Double glazed windows are an excellent way to maintain the temperature and keep your home more comfortable. They're also a great investment because they help reduce noise and energy loss, especially in cold climates. Double glazing window systems come with many different options including low-emissivity glass, argon gas, or spacer bars.
In this article, we'll take a look at the different types of double glazing window systems available, and why replacing your old windows with double glazed models is an excellent idea. Let's dive deep into this topic.
What a double glazed window constitutes
Double glazing is an effective solution for insulation and noise reduction. Some may even have a Low-E coating that reduces heat loss during the winter months. Let's take a look at the different types of double glazing window systems available, and why replacing your old windows with double glazed models is an excellent idea.
There are four types of double glazing window systems available – aluminum or vinyl frame construction with insulated glass units (IGUs), IGUs only, metal-clad wood frames with IGUs, and metal-clad wood frames without IGUs. The first three types have a spacer frame to separate the two panes of glass. The last type does not have a spacer frame and is often used in new construction.
The aluminum or vinyl frame construction with insulated glass units (IGUs) is often referred to as double-glazed windows or an insulated window unit (IWU). This method uses two panes of glass separated by a sealed insulating air space between an interior and exterior setting. Once assembled, the sealing compound is injected into the chamber, and then injected air (and sometimes nitrogen gas) is blown in at high pressure to expand the mixture for final installation between the jamb liners of the frame.
This method seals and insulates the window and allows for easy installation and removal without damaging the window unit. The interior of the aluminum frame has a dry glaze that is meant to seal any potential leaks in between the glass or gas fill areas. The exterior of this type of double glazing unit has a protective coating that resists corrosion, moisture, heat buildup, and ultraviolet (UV) light penetration while allowing maximum visibility from inside your home. Metal clad wood frames with IGUs often have aluminum cladding on the outside instead of vinyl. This option helps protect against any issues with high humidity or condensation on colder days where moisture can cause damage to these windows over time.
Insulated glass units only use two panes of glass with an inert gas (argon or krypton) between the panes. Because there isn't any kind of spacer between these panes, this window type does require special installation methods for sealing and insulating purposes. This is why they are often referred to as double-glazed windows or an IWU (insulated window unit).
Installing double glazed windows
When it comes to double glazed windows installation, you'll want a professional to take care of this job unless you have some experience doing DIY projects around your house. Installing these kinds of windows can be time-consuming and even dangerous if there isn't proper training involved for how to handle insulated glass (IGUs). Installing IGUs is a delicate process and can require special tools, handling, and care.
If you live in an old home where the windows won't support new double-glazed windows, sometimes it's more cost-effective to replace your existing windows with IGUs (double-glazed windows or IWU). These types of window systems don't require any kind of frame support like older window frames might (here’s more information about how to frame a window correctly). If you're interested in this option for your home, be sure to discuss the pros and cons of replacing versus installing new IGUs with a professional installer.
Framing a window for a double-glazed unit is a bit more complicated than framing a regular window. Double glazing also requires thicker glass and special installation methods, so be sure to hire an experienced contractor for this job.
Some windows, especially older ones or those that are out of square or bowed, might not be able to support the installation of a double glazed window. If this is the case, you'll want to consult with a professional contractor on whether it's better to install IGUs only or completely replace your existing windows with new double glazed units.
A potential drawback of installing double-glazed windows is they can have more condensation issues than single-glazed windows. Make sure you're aware of any condensation issues with these kinds of windows before committing to having them installed in your home.
Different types of insulation are used for both single-glazing and for glass systems using IGUs. The following are some common examples:
- Organic glass wool or rock wool is used for traditional single glazing
- Silicone-based formulas are often used between panes of triple-pane windows.
- Polyurethane foam is usually added to the spacer bars in IWUs (insulated window units) which helps reduce condensation and improve energy efficiency.
- Vapor barriers can also be used with IGUs to prevent moisture from seeping into your home during the winter months.
It's important to make sure you pick the right kind of vapor barrier formula though as some types may not allow enough moisture release for proper indoor ventilation. This will cause high humidity levels indoors, mold growth, and issues with condensation on cold days.
Double Glazed Windows – FAQ
What's the difference between window glazing putty vs caulk?
When it comes to window glazing putty vs caulk, what you'll find is that they both serve the same function, that being to seal a window in place. However, when it comes to caulking vs putty for windows, there are some major differences between the two materials.
The biggest difference you'll find when comparing caulking vs putty for windows has to do with how each material cures and adheres to a surface. When you apply a typical window glazing compound in your home, it will contain a drying agent in its chemical composition that causes it to harden into place after just a couple of hours. On the other hand, caulk takes anywhere from 24-72 hours to cure on its own before environmental factors begin to affect it at all.
Are double pane windows better than single-paned?
When it comes down to double vs single glazed windows, most people will find that both panes offer their own set of pros and cons. The big thing you'll want to keep in mind when making this decision has to do with the type of energy efficiency your home is currently experiencing. If you're looking at replacement windows, then there's a good chance that they come with dual pane glass already installed.
Final thoughts on double glazed windows
In conclusion, double-glazed windows add a layer of strength and insulation to your home. Understanding the pros and cons that these will bring to your home is crucial before making any decision.
We hope that the above content has helped you to get to know more about the topic in order to reach this right decision.