Windows usually have multiple glazing options and the most commonly used are the single and double glazed windows. Homeowners install these based on their personal preferences. Energy efficiency is also a factor. Single paned windows allow for easy heat losses and are poor insulators. You can either go for secondary glazing or replace the single paned window with a double-glazed window.
House owners have two options. One is to remove existing windows and replace them with double-glazed windows. This may be expensive. In cases of period buildings, it is not a practical idea. In these instances, a secondary glazing installed by a secondary glazing supplier is the best compromise. In pre-existing installations, it calls for skills and expertise on the part of the supplier of secondary glazing to provide a perfect match, not only technically but also from the aesthetics point of view. This becomes even more important in conservation buildings. Pick a secondary glazing after due evaluation of capabilities of suppliers.
Customization Is Key to Retrofits
Where secondary glazing must be installed along with existing ones, it calls for expertise on the part of the supplier. Customization is the key. The new installation should match seamlessly with the existing one and fit in seamlessly with the building face to be “nearly” invisible. Precise measurements and manufacturing to close tolerances is necessary to achieve the aesthetic and functional goals. Plain glass is less effective and may be risky too. The right supplier will use only thermally toughened glass fitted in precisely crafted frames with durable rubber weather sealing to provide acoustic and thermal insulation. Insist on frames that are robust with two locking points to provide a measure of security. The spring loaded locks should automatically fasten when windows are closed.
- Placement of the secondary glazing is important to provide the perfect air gap that acts as acoustic and thermal barrier.
- Thickness of glass used is also important and the recommended thickness is 6.4 mm laminated glass conforming to BS EN 12150.
- Design of aluminum frame and sliding inserts is another important consideration.
- A qualified secondary glazing installation expert will use sliding inserts that interlock to prevent draughts and architectural grade aluminum in a slim profile so as not to affect the aesthetics and character of the property.
- If better insulation is required, then the secondary glazing may be gas-filled double-paned type for even better thermal and acoustic properties.
- Weight of the entire assembly is another consideration since older listed buildings and their ability to handle the extra weight also needs to be factored in, an area that specialized secondary glazing suppliers are aware of.
- Fitting method is another area where expert secondary glazing applicators excel. The assembly is usually fitted on the inside to leave exteriors unaltered for conservation buildings also ensuring that the view through the windows is not affected.
Is It Worth It?
- There is no doubt that secondary glazing saves money in the long run and pays back for itself. It is preferable to removing existing windows and replacing with double glazing window frames. Double glazing is more expensive.
- This type of installation can reduce energy bills by about 60% since it has insulation properties.
- One of the greatest benefits is that it is a perfect acoustic barrier and considerably reduces noise that can be a constant source of annoyance especially for those living in high traffic areas. It outperforms double-glazed windows.
Just make sure you pick the right secondary glazing supplier who takes care of design, use of materials, and installation.