Can additional glazing improve your homes energy efficiency?
If you’re looking for a way to renovate your home and improve the quality of your living space, then secondary glazing is an excellent option. You’ll receive multiple benefits such as added warmth, a higher level of security, and noise pollution from outside will become a thing of the past.
In fact, it has been demonstrated that by installing secondary glazing, exterior sound is drowned out by a whopping 70%! You’ll also notice a drop in your energy bills as they provide next-level insulation, so heat finds it very difficult to escape due to the layer of air created between the panes.
What’s more, secondary glazing is much more affordable than you might think, is fast and easy to install and is created from aluminium which will last for many years to come.
As the name suggests, it is creating a second window not connected to the single glazed unit you currently have. It is installed on the inside pane and it is sealed into place. This forms a barrier of still air between the two panes and provides much better insulation.
When you are renovating your property and don’t want to have to pay out thousands of pounds for expensive double glazing throughout the property, you can simply choose to have secondary glazing instead.
Secondary windows can be installed on all types of window, even on period and grade listed properties, including vertical and horizontal sliding windows, as well as top, side and double side hung windows.
You can fit it yourself with minimal effort, but we recommend having the experts fit your secondary glazing to make sure you are receiving the maximum levels of thermal and sound insulation.
Single glazed windows are some of the poorest insulators around when it comes to heat loss on a home. The cold winter air outside meets only a few millimetres away from your warmed inside air and heat naturally flows from hot to cold, leaving the room cool as the heat energy is transferred out of the property by the thin glass.
What secondary glazing does is quite clever. It’s simple yet highly effective. By adding another single glazed pane on the inside of the existing window it effectively creates a barrier of air. As the air is not moving, it makes the transfer from hot to cold less effective, so the cold air stays on the outside of your home, and the hot air remains inside.
If you’ve hired a team of installers to fit your secondary glazing, they will ensure the window is fitted optimally in relation to your windowsill and existing pane. If you’re doing it yourself, for maximum efficiency you should aim for a gap of no more than 10cm from pane to pane for the best thermal insulation.
Keeping the cold out is one benefit, but keeping sound out is another! If you live on a busy road, near a school, or even on a flight path for airplanes, then you will know all too well how annoying sound transfer into your property can be.
When you install secondary glazing, that same layer of non-moving air trapped between the panes has the same insulating effects from sound. Sound needs air to travel, and when you have that barrier between the glass layers, it effectively prevents sounds from passing through so easily.
You should aim for around 10mm of glass in total, so if your existing window is only 3mm thick, then you should opt for 7mm glass on your secondary glazing. The thickness of the glass has the ability to dramatically change how sound travels, and the frequency and wavelength of the external sound is changes in such a way as to provide a dampening effect.
As the new windows shouldn’t interfere with the operation of existing glazing, most customers choose to opt for a sliding unit which can be opened and closed with ease. You might opt for horizontal sliders so you can have full access to the existing single glazed window, or a vertical slide could be the best solution for a double hung style window.
Some other options available to homeowners are vertical sliders which can tilt backwards to allow a decent airflow, hinged units that can be swung open, fixed units that cannot be opened, or lift out units too.
Double glazing and secondary glazing do share some characteristics, however, secondary glazing will offer homeowners a higher level of sound insulation from outside noise. This is because the air pocket in a double-glazed unit is only around 5-6cm, whereas secondary glazing is approximately 10cm, offering significantly greater acoustic dampening.
When it comes to thermal insulation, double glazing performs better than secondary glazing due to the fact it is a self-contained unit specifically designed for this purpose. Secondary glazing can only mimic the design of a double-glazed window but not actually provide those heightened levels of heat insulation.
If you are in a conservation area or own a listed building, then secondary is likely to be the only option you have to experience both heat loss reduction and sound reduction too.
Whichever option you choose, be sure to get a few different quotes first as it may be less than you imagined to secondary glaze an entire property depending on the choice of materials. Each window can have a bespoke glazing option, so no matter what type of windows you have on the property, there’s always a suitable secondary glazing option available.
Are you currently renovating a property and considering secondary glazing as a viable option to keep heat in and sound out? Refresh Renovations has many years of experience in dealing with secondary, double and triple glazing options, and we’d love you to get in touch and find out how we can help you!
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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.