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Your Window Glazing Options Explained

Windows

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What to consider when choosing window glazing

Glass varieties

Single, double or triple glazing?

How to choose the right double-glazing for you

Is triple-glazing worth it?

Why glazing matters

Your windows are potentially the most vulnerable aspect of your home’s construction. Poor design or fitting might let heat out while giving intruders an easy route in. 

The good news is that modern glazing has answers to both of these challenges and more. By choosing the right glass style and glazing type for your situation, you can achieve a safe, quiet and energy efficient and environmentally friendly home all year round – all while keeping your energy bills down.

What to consider when choosing window glazing

There are two main considerations when choosing glazing: appearance and performance. We’ll break each one down to see how these factors affect your home.

 

Window-energy-rating

Energy-efficiency

While your frame material plays a part in how effectively the window keeps heat trapped in your home, it’s the glazing that plays the starring role in thermal performance. Whole window units are rated on how well they insulate your home, ranging from A++ (the best) to E (the worst). 

You’ll also sometimes see them rated according to their U-value. Uw rates the overall value of the window, while Ug rates the glazing on its own. For windows with good energy-efficiency, you should generally look for a Uw-value of 1.1 W/m2K or less and Ug-value of 1 W/m2K or less.

To find out how thermal performance affects your energy bills and the environment, check out our guide to energy-efficient windows.

Glass varieties

The most basic and widely used type of glass is called float glass. Most windows use float glass but with extra features to increase energy performance, boost safety & security, or alter the appearance. 

Here are some of the most popular glass varieties used in home windows. 

obscured-glass

Obscured/patterned glass

  • Uses patterns or a frosted effect to distort or blur the view
  • Ideal for overlooked bathrooms and ground-floor windows
  • Many designs and privacy levels available, including etched, textured, patterned, frosted, and ornamental 

 

triple-glazing-low-e-glass

Low-E glass

  • Thin metallic surface coating reflects thermal radiation
  • Holds heat in cold weather, reflects it when it’s warm
  • More effective than standard double-glazing
  • Used in all JELD-WEN windows 

 

laminated-glass

Laminated glass

  • Two or more layers of glass with a bonded layer of plastic between
  • Increases strength, security, and sound insulation 
  • Won’t shatter when broken
  • Any type of glass can be laminated

 

Stormsure-sound-insulating-window

Noise control glass

  • Acoustic laminated glass
  • The different panes absorb the frequencies of sound to stop, slow and disrupt noise
  • Absorbs noise energy within the glass
  • Ideal if you live near traffic or a flight path
  • Our triple-glazed window offers class-leading sound insulation

Single, double or triple glazing?

Single-glazed windows are less secure, waste more energy and cost more over the long run than double- or triple-glazed windows. 

So unless you’re forced to keep single-glazed windows, you’ll want to consider modern double- or triple-glazing for your new windows. (In fact, since 2006, building regulations have required that all windows in new homes and any that are replaced in older dwellings are doubled-glazed.)

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How to choose the right double-glazing for you

The latest government research shows that at least 85% of homes in England have full double-glazing. However, not all double-glazing is equally energy-efficient. Depending on the gap (typically 12mm to 16mm) and the gas used between the panes (usually air or argon), the window can have higher or lower thermal insulation. 

You’ll also want to consider the window frame material. Timber window frames have natural thermal insulation to support your double-glazing and last around twice as long as uPVC frames. They’re also much more sustainable and eco-friendly than plastic or metal-framed windows. Read more in our article on timber vs plastic windows

Is triple-glazing worth it?

Triple-glazing can be a significant step up from double-glazing, with better energy performance thanks to the extra pane of glass. However, that’s not to say that high-quality double-glazing isn’t entirely sufficient, especially if the window has an energy rating of A or B. 

To decide if triple-glazing is worth it, consider the following:

  • Would you benefit from extra noise reduction?

  • Would you like the peace of mind of added security?

  • Do you have north-facing windows or windows exposed to extreme weather, such as on the coast?

  • Could you use triple-glazed windows as a selling point when putting your house on the market?

  • Are your walls and roof sufficiently insulated to benefit from the increased thermal performance of triple- vs double-glazing?

  • Can you afford to pay 20%-50% more for triple-glazing to enjoy the benefits above?

Our windows use double- or triple-glazed glass to achieve superb thermal insulation. Find out more about our most energy-efficient window, Stormsure Energy+

 

jeld-wen-timber-window-range

For a free custom quote for your new windows, including double- or triple-glazing with optional obscured and laminated glass, check out our online window quote tool.