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The Glazing Guide: Which Type of Glazing Should I Get?

What type of Glazing do you need? Let’s find out! When ruminating over whether to make a change in your home, it is important to have all the necessary facts at your disposal. Making an informed decision is easier this way. When it comes to deciding whether to have single, double, or triple glazed windows there are a few factors to consider. Let’s have a look into the benefits of each of the glazing types, and the environments, in which, they are most well-suited.

Single Glazing

As the name suggests, Single Glazed windows are constructed using a single pane of glass. The pane of glass will be somewhere between 3mm and 10mm in depth. This type of glazing has been around for hundreds of years!

The Benefits

  • The main benefit of Single Glazing is probably the price. They are substantially cheaper than their double and triple glazed counterparts.
  • Single Glazed units are easy to replace, as they do not contain a gas, they do not suffer from condensation issues in the same way as double and triple glazing.

The Ideal Living Scenario

Single glazed windows suffer from sound-proofing issues, they also aren’t the best when it comes to insulation, solar gain and security. With this in mind, the ideal living scenario for having single glazed windows would be a remote area, with a temperate climate, that is consistent all year round…

The Perfect Environment for Single Glazed Windows: Oahu Island, Hawaii

Which Type of Glazing Should I Get?, Triple Glazing
With its warm-but-not-too-warm summers and temperate winters, Oahu Island, Hawaii, is this writer’s choice for the perfect environment for a house with Single Glazed windows.

Double Glazing

Since double glazing became popular in the 1970s, the revolutionary glass units have saved British homes millions, possibly billions, of pounds on energy bills. Double glazing is made by the combination of two panes of glass separated by either a vacuum, air, argon or krypton.

The Benefits

  • Double Glazing is an effective insulator, by design. As such, they have much lower U-values than Single Glazing. Common U-values for double glazing units are around 1.5-3.5, but it is possible to have a value as low as 1.1. This will contribute to lower energy bills.
  • Another benefit of double glazing is the soundproofing element that comes with it. The soundproofing provided by double glazing depends on two factors: 1) the separation between the panes of glass and 2) whether one pane of glass is thicker than the other. A Double Glazing unit with a larger separation will be more soundproof than one with a lower separation. This, coupled with one pane being thicker than the other, e.g. 1 pane is 6mm and the other 4mm, creates the maximum soundproofing. This makes Double Glazing very versatile.
  • A high solar energy reflected percentage. In contrast with Single Glazing, Double Glazing is able to maintain cooler indoor temperatures in the summer. This will be more comfortable for your home’s inhabitants.

The Ideal Living Scenario

Double glazed windows are expensive to repair. To expand, this is down to the fact that the gas filling the separation can escape and cause the window to condense. However, Double Glazed windows are effective insulators and potent at sound proofing, and are also more valuable than Single Glazing when it comes to security. With all this in mind, the ideal living scenario would be somewhere that can have fluctuations in temperature, perhaps a city or suburb-type location…

The Perfect Environment for Double Glazed Windows: Glasgow, Scotland

what type of glazing should i get?, triple glazing, double glazing
With sometimes Icy cold winters, coupled with decent enough summers, Glasgow is this writer’s choice as the perfect environment for Double glazed windows. The windows insulation, solar gain and soundproofing qualities will all be put to good use here. Fitting, as this glazing type was invented in Scotland!

Triple Glazing

Triple glazing is an insulated glass unit, comprised of three panes of glass. These separated by either a vacuum, air, Argon or Krypton. Benefits include almost all the variables mentioned under double glazing, most of them being to an even higher degree.

The Benefits

  • The degrees will certainly be higher in your home during the winter months. Due to, triple glazed windows being incredibly powerful when it comes to insulation. Some Triple Glazed units have U-values as low as 0.5!
  • A high Solar energy reflected percentage. Thus, keeping your indoors nice and cool in the midst of summertime. The value of this can be upwards of 70%!
  • Talking soundproofing, triple glazing again is a step up from double glazing. This could be viewed as unnecessary, but that depends on how noisy your location is. Either way, sounds from outside will be almost a thing of the past with triple glazing in your windows. This is especially prevalent if the separation between the panes is larger, with a combination of thicknesses e.g. 4mm, 6mm and 8mm.
  • A large benefit of triple glazing is security. Burglars will be unable to breach the near-impenetrable fortress that your home has now become. In all seriousness, it stands to reason that a potential intruder would find it much tougher-going breaking a window that contains three separate panes of glass as opposed to one that only contains one or two.

The Ideal Living Scenario

Triple glazing is cold-ready by design. In milder climates, triple glazing is viewed by some as unnecessary, or, in a word, overkill. It is the most expensive of the three glazing options. But, if your budget allows it, statistically the best. With these things in mind, the ideal living scenario for Triple Glazing would be somewhere that is cold all year round. Where, the units insulating properties can be fully utilised.

The Perfect Environment for Triple Glazed Windows: Reykjavík, Iceland

With temperatures struggling to get into double figures at the best of times, Reykjavík, Iceland, is this writer’s choice as the perfect environment for triple glazed windows. The windows will be effective in maintaining warm indoor temperatures, and at keeping out the cold.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are scenarios where all 3 of the glazing types can in come in both handy, and not so handy. Single glazed windows are cheap, if unspectacular. Double glazing is cost effective, but expensive to fix. Triple glazing has all the best statistics, but is arguably unnecessary. To summarise, your choice of glazing is dependent on a multitude of factors, including: where you live, your areas’ climate and your budget. However, no matter whether you have decided on single, double or triple glazing, make sure you choose the best glass supplier, and the best glass! We hope we have answered the question: “which type of glazing should I get?”, and that you now feel you are informed to the point of deciding. Thank you for reading!

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AUTUMN – GLAZING VIEWING CRITERIA

As we move again towards the colder shorter days, and low light of Autumn we’re reminded of the seasonal glass issues that this time of year can bring for installers. Last Autumn we published some guidelines on external condensation, we hope you found this useful and its posted again here as a reminder.

This year I’d briefly like to look at the effect of the morning and evening sun, its temporary effect on the visuals of installed glass and thus the importance of glass manufacturer, installer and customer all operating to the same standardised inspection criteria.

This really struck me whilst driving home in bright Autumn sun, through a tree lined street last week. I became suddenly aware that the sky was teaming with thousands, millions of particles – it literally looked like the attack of the midgies. Tiny flies, grains of dust, and pollen were shining like millions of little lights in front of me and for a second it was a bit alarming, as if an insects nest had been disturbed and they were swarming all over.

Suddenly the sun went behind a tree and it all disappeared, instantly.  When the bright and direct light disappeared, so did the flies. Or actually they didn’t –  it just dawned on me that they are always there, it’s just only under extreme lighting conditions could they be seen so vividly.

This incident brought to mind the problems that can be associated with glass units, when viewed in extreme light.

It’s the time of year where we are getting a few instances each week where we are being asked for replacements due to marks in cavity, from installations many months previous. The home owner was assumedly happy with their glass and windows for several months, but on certain days, at certain times of year and from certain angles small marks, streaks or other visual effects are apparent.

The Glass & Glazing Federation inspection criteria to which we adhere says of viewing conditions:

 ‘Do so in natural daylight, but not directly towards the sun and with no visible moisture on the surface of the glass’

Ignoring these instructions and viewing in direct sunlight, and especially at an oblique angle to the glass, will almost certainly result in otherwise invisible visual effects being noticeable, such as:

  • A bloom or haze illuminating the cavity (This is the low E surface catching the light)
  • Milky or dusty appearance
  • The accentuation of small scratches and particles

Just a reminder therefore to encourage all staff and customers to be aware of and to follow these instructions when considering whether a unit should be replaced not. We often offer site visits but are told only to come at certain times of the day when the sun is round – this should always ring alarm bells.

  • View in daylight but not direct sunlight
  • View at right-angles to the glass, from 2 metres
  • Look through not at the glass

If these instructions are not followed properly, then almost certainly both installer and IGU supplier are going to spend time and money which could be avoided with the right understanding of inspection criteria.

http://www.ggf.org.uk/publication/quality_of_vision_double_glazing

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UPDATE: NEW KEY CONTACT DETAILS

It’s a key part of our offering that our customers have full and direct access to our management team and the various functions and departments.

As such we’ve updated our key contacts list and phone numbers, please take the time to download our key contacts list and distribute to the people who may find this of relevance in your business.

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