If you live somewhere with really cold winters, your home will probably be fitted with double glazed windows. Instead of a single pane of glass, double glazed windows are made of two panes of glass in a sealed unit, with the space in between filled with an inert gas. They are great for keeping you toasty and warm inside during the freezing cold months, since they provide nearly double the insulation of single glazed windows. But as with anything in life, they have both advantages and disadvantages. Generally the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, but here are some of the pros and cons of double glazed windows so you can judge for yourself.
Energy savings – They save energy, and therefore your energy bills will be smaller. Because they insulate your home so well, it will require less energy to heat or cool your home.
Sound insulation – They offer an increased amount of sound insulation, because they are thicker, and they are sealed tightly in their frames. Therefore you will hear less noise from outside, or at least have some noise attenuation.
Increased security – They offer greater security. For the same reasons as the point above, they are tougher to break or force open. Since most burglars gain access to your house through windows, double glazed windows can act as a deterrent.
Higher property value – Double glazed windows increase the value of your property. Having them installed is a definite selling point, and will be an attractive feature for prospective buyers.
More eco-friendly – In the face of climate change, it is everyone’s responsibility to lower their carbon footprint. Better insulation leads to energy savings, as described in the first point above. In turn, the energy savings also help contribute to a lower usage of energy generation materials, eg. coal, which indirectly produces fewer emissions of greenhouse gases over time. Even if you don’t agree with climate change, at least you would agree that it’s bad to be wasteful.
Higher cost – Unfortunately the benefits of double glazed windows come at a considerable cost. They are much more expensive than regular windows, and will require quite a large upfront investment to install. It’s worth it in the long run, after you have absorbed the immediate financial pain.
Difficult to repair – Since they come as sealed units, they become less efficient when their seals deteriorate. Broken seals can allow moisture to enter between the panes, which can cause condensation. It is more common, and often easier, to replace the unit with a new one, rather than to repair it.
Instant greenhouse – Double glazed windows can trap heat inside your home. This is fine in winter, but unbearable in summer. A reflective coating on the outside can reduce this problem, but at additional cost.
Doesn’t complement older homes – The biggest aesthetic drawback to double glazed windows is that they look very modern, and will look quite awkward on an old home. Some companies can retrofit older window frames with double glazed windows, so there may be an alternative to having an architectural eyesore.
This article is a contribution of Apex Window Werks, a home window and door repair & replacement company which has more than 8 experience behind their belt. Visit their Service Areas page to wind window repair near you, feel free to leave a message or give a call.