure to black mould can impact your respiratory system, which could be extremely dangerous for individuals who already suffer from lung and respiratory problems. Signs of black mould on your windows will look like black specs around the frame and window sills and a damp or musty smell around the area.
How Double Glazing Reduces Condensation
Condensation occurs when moisture-filled air comes into contact with a cold surface, which is why you may notice condensation more in the kitchen after cooking, or in the bathroom after a hot bath or shower. Even our own breath can cause condensation on bedroom windows after a night’s sleep.
Double glazed windows do a few things to reduce the build-up of condensation. As there is a gap between the panes, warm, moist air from indoors will never make direct contact with the pane being exposed to the colder air outside. Most double glazed windows come with a built-in crystallising desiccant that draws moisture out of the space to keep the gap between the panes dry.
Live a Quieter Life with Double Glazing
If you live in a built-up area with a lot of noise from cars, construction sites, or excessive foot traffic, single-pane windows are the worst thing for keeping outdoor noise pollution from invading your home. When sound hits a window it causes the pane to vibrate and pass the noise along to our ears, disrupting the quiet of your home, which can be especially disturbing when you’re trying to sleep or relax.
Double glazed windows not only provide an extra layer of glass to muffle sounds, but the air gap between the panes dampens the effects and prevents most sounds from travelling from one pane to the other. Looking at the numbers, double glazing is capable of reducing the outdoor sound invading your home down to 31 decibels, making the sound not much louder than a whisper and quieter than light rain.
Ask the Experts!
Here at Swish Home Improvements, we are experts when it comes to double glazed windows and the benefits they provide. If you would like to know more about what double glazing can do for your home in terms of insulation, condensation reduction, and soundproofing, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and experienced team today! We’ve been in the home improvement business for a number of years and know everything there is to know about double glazed windows and how they benefit your home!