Glazing is one of the most important parts of any window, but it can sometimes be difficult to choose the right type for your project.

Glazing is the transparent or translucent layer that separates your family and home from the outside environment. When selecting how to improve your home, there are multiple configurations of glazing that can work for you. Whether it’s double glazed windows, doors or walls, every solution has its advantages and disadvantages.

What is a Single Glazed Window?

A single glazed window is exactly that, a single pane of glass without extra glass or polyurethane insulation between the panes. This is the simplest type of window and therefore the most affordable, but also the least efficient when it comes to keeping heat in your home or office.

The term single glazing refers to one pane of glass being present. Single glazing becomes more important if you happen to live in a very cold climate, or if you do not have any sort of central heating in your home. For example, if you live in a flat that is not centrally heated then single glazing can make a big difference for keeping warm and reducing your bills.

Single glazing is the most common type of window you’re likely to find in cheap houses. You’ll also often find single glazed windows in converted loft apartments or other building conversions. Single glazing is noticeably cheaper than double-glazing (and triple glazing). But single glazing tends to be very inefficient at keeping heat out (cold draughts) and heat in (warmth leaking out).

What are the advantages of single glazed windows?

Do not always require newer frames.

Single glazed windows don’t always need new frames. If you have single glazed windows, and they don’t open, don’t worry! You can get them to work by replacing the seals.

Cheaper to buy

Single Glazing Windows are the cheapest to buy , and also cheaper to maintain. In some cases a single glazed window will suffice and save you the cost of buying double glazing.

What are the disadvantages of single glazed windows?

Lack of Insulation

Single glazed windows don’t provide Insulation. Your window frames are likely to have air gaps around the window frame, or even worse, they may not be level, leaving an air gap above and below the glass. So your old, single-glazed windows are actually letting heat from outside in, rather than keeping it out!

Minimal noise resistance

Single glazed windows don’t reduce noise levels. In fact, single glazed windows have poor soundproofing qualities and also can be very draughty, causing unpleasant drafts and cold spots.

Not sturdy

Deterioration is another disadvantage of single glazed windows. Exposing single glazed windows to severe weather for a long time will cause rapid deterioration as well as discoloration, particularly at the outer surface due to acid rain and other particulate matter.

What is a Double Glazed Window?

A double glazed window system usually means a structure where two layers of glass are used. These can either be the same or different glass types, most commonly one is clear and the other is either energy saving or tinted for privacy. The side closest to the inside gains heat from outside and slowly releases it again, while the other side that is exposed to the atmosphere stays cold.

Unlike single glazing, double glazing has a gas filling the gap. The most popular gases used are argon or krypton, but there are other alternatives including zeolite and xenon. Argon is a non-reactive gas that does not react with other elements in the atmosphere or with the body, meaning that its use is completely safe.

The air gap increases insulation ratings and provides better protection from cold and noise. Energy efficient windows are double glazed because they offer more resistance to heat transfer and reduce condensation on the inner pane, which improves vision and prevents mould growth.

Double glazed windows come in a variety of thicknesses which also have an impact on their efficiency. A unit with a lower U value (number) will be better at insulating the home or business structure it is installed in. Of course it comes down to personal preference, but lower U values tend to give improved energy efficiency with no appreciation on cost.

What are the advantages of double glazed windows?

Proper Insulation

Double glazed windows not only let in more light but they are also better at insulating your home, saving you money on your heating bills. The double-glazing itself helps to reduce the rate of heat loss and with no air gap it is harder for the warmth to escape.

Energy Efficient.

When it comes to keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, windows can make a huge impact on energy usage. Double glazed windows are energy efficient, saving on heating bills and on cooling bills. High performance double glazed windows are twice as efficient compared to single glazed.

Providing you choose the right type of window for your property, double glazed windows can make a real difference to heating bills.

No Condensation on the Glass or Mould Forming Indoors

Double glazing reduces the risk of condensation. It can help in two ways; by the design of the glass, and the reduction of any ‘leaks’ that may occur during installation. If you live in the colder northern parts of the world, chances are you’ve had a fair amount of experience with condensation on your windows.

Noise reduction

Double glazing also cuts noise from the outside world (such as the sound of traffic going by) giving you a less disturbed night’s sleep. Modern double glazed windows provide maximum sound reduction through the combined use of two layers of glass with an air filled cavity between them, this features as a standard product in homes and businesses.

Increased security

Double glazing makes your home more secure. Homeowners can be nervous about having their windows replaced and, understandably, worried about what might happen when they’re gone. They feel safer with double glazing solutions, which help to keep burglars out.

Aesthetic appeal

Making the most of functional and aesthetic appeal helps to set you apart from your neighbours and make that first impression last. The aesthetics can be significantly improved by utilising double glazing.

Double glazing is a brilliant little visual delight that provides a heightened sense of calmness and an extra special quality to your living area. It can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home, while also enhancing indoor comfort. These are some of the most important reasons why double glazing has become so popular across the world.

What are the disadvantages of double glazed windows?

Cost

Good windows are a massive part of any home and can make it better to live in, they can help reduce your heating costs through better insulation. However, high upfront costs are one of the main reasons why people shy away from double glazing because more and more people simply don’t have the budget to change all their windows straight away.

Difficult to Repair

Double glazing is a great way to reduce noise issues, improve the security of your property and add extra insulation from heat. But if it needs attention or repair then making sure you choose the right person for the job will be key.

Sometimes problems can be repaired on the outside but this is a specialist job for someone who knows how to carry out quality repairs.

Poorly suited to properties with an old architectural style

Thermal efficiency is an important concern for those living in older properties. While these buildings were made to last, they are not necessarily suited to the most effective insulation methods.

This focus has led to a decrease in interest in double glazing from older properties with an old style architecture, but doubling up on windows remains sensible and cost-effective whatever your property’s age.

Conclusion – How Can You Tell Which Is More Suitable For Your Home, Single Glazing Or Double Glazing?

A lot of people find themselves confused by what they should be looking for when shopping around for double glazing. They ask questions about double or single glazing in the first place, but once they have seen the pros and cons of each one, they still aren’t sure which is best.

This article looked at all the available advantages and disadvantages comparing double to single glazing, and found that double is better. One reason is: double glazing reduces noise much more than single glazing does. Another reason is that double glazing can save you so much money in heating costs that it will pay for itself within just a few years. The added thermal insulation that it offers to your home is yet another excellent point.

Double glazing can be a huge upfront investment but in most cases, double glazed windows are cheaper than single glazing in the long run.