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A Guide to Double Glazing

Sitting area facing windows

Double glazing is now a staple for most modern homes, and thankfully, long gone are the days where there is only a single pane of glass between us and the outside elements. While many modern builds come complete with double glazing windows already, there are still beautiful old builds that would benefit from this window upgrade, or maybe it is time to get your current double-glazing windows replaced. Whatever the situation, read this guide to double glazing to make sure you make the right choice for your property.

Modern House With Large Windows
Modern House With Large Windows

What is Double Glazing, and How Does it Work?

Double glazing is essentially a window that has two panes of glass. These two sheets of glass create a sealed unit which is then nestled between a frame. In between the two glasses, there is a gap that allows an insulating layer of air, which keeps the warmth in and the cold out.

If you are still sporting single pane windows in an old build, double glazing is definitely worth the investment, as it makes a significant difference to your energy bills.

It is also worth noting that not only does it keep the temperature inside how we like it, but it also helps keep noise in and out too, as the two panes of glass disrupt and absorb soundwaves.

Pick the Right Rating for You

woman sitting near windows
woman sitting near windows

Double glazed windows can each come with a different rating, and the rating you will be looking for will depend on what qualities are most important to you, and your budget. The rating quantifies how effective the window is at preventing heat from escaping, how effective they are at keeping drafts out, and how much sunlight can pass through the glass (for receiving solar heat).

The rating is categorized by the British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC) from G (the least efficient) up to an A+ (the most efficient) on the scale of the Window Energy Rating (WER). Other countries worldwide have a similar rating system.

What Style of Frame to Choose?

Old facade with windows and flowers
Old facade with windows and flowers

There are a few common types of frames to choose from, and all come with their own pros and cons. PVC frames are perhaps the most common frame as they are extremely easy to maintain and require no special treatment. Wooden timber frames are also popular as they have a great natural look to them and are also much better for the environment than PVC frames. However, wooden frames do require much more maintenance and care, which needs to be considered when fitting into your lifestyle. You can also opt for a frame that combines both timber and PVC, or even steel and aluminum – all of which are good long-lasting options.

What Downsides Can Double Glazing Bring?

While it is clear there are plenty of benefits when opting for double glazing, everything has its negatives. Double glazing is more expensive than single glazed windows, which will probably come as no surprise. However, it is best to see them as an investment, especially as you will save significant amounts of money on your electricity and heating bills. They can also be extremely difficult to fix if there is a problem, or impossible, such as a build-up of condensation, where you will have to replace the whole window.


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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