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Australian Double Glazed Windows – FAQ

Adelaide’s building codes do not mandate the use of double-glazed windows and doors, as the codes are designed to be performance-based rather than prescribing specific construction standards. This approach allows for flexibility in meeting energy efficiency and thermal comfort goals using various methods. However, building regulations in many parts of the country have begun to recommend double glazing during the construction phase, particularly in regions with cooler climates. This shift acknowledges the significant benefits of double glazing in improving thermal performance, which can help buildings meet the required energy efficiency levels more effectively.

In many areas, houses come with permitted development rights that allow homeowners to replace existing windows or create new ones without needing to obtain planning permission from the local council. This provision aims to simplify the process of upgrading or altering windows to improve a home’s energy efficiency, functionality, or aesthetic appeal. However, one key condition for taking advantage of these rights is that the materials used for the new windows must be ‘of a similar appearance’ to those of the existing windows. This requirement ensures that any changes maintain the character and aesthetic continuity of the building and its surroundings, facilitating improvements while preserving visual harmony.

It can be challenging to address issues of window failure with suppliers, as they may attribute any problems to the quality of installation, especially if the installer lacks a proven track record. While it is technically possible for individuals to fit their own windows, the complexities and potential for error underline the importance of having the proper qualifications. Without the necessary skills and certifications, DIY window installation risks not only the performance and durability of the windows but also compliance with building codes and manufacturer warranties. Therefore, it’s advisable to entrust window installation to qualified professionals to ensure the job is done correctly and to maintain the integrity of the installation’s warranty and performance.

The inclusion of gas between the panes in a double-glazed window unit significantly enhances its insulating properties. Argon gas is chosen for its excellent thermal insulation capabilities, effectively preventing heat from escaping through the windows. Empirical testing has demonstrated that installing new double-glazed windows can reduce heat loss from a home by up to 18%. This feature not only aids in retaining warmth within the home during colder months but also plays a critical role in keeping the cold out, thereby contributing to a more consistent and comfortable indoor environment throughout the year. This dual function of maintaining interior temperature makes double-glazed windows a valuable addition to any home, improving energy efficiency and comfort.

Double glazing is often the most expensive option compared to retrofitting or installing secondary glazing. This process entails replacing your existing windows with an Insulated Glass Unit (IGU) and new frames. Despite the higher upfront cost, if your primary goal is to enhance your home’s insulation, double glazing is the most effective choice. It provides superior thermal insulation, helping to maintain a comfortable indoor climate while potentially reducing energy costs. The investment in double glazing can pay off in the long term through savings on heating and cooling bills, as well as improving the overall comfort and value of your home.

Retrofit double glazing offers a more cost-effective alternative to achieve the insulation benefits of traditional double glazing. This method involves attaching a Perspex (or acrylic) sheet to the inside of the existing window, leaving a small gap between the glass and the Perspex. This gap serves as an insulating layer, helping to reduce heat transfer through the window. While not as effective as traditional double glazing with its sealed unit of two glass panes and inert gas fill, retrofit double glazing still significantly improves thermal insulation and can reduce energy costs. It’s a viable option for those looking to upgrade their windows’ energy efficiency without the expense and structural changes required for full double glazing installation.

Transitioning from double to triple glazing amplifies the benefits already provided by double glazing. While triple glazing doesn’t introduce new features distinct from those of double glazing, it significantly enhances existing advantages. This enhancement results in improved energy efficiency, as the additional pane of glass and air or gas layer further reduces heat transfer. Noise reduction is also more pronounced with triple glazing, making it an excellent option for homes in noisy environments. Additionally, the extra pane contributes to increased strength and security of the window, offering better protection against break-ins and external impacts. Essentially, triple glazing takes the core benefits of double glazing and boosts them, providing a superior solution for those looking to maximize their home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and security.

Considering the enhanced benefits, triple glazed windows typically cost around 20% more than their double glazed counterparts. This additional expense is justified by the superior performance of triple glazing, including better energy efficiency, improved noise reduction, and increased strength and security. When evaluating the quality and comfort of a home, opting for triple glazed windows is akin to choosing underfloor heating—it represents a choice for superior comfort and performance. Just as underfloor heating provides a more consistent and comfortable heat distribution, triple glazed windows offer a more effective barrier against external temperatures and noise, contributing to a more comfortable and energy-efficient living environment. Therefore, for those prioritizing quality and comfort in their home improvements, triple glazed windows are an investment worth considering.

Although curtains can offer a degree of insulation and contribute to reducing heat loss through windows, they are not as thermally efficient as double glazing. Double glazed windows create a barrier that significantly reduces the transfer of heat and cold, thanks to the air or gas layer sandwiched between two panes of glass. This design minimizes heat escape during winter and heat entry during summer, leading to better energy efficiency and comfort in a home.

Curtains, while beneficial for privacy and reducing drafts, have limitations. They can only provide insulation when drawn, meaning any insulative benefits are lost during the day when they are open to let in light. Additionally, curtains do not offer the same level of sound insulation, strength, or security as double glazing. Hence, while curtains are a cost-effective way to improve a window’s insulation in the short term, double glazing offers a more comprehensive and effective solution for thermal efficiency and overall home comfort.

Double glazing technology has evolved over time, with significant improvements in the efficiency of new installations. Older double glazed windows, particularly those that are 10-15 years old, typically feature a gap of around 6mm between the two panes of glass. This smaller gap size is less effective in insulating homes, as the narrower air or gas space provides less thermal resistance, reducing the window’s ability to retain heat within the home.

In contrast, modern double glazed windows are designed with a gap of approximately 16mm between the panes. This larger gap significantly enhances the window’s insulating properties, as it allows for a more substantial volume of air or inert gas (such as Argon or Krypton), which serves as a better insulator. The increased gap size improves the window’s overall thermal efficiency, helping to keep homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, thereby reducing energy consumption and increasing comfort. This evolution in double glazing design underscores the importance of considering the specifications of window installations to maximize energy efficiency and home comfort.

Retrofitting secondary glazing offers a substantial improvement in both sound reduction and thermal insulation performance of windows, with enhancements of up to 70%. This option is particularly valuable for heritage properties, where preserving the original aesthetic and character is crucial. Retrofit double glazing achieves this by keeping the external appearance of existing windows unaltered. The installation of a secondary glazing layer on the interior side of the window adds an additional barrier against noise and temperature changes without compromising the building’s historical integrity. This makes it an ideal solution for enhancing comfort and energy efficiency in older buildings without detracting from their visual appeal or architectural significance.

Double glazing typically starts to exhibit signs of wear and tear after approximately 20 years, which can diminish its effectiveness and possibly lead to additional issues such as drafts, leaks, or condensation between the panes. These problems not only reduce the thermal efficiency of the windows but can also affect the comfort and energy costs of your home. If your double glazing is over two decades old, it might be the right time to consider replacing it. Modern double glazed windows offer improved energy efficiency, better sound insulation, and more advanced materials and designs that can enhance the overall performance and aesthetics of your home. Upgrading to new double glazing can be a valuable investment, potentially increasing your property’s value and reducing energy bills through improved insulation.

The cost of windows increases with size due to several factors. First, larger windows require more materials, both for the frame and the glass, which directly impacts manufacturing costs. The use of additional materials to maintain structural integrity and performance standards means that larger windows inherently require more resources to produce.

Second, the installation process for larger windows is generally more complex and time-consuming than for smaller ones. Larger windows are not only heavier, requiring more manpower or specialized equipment to safely install, but they may also necessitate extra precautions and adjustments to ensure a proper fit within the building structure. This complexity can significantly increase labor costs.

Together, these factors contribute to the higher overall cost associated with larger windows, reflecting both the increased materials needed and the additional labor involved in their installation.

Yes it’s possible to double-glaze many existing windows, offering a way to enhance insulation and reduce noise without the need for complete window replacement. However, achieving the desired outcome depends on thoroughly understanding and addressing several key considerations. These may include the condition and suitability of the existing window frames, the space available for adding an additional pane of glass or a secondary glazing unit, and the potential need for modifications to ensure the new system fits and functions effectively. Furthermore, considerations around aesthetic impacts, thermal performance expectations, and cost-effectiveness should be evaluated. Without carefully considering these implications, there’s a risk that the retrofit might not meet your expectations in terms of energy savings, noise reduction, or overall comfort. Therefore, it’s important to consult with professionals to assess the feasibility and expected outcomes of double-glazing existing windows in your specific context.

Absolutely, having our trained installer take precise measurements before the manufacturing process is a crucial step. Windows and doors are typically manufactured with a tolerance of +/-2 mm to ensure the closest possible fit. This level of accuracy is vital for optimal performance, energy efficiency, and aesthetics of the installation. By ensuring the measurements are as accurate as possible, you’re likely to achieve the best fit, which minimizes drafts, improves insulation, and enhances the overall functionality and appearance of the windows or doors. Trusting this task to professionals ensures that the final product is tailored to the specific dimensions of your space, leading to a smoother installation process and superior end results.

While it’s possible to install double-glazing into an existing window frame, it’s crucial to ensure the window is both large enough and structurally strong enough to accommodate the additional weight and thickness of double-glazed units. Original window frames designed for single glazing may not have the necessary depth or strength to support a double-glazed unit effectively. This limitation is especially true for timber frames, which might not provide the required support without modification. Installing double-glazing in a frame that isn’t suitably robust can lead to issues such as sagging, difficulty in operation, or even damage to the frame itself over time. Therefore, before proceeding with double-glazing existing windows, a thorough assessment by a professional is recommended to determine feasibility and ensure the integrity of the installation.

Yes, upgrading from single to double glazing offers several significant benefits, including improved noise reduction, decreased heat loss, and enhanced security. For buildings with existing steel windows, it’s often possible to replace the single glazing with double glazed units without the need to replace the entire window frame. Steel frames are typically robust and can support the additional weight and thickness of double glazing, making them suitable candidates for this type of upgrade. This process allows property owners to retain the aesthetic appeal of their original steel windows while gaining the advantages of modern glazing technology. However, it’s important to consult with professionals to assess the condition of the existing frames and ensure they are suitable for conversion to double glazing, ensuring a successful upgrade.

Yes, one of the significant benefits of installing double glazing in commercial premises is its ability to regulate indoor temperatures, making work environments more comfortable. Double glazing works by trapping a layer of air between two panes of glass, providing an insulating barrier that reduces heat transfer. During winter, this means that the warmth stays inside the room, allowing employees and employers alike to enjoy a warmer environment without relying heavily on heating systems. This not only enhances comfort but can also lead to substantial energy savings, as the reduced need for artificial heating decreases energy consumption and costs. The improved thermal regulation provided by double glazing contributes to a more consistent and pleasant workplace atmosphere, irrespective of the outdoor weather conditions.

If you have any questions regarding installing double glazed windows in Adelaide, please call our team on 08 7228 0947 today.