Double glazing, also known as insulated glazing, is a new type of window that has been made possible through recent advancements in material science. Also known as double pane, some of these windows go another step further and become triple glazed or triple paned. Each of these panes, whether its the two panes of double glazing or the three panes of triple glazing, is separated from one another by a layer of a vacuum or a gas filled space. This space is intended to be a useful tool in the retention and warding off of heat. These layers of gas or vacuum keep heat out of the building when it is coming in during the summer and keep heat in the building when it is cold outside and the building’s residents need to keep heat inside.
Double glazed windows are separated by “spacers” lengths of material between which each pane of glass. Traditionally these lengths are made out of metal, but because metal is a good conductor of heat, this tends to undermine the insulating qualities of the double glazed window. Additionally water and ice tend to form around metal window spacers which can lead to long term window damage after a few rainy and cold seasons, costing home owners time and money. Spacers should ideally reduce heat flow, and thus are generally made with materials that will act as a less conductive or non conductive material in order to improve the window’s capacity to keep heat in or out of a building no matter the season. Typically these spacers are made out of structural foam, but others are made out of aluminum, which has different conducive properties than other metals.
These windows are normally manufactured on a made to order system on factory assembly lines, with the height and width determined when the window is ordered. The glass panes are cut in these sizes and then mechanically inserted between the spacers. An adhesive sealant, almost always a compound know as polyisobutylene, is placed on the face of the spacer on both sides to create an air tight seal, followed by either a specialized vacuum device siphoning out all the air between the panes before applying a final layer of sealant to create a vacuum or a specialized pumping device that fills the space between the window panes with a gas that is a good insulator. Generally this gas is a monatomic gas such as kryton, xenon and argon that will not carry heat in a rotational way, at least at normal temperatures.
These windows can keep heat in during the cold season and are quite useful for lowering heating bills in the long term, which as any home owner will tell you can be a difficult, painful bill to pay. Of course, in the hot season, cooling bills can be equally painful. Yet double insulated windows are also quite useful in reducing cooling bills in the hot season as well, as they also keep heat out when the heat is coming from outside,