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How Do Double Glazed Windows Save Energy?

Graeme Clarke November 19, 2019 Double Glazing

It’s no secret that energy costs can eat away at your household budget. High energy usage also puts unnecessary pressure on the environment, something we are all trying to stop.

But – did you realise having single glazed windows is a major cause of heat loss and wasted energy?


It’s true. A single pane of glass can lose nearly ten times the amount of heat you’d lose through a well-insulated wall.


That’s a fact that is too significant to ignore.


The good news is, addressing this problem is easier than most people assume. By installing double glazed windows, you can save energy. In fact, as we’ll demonstrate, in the colder months when most households use the most energy, you could shrink your energy bill to a fraction of what you’re paying now.


Here's what you'll learn about:

1. How Do Double Pane Windows Save Energy?

2. How Do Double Glazed Windows Reduce Heat Loss?

3. How Much Energy Does Double Glazing Save?

4. What Types of Windows Are the Most Energy-Efficient

5. What Factors Impact the Thermal Performance of Double Glazed Windows?

6. How Effective Is Double Glazing Technology Today?


So, exactly how do double glazed windows save energy?


When you look at how air and thermal energy move through your windows, you’ll see that double glazed window installation isn’t just something that will make your home more comfortable. It can drastically reduce heat loss and unwanted heat gain, making your home more energy-efficient and saving you money.


Lower energy bills. More sustainable living. And, the comfort and peace of mind of a well-insulated home. Let’s take a look at what makes a window energy efficient.



1. How Do Double Pane Windows Save Energy?


Double pane windows save energy by slowing down and reducing the transfer of heat energy into and out of your property. As a result, you experience better heat retention in the winter and you can keep your home cooler in the summer. This means you won’t have to rely as much on your property’s heating and cooling system.


This can make a huge difference when it comes to saving energy all year round. A lot of people think that double glazing is only for cool climates, but that’s not true.


In a building with single glazed windows, you can lose up to 40 percent of your home’s heat energy through the windows in the winter. Also, up to 87 percent of unwanted heat gain comes in through the windows in the summer. By boosting your windows’ thermal performance, you’ll be able to preserve your home’s internal temperature and lower your energy costs for every month of the year.



2. How Do Double Glazed Windows Reduce Heat Loss?


With double glazed window installation, your single pane of glass is replaced with an insulated glass unit, also known as an IGU. An IGU consists of two panes of glass, which are hermetically sealed, and an air gap. Because of the two glass layers and the air space, thermal energy can’t move as freely through your windows as it can across single glazing.


Normally, heat can escape by transfer through air (convection), by transfer through the glass (conduction), and by radiating off of the glass.


With an IGU, thermal energy now has to move through two panes of glass and the air space. An IGU’s sealed air gap inhibits thermal transfer because the air gap is too small to allow for proper conduction and the air itself slows down the movement of heat energy. Simply by having that air space, you can drastically reduce heat transfer.


The two panes of glass will conduct less heat energy than a single pane because the heat has to go through one pane of glass and the air space to even reach the second pane. With an IGU, you’ll also have less thermal radiation, which means less heat energy is going to radiate from your glass. So, instead of your glass absorbing warmth and radiating it outside, more of your heat energy stays inside.


It’s possible to get even greater thermal performance out of your double glazed windows by inserting argon gas into the air space. Argon will slow down the movement of heat even more, reducing heat loss even further.



3. How Much Energy Does Double Glazing Save?


Double glazing can shrink your energy bill substantially, especially in the winter when energy usage tends to be high. One Thermawood client was able to reduce his energy usage by almost two-thirds for May through August, simply be installing double glazed windows and updating his home’s appliances. He went from using 974.78 kWh of energy to 373.2 kWh right after having double glazing installed.




So, how much does double glazing save you? The reality is, when you cut your household energy consumption by 25 or 30 percent, let alone by nearly 70 percent like one of our clients was able to do, you’ll save hundreds each year with lower energy bills. This means you’ll save much of what you spend on double glazing installation after just a few years of use.


Not only this, but you’ll be lowering greenhouse gas emissions by using less energy and you’ll increase the value of your property – today, homeowners prefer the energy efficiency and comfort that double glazed windows provide.



4. What Type of Windows Are the Most Energy-Efficient?


For most people, double glazed windows are the most energy efficient choice. Triple glazed windows do offer an increase in thermal performance but the extra expense of a third pane of glass isn’t usually worthwhile unless you live in an extreme climate. A secondary glaze, which involves attaching a second pane of glass to your existing window, doesn’t offer the same thermal benefits as double glazing.


Double glazed windows are an excellent value for Australian households as you’ll be able to use less energy, lower your heating and cooling costs, and enjoy a quieter, more comfortable home. With Thermawood’s patented Retrofit Double Glazing system, you can spend even less and still enjoy the superior thermal performance.


Our double glazing system for timber windows doesn’t involve ripping out your current window and installing a whole new window. Instead, we use purpose-designed tooling to create a 15-degree slope within your existing wooden windows. Then the IGU is installed, which includes a special drainage system that maximises evaporation, keeping your timber joinery and windows moisture-free and helping them to last longer than other double glazed windows. Less moisture also ensures better indoor air quality and a healthier living environment.


This whole process costs about one-third of the price of installing new double glazed windows. As a result, with the Thermawood Retrofit Double Glazing System, you’ll save during the installation process and you’ll enjoy lowered energy costs in the long-term.



5. What Factors Impact the Thermal Performance of Double Glazed Windows?


You can enhance your double glazed windows’ thermal performance by using certain types of window technology in your IGU.


Both the glass thickness and the type of glass can influence how well your windows reduce heat loss and unwanted heat gain. You’ll see better insulation properties with:

  • Asymmetrical glass – when you have two different glass thicknesses within one IGU, aa you’ll experience better Noise insulation
  • Special types of glass – laminated glass, which consists of two layers of glass and a aa vinyl interlayer, and low-emissivity glass, which is glass with a transparent coating aaathat reflects heat energy, will make your windows, even more, energy-efficient


The air space also impacts how effectively your double glazing will save heat energy. You’ll see a performance boost by:

  • Using wider air space within the IGU, although usually up to a 10mm air space is
    aa enough
  • Inserting argon gas in the air space to slow down the movement of heat even more


Other factors such as the type of joinery and how well your windows are sealed from draughts will also impact thermal performance.


If you have timber windows already, there’s no reason to replace them with a different material. Timber is a natural insulator and can help to trap heat energy.


As part of the Thermawood Retrofit Double Glazing System, we’ll make sure your windows move properly and that there aren’t any gaps around your sashes. We also install acoustic seals during the process, which helps to reduce both noise and draughts.



6. How Effective Is Double Glazing Technology Today?


Thanks to advancements in window technology over the past decade, double glazing is incredibly effective, and more affordable. It can help to save energy, lower your carbon footprint, and make your home more comfortable. Plus, double glazing will reduce noise and make your home a more comfortable, enjoyable place to be.


With Thermawood’s Retrofit Double Glazing system, you can have your existing timber windows double glazed without having to pay the high costs associated with installing new windows. Not only that, but the Thermawood process revolves around patented technology to ensure superior drainage and longer-lasting windows. After all, isn’t that what installing double glazed windows is all about? Substantial benefits, superior performance, and genuine sustainability.


For double glazing advice, or to learn more about how double glazed windows save energy, contact the professionals at Thermawood today.



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