For hundreds of years – ever since window glass was invented, in fact – there was only one type of glazing available for householders and that was single glazing. If it was fitted well and maintained regularly, it didn’t do a bad job. That is until it cracked, or the putty needed replacing, or there was a particularly chilly winter. That’s when the problems began…
If you’re old enough to remember waking up to frost on the inside of the window, you’ll shudder to recall those chilly mornings. This misery was partially solved when double glazing first arrived on this side of the Atlantic during the 1970s. But let’s be honest, this early double glazing didn’t have the best reputation, for a variety of reasons.
Fortunately, those days are now gone. Modern double and triple glazing is solidly constructed, thermally efficient and available in a range of styles and colours to suit any type of property, vastly improving the appearance of your home. Even so, there is still plenty of single glazed windows left in properties across Northern Ireland, and if you still have these it might now be time to consider replacing these with an up-to-date glazing solution.
So let’s have a look at both types to see which might be a better choice for your house if you’re considering new windows as part of your home improvement.
What is single glazing?
A single glazed window is, as the name suggests, one pane of glass that ranges from between 3mm and 10 mm thick. Traditionally it is fitted into a wooden frame and held in place with glazing putty.
What is double-glazing?
As the name suggests, double glazing is made from two panes of glass approximately 4mm thick. The average gap between these two panes of glass is 20 mm, and this sealed unit is filled with argon gas.
How else do these two types of window differ?
As we’ve mentioned, single-glazed windows might keep the wind and rain out, but in most other ways they don’t provide a great barrier to the outdoors. When heating costs are at a premium and we’re all being asked to ‘do our bit’ in the fight against global warming, the single-glazed window isn’t faring very well in the modern era.
Double-glazed windows keep the cold out and the heating in. Their insulation properties out-perform those of single-glazing by a mile, lowering energy bills and providing a noticeably warmer atmosphere inside. Heat loss is kept to a minimum, improving your carbon footprint and increasing energy efficiency.
In days gone by, burglars often targeted houses via single-glazed windows. A quick tap to the corner of the glass with something heavy could break the whole window without creating too much disturbance. Now, thanks to stronger and more durable double-glazing, plus advances in window locking hardware technology, today’s would-be intruder will find it just about impossible to get through a modern window.
Those of us who live on busy roads or along country lanes will have had the experience of single-glazed windows rattling when a large truck or heavily laden tractor passes by. With double-glazing, not only will the windows not rattle, you might also never hear the large vehicle going past. Double-glazing is a much more effective barrier against sound than single-glazing could ever be, and if you’re tired of traffic and other noise from the outside, the dual-glazed option will certainly be a good one.
Style and design
Double-glazing used to come in clunky, ill-fitting units that were always in white uPVC. Now the options are much wider. You can still get uPVC frames, of course, which are much better-looking than their predecessors, and in a range of styles and colours. You might even go for one with a wood-effect finish, mimicking the timber of days gone by. Of course, aluminium double-glazed units are rapidly becoming popular due to their high strength, slim sightlines and up-to-the-minute architectural looks.
So…what’s the better option for my property?
If you have single-glazed windows that are ageing and not doing their job properly, there really is no time like the present to consider investing in double glazing. Here at Turkington Windows, we install double glazing across Belfast and Northern Ireland, along with the Greater Dublin area and counties Louth, Meath and Monaghan. We have more than 40 years of industry experience. We use the most modern materials available, and our market leading double glazing now incorporates a 90% Argon gas fill cavity, Planitherm Total + heat reflective coating and a warm edge spacer bar. These are fitted into our Superior robust multi-chambered reinforced uPVC frame.