When designing your new home, the most important criteria to meet are usually design, efficiency and cost, writes Chris Godden, owner and Managing Director of Doberman Windows and Doors.
The same applies for an extension, renovation or refurbishment. We all want the best quality for the best price. This is particularly important when considering what windows and doors to install. The windows of your home have a huge impact on the aesthetic and if not invested in can be a huge energy drain – costing you more money in the long run. Choosing the right window glazing is a part of this decision process. Here’s how to pick the right glaze for your home.
Single glazing was once the standard on all homes and commercial buildings. This is why most homes that are more than 10 years old will have single glazing. As technology has advanced we’ve come to understand that a single pane of plain glass is a huge energy drain. Meaning heat escapes in winter and causes your heating bill to go through the roof. Today, single glazing has improved greatly, with glass now available in a variety of thicknesses and shades. This means single glazing is now more effective at slowing the rate heat enters and escapes through the glass, making climate control in the home easier.
Single glazing is the most cost-effective glazing option available. It’s generally most effective in temperate climates with minimal variation between summer and winter, and minimal extreme temperatures.
You might be thinking to yourself that you don’t need double glazing because you don’t live in a cold climate, right? Wrong. Glass is a very poor insulator, meaning hot and cold air can easily pass through. So even the slightest difference in temperature, from the inside of your home to the outside, can cause heat to pass through the glass.
Double glazing works by combining two panes of glass with an air gap between. This helps to prevent airflow through the glass, and regulates the temperature inside. In the summer months double glazing prevents the hot midday air from entering into your air-conditioned home. In the cooler months it reflects the hot air back into your home, so your heating is cheaper and more efficient. Double glazing, while costing more up front, will save you a huge amount on heating and cooling costs for years to come.
Just like double glazing thermal glazing has, for its entire existence, been considered only suitable and effective in cold environments. This is of course not the case. Thermal glazing is made with Smart glass, specially designed Viridian Glass that has a transparent coating, which acts as a barrier preventing heat from radiating through the glass.
Thermal glazing can be used in a single-glazing unit as a cost effective, energy efficient alternative to double glazing. In a single-glazing unit thermal glazing can offer up to 39% improved insulation than standard single glazing. When used in a double-glazing unit, it increases insulation by a staggering 68%.
Which is right for your budget?
Thermal glazing demands a greater initial investment than standard glazing. If your budget allows it, thermal glazing will reduce your energy bills. But if you can’t afford it, there are alternatives. A good way to ensure you’re confident in your decision is to work out your current heating and cooling costs. Then reduce the total by the appropriate percentage as indicated above (39% for single thermal glazing and 68% for double thermal glazing). Calculate how much money you would save to work out the time it would take to pay off your investment.