The likelihood is that if you have single glazed windows in your home, you will benefit from looking at the environmental benefits of secondary glazing.
Prior to looking at why this form of glazing might be considered, it firstly is necessary to define exactly what it comprises. In nature it is very similar to double glazing, but costs less and requires no extra planning permission because no structural alterations are made. This makes it a very neat alternative for the less affluent or those bound by building regulations.
Installation of secondary glazed windows should be carried out by a qualified fitter for best results, but the process is fairly simplistic and anyone with sound DIY experience should be able to do the same job at a fraction of the cost. The two main forms of this glazing are the basic version which is simply a plastic sheet fitted over the existing window, and the more advanced option which is an additional glass pane fitted in a frame added to the existing window.
Greater thermal performance is generally considered to be the main advantage of these windows as an increase in efficiency of up to 60% is obtainable and troublesome draughts can quickly be remedied. As most energy conscious environmentalists know, the majority of heat lost in the home is through the windows, and carbon emissions can be significantly reduced by fitting a secondary window.
As well as thermal insulation, acoustic insulation can also be substantially improved. In the hectic society we live in, noise can be a major source of annoyance and whether it comes from traffic, music, or general hustle and bustle it can lead to increased amounts of stress. In reality noise pollution can actually have a seriously detrimental impact on health, and the benefits of reducing this should not be underestimated.
Improved security is another welcome benefit of theses improved windows. They can protect against fire, blasts and gunfire, and in addition can make it more difficult for opportunistic burglars to force entry.
For all the practical and environmental benefits, the financial gain cannot be overlooked either. It is estimated that secondary insulation can reduce heating bills by a third, and these savings must be considered when weighing up the cost of installation.
It should also be recognized that there is one potential disadvantage to these windows that can be extremely dangerous if not corrected immediately. A lack of ventilation caused by a poorly fitted window can result in a build up of condensation, which in turn can cause the windows to decay internally. Although this can be fairly common, it is also easily prevented if due care is taken.
Now the environmental benefits of secondary glazing should appear more obvious, and are hopefully a useful guide in helping decide how best to insulate your home or office.
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