If you’re looking to add value to your home while reducing your energy costs, one way is to install double glazed units. What is a double glazed unit? This is just a fancy term for two glass window panes separated by air or other gas, designed to reduce heat transfer, thereby lowering your heating bills. And if you’re thinking of future resale value (which you always should be, regardless of how long you’re planning on staying in your current home!), lowered energy bills will certainly attract interested buyers.
Double glazing is popular around the world, where it is usually referred to as either IGU (Insulated Glass Unit or Insulated Glazing Unit) or, in Europe, as in Australia, DGU (Double Glazing Units).
In order to understand the way double glazing works, it is helpful to think of a classic Australian doona (or feather duvet to our international readers!). When you’re in bed with your feather doona, the feathers hold a layer of air between your warm body and the cold room air. This layer of air has a buffeting effect and ensures that the warm air stay separated from the cold air. It is for this reason that it is more effective to wear several thin layers in cold weather than one thick garment. Warm air is trapped between the layers of clothing, buffeting your skin from the outside chill.
Double glazing works in exactly the same way. The two sheets of glass are just ordinary glass, but the buffeting air layer contained between the glass sheets protects the warm air inside the home from the cold air outside. In fact, it is not uncommon to find triple glazing units is extremely cold parts of the world.
You may be wondering if the buffeting effect of the double glazing also prevents the sun’s rays from entering the building. While this would be true for regular double glazing, if you go the extra step in your house building process, and install low emissivity glass (most likely referred to by your tradie as ‘Low-E glass’), this potential problem can be bypassed. Low emissivity glass contains an extra coating that reflects thermal radiation but still allows solar radiation to enter the room. In human terms, your home will be protected from heat loss, but can still be warmed by sunshine.
You’re probably wondering about the cost of installing double glazing units. While it’s certainly not cheap, if you include double glazing as part of your house building, you could offset the extra expense over time by saving on your energy bills. It is estimated that up to thirty percent of your heat loss occurs through your windows, so it seems that the expense of double glazing may be able to be recouped fairly quickly.
Whether you’re simply looking to reduce your heating bills or if you’re interested in adding value to your home for future resale, double glazed units are an option that is well worth considering.