What are the differences between double vs single glazed windows?
As homeowners, business owners, or renovators, you might be looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home or building. You don’t need to look too far for the solution to your problems! Did you know that the windows you have installed are a significant factor in the energy efficiency of any structure? Therefore, you have to weigh your window options carefully. When considering double vs single glazed windows, here are some key differences between these two types of windows to help you make your decision.
The first difference is how each window type is manufactured. With single-glazed windows, it is constructed with a single pane of glass. This pane ranges from a 3mm to 10mm thickness, which you can imagine doesn’t provide much of a barrier from the room’s interior to the outside environment.
Additionally, Single-glazed windows aren’t usually manufactured for the exterior walls of modern homes and buildings anymore. Instead, most of the demand for this product comes from stained glass, picture glass, greenhouses, and furniture. Some places even used single-glazed windows for interior design elements such as glass partitions or windowed doors.
On the other hand, double-glazed windows are made by using two panes of glass as opposed to just one. Between the glass is a vacuum layer. The vacuum layer serves as a barrier between the two panes. This layer is filled with a dense gas called Argon. While the glass material itself is similar to the glass panes used in single-glazed windows, there are options to have the glass laminated or UV tinted.
With single-glazed windows, they use a thin pane of glass — the thickest ones being only 10mm — which makes it an inadequate barrier for many reasons. One on hand, this window offers only a thin layer of protection against heat, and as a result, it gives poor insulation. These windows can be up to twenty times less efficient than other insulation options for temperature loss or storage.
The cooling from your air conditioning units could easily be lost as the heat transfers quickly inside the room. Adding to poor insulation, these single-glazed window panes can also easily break and crack. These cracks add to the temperature leakage.
Single-glazed windows also offer little to no sound insulation. Noises from outside your window can easily be heard as if there was no barrier there at all. This can be a nuisance for those with properties near noisy highways or train tracks.
With double-glazed windows, not only do the two panes of glass “double-up” on the insulation that it can give, but the vacuum in between the panes also adds on to give more effective insulation. The added barriers in this window type prevent thermal energy transfer and provide far superior insulation for your building.
This means that your cooling systems (such as your electric fans or A/C units) will be more energy efficient even during warmer seasons. The cool air that they circulate inside your building won’t easily leak out, nor will the room be quickly warmed on sunny days. These windows can reduce heat losses by almost 25%!
These added panes also act as an effective sound barrier. The gas layer is a poor conductor of sound, which is also aided by the two glass panes. This creates three layers to reduce noise. The outside hustle and bustle will be muffled for those inside the building. This is a great feature for any structure and can decrease the discomfort you might feel from too much ambient noise.
Single-glazed windows are extremely easy to break. Anyone can break the single, thin pane of glass with the right tools and force. Glass itself breaks easily due to its highly disordered amorphous structure. In comparison, sturdier materials have an orderly structure.
Due to its fragile nature, the amount of stress it can withstand is small. This means that single-glaze windows offer little to no security for your property. Any person looking to break in can easily break in through your windows in a matter of seconds.
However, with double-glazed windows, their form offers greater strength and durability. Due to the way the panes and gas layer are vacuumed together, it is more difficult to break the glass with one blow. As a result, intruders will have a more challenging time trying to break into your property.
As previously said, these glass panes can also be laminated, which makes the panes able to withstand more stress. In the event that these panes are broken, there is also less risk of glass shards and large pieces of the window pane falling off the frame. This reduces the risk of injury.
Single-glazed windows are much cheaper than the alternatives. Many people who choose to continue using this window for the exterior of their structures are attracted to its low costs. However, using this type of window can end up costing its users more over time. Rooms with single-glazed windows can heat up efficiently, which means that the people inside are likely to crank up their A/C units in response to the heat. This leads to higher electricity bills and reduced energy efficiency.
The cost of buying double-glazed windows will depend on the quality and manufacturer, but most will be prices 25-30% more than single-glazed windows. At first glance, you might think that the initial investment in this type of window costs too much for your project. However, because of its energy efficiency, it can make a significant impact on your electricity bills. You’ll find that regardless of the weather outside, your rooms can stay cool and comfortable. With increased thermal efficiency, there is less need for your A/C to work overtime.
When considering double vs single glazed windows, the bottom line will be one of the biggest factors in making your decision. Though using double-glazed windows can cost you a lot of money at the start, you’ll find that they will eventually pay for themselves with reduced energy costs in the long run. This can make them the superior choice over single-paned windows for your homes, businesses, or renovations.