When you’re looking to insulate your home and reduce energy bills, double glazing should spring to mind as a worthwhile investment that has long-term potential. Double glazing helps homes cut heat loss, meaning you won’t need to turn up the heating to keep your home warm.
The basic structure of the double glazing unit allows it to retain heat in the property as the two panes of glass can’t feel each other’s temperatures. As they’re separated by a motionless gas – usually Argon, Xenon or Krypton – the heat can’t pass through the spacer.
And the size of the gap in your double glazing will also make the difference in how much you save on your energy bills. When double glazing first came onto the market, units had an air gap of between 4 and 8mm. As the market became more competitive, companies tried to outdo each other by increasing the size of their spacer, hoping to attract more sales.
Now the spacer in double glazing is normally between 20 and 28mm and this has proven to be the optimum size. Any bigger and the unit doesn’t seem to increase in efficiency.
What does increase double glazing’s efficiency is a relatively new glass known as Planitherm. Planitherm costs around the same as normal glass but has better properties to retain heat in the home.
For those who live in Conservation Areas or World Heritage Sites, you may think you can’t use insulation techniques to reduce your energy bills. But in fact, although double glazing is prohibited in these areas, secondary glazing can be installed. The recommended air gap for secondary glazing is 20mm to retain heat and heighten efficiency in the windows.
So when you’re considering double glazing as potential insulation, ensure you look at the air gap your unit will have, as it’s crucial to the energy efficiency of your home.