Windows are an important part of any home or building. Besides adding a decorative touch, they help protect us from outside weather conditions such as rain, heat, or snow. Not to mention, they also let the natural light in, creating a relaxing environment. But, did you know windows, such as double-glazed, can also help enhance energy-efficiency? It’s not surprising people are now opting for do it yourself double glazing windows.
Looking to install new windows in your house to reduce energy costs? Double glazing windows are a great way to improve insulation and save energy and money.
Before we show you how to install double glazing windows by yourself, let’s first discuss what these windows are.
Double Glazing Window-What Is It and How it Works?
A double glazing window is a glass window that has two parallel panes or sheets of glass instead of one sheet as found in the standard single-glazed window. You might have also heard people referring to double glazed windows as IGU (insulated glass unit). These windows are best-known for their insulation.
There is a spacer bar between the two sheets of glass which creates an air gap. A layer of insulating gas is inserted in the gap, which allows these windows to provide better protection from outside temperatures.
Basically, the air gap, usually between 6-12 mm, reduces heat loss by slowing down the thermal transfer. Also, because the gap is so narrow between the sheets, it doesn’t leave much room for air circulation. This, in turn, helps reduce heat transfer. This means these windows keep your room warmer in cold weather and cooler in summers.
Besides reducing heat loss, double-glazed windows, such as laminated glass windows, also reduce noise. The glass panes absorb sound waves that are disrupted due to different thicknesses of the glass, which, in turn, reduces noise.
Double-glazed windows also mean less condensation as there is less moisture on double-glazed window panes.
Common types of glass used for double-glazed windows
Before you start with do it yourself double glazing windows, it’s better to understand the different types of glass available as it will help you choose the best one for your needs.
While various types of glass are available for double-glazing, here are the most common ones that provide the best results:
This glass is made by floating molten glass on a facet of molten metal. This process gives the glass an even thickness throughout the surface. Float glass is light and thin but pretty durable and lasts for years. Many windows (double or triple glazed) now use it because of its low cost and high durability.
Laminated glass is also used frequently in double-glazed windows as it reduces outside noise and improves acoustic performance. It consists of multiple layers of glass with an ethylene-vinyl acetate or polyvinyl butyral layer in between. This makes it a safer option because if your window breaks, this polyvinyl butyral layer keeps it in place. Because of this, it is also commonly used in storefront windows to reduce the risk of injuries to shoppers/staff.
If you live near a rushy area or your home is under flight paths, a laminated glass double-glazed window is a good choice.
Tempered glass or toughened glass is best known for its durability. It usually lasts 5-10 years longer than float glass, which means you don’t have to replace it frequently. Toughened glass is also considered a type of safety glass because it shatters into small pieces when it breaks. This reduces the risk of injuries.
Although tempered glass is cheaper than laminated glass, it still costs more than standard glass. So, if you have a flexible budget and you want a long-lasting double-glazed window, tempered glass is a great option.
Low Energy glass
Low Energy glass, commonly called low E glass, is known for its energy efficiency. It’s because low E glass is great at reducing heat loss and transfer.
Basically, the glass is covered with a transparent film which helps reflect heat. And it also lets the heat from outside into the room. Although this is the basic function of almost all energy-efficient double-glazed units, the ones with low E glass are better at it.
So, if you’re looking to reduce energy costs, a low E glass double-glazed is a good option.
Do It Yourself Double Glazing Windows Guides
There are different ways you can double-glaze your windows by yourself. You can either uninstall your current windows and replace them with double glazed windows. Or you can convert your current window into a double-glazed window.
Replacing your old window and installing a double glazed window
For this do it yourself double glazing windows idea, you first need to decide on the type of double-glazed window you want. Next, you have to measure your window accurately to get the right size.
Measuring your window
To measure your window, you’ll need a millimeter tape measure because you’ll get more accurate readings in millimeters (mm). Moreover, take measurements from outside for higher accuracy. And remember to measure width and height from the brick opening.
Another important thing to do while measuring the height is to take multiple measurements. So, you need to measure from the middle, top, bottom, right, and left. Take these measurements several times to ensure accuracy. Once you’re done with the measurements, subtract 10mm from each measurement. This step is crucial as it will help ensure your new window fits perfectly square.
One thing to avoid while taking the measurements is to measure the frames only to save time. This is a big mistake as it usually results in inaccurate measurements, which can cost you money.
Uninstalling your current/old window
Once you’ve measured your windows, you can order your double-glazed windows online. Or you can also purchase them from any store that sells windows. Next, you have to uninstall your current windows:
- Start with unscrewing the screws of your current window. Remember to unscrew each and every screw because if you miss any, it will be difficult to remove the window.
- Cut the sealant around the window using a Stanley knife.
- Now carefully and slowly remove the window from the wall without damaging it. You can use a pry bar for your convenience.
- Next, you need to remove the window frame. To do this, simply tap the frame with a rubber mallet.
- Finally, remove the remaining sealant, if any.
Installing double-glazed window
- The first step in fitting your new window is to install the windowsill. Begin with attaching the endcaps of the windowsill to the window using cyanoacrylate glue.
- Next, use screws to ensure the sill is properly attached to the window. It’s best to use silicone sealant as well because it will help ensure there are no openings. This is important because water can come in if the window isn’t properly sealed.
- Lift the window into the wall and make sure it’s level. It’s better if two persons do it to reduce the risk of breakage and ensure the window is properly leveled.
- Next, you need to drill two holes on each side to secure the frame. Remember to use sealant in the holes before screwing.
- Install the double-glazing unit in the frame by inserting it into the corners. Make sure the glass is level.
- Lastly, seal the edges of the window frame with a sealant as it will help prevent moisture and condensation.
Converting your current window into a double glazed window
If you live in a rented house or you’re looking for a cost-effective solution to improve insulation, you can try this do it yourself double glazing windows idea.
This method involves installing a window film to your current window to make it a double glazing window. Basically, this film is a thin plastic member. When you can cover your window with this film, a small air gap is created between the window and the film. This creates a layer of insulation and makes your window double-glazed. So, the window will prevent the cold air from entering the room and hot air from leaving the room.
Installing the window film
- First, you need to clean your window thoroughly to ensure there is no dirt under the glass. Otherwise, your window will look permanently dirty. Not to mention, the dirt can also cause the tape to come off.
- The next step is to measure the frame. It’s better to take measurements in millimeters for higher accuracy. Accurate measurements make it easy to install the film on the window.
- Now cut the window film as per the measurements of the frame. Remember to add 1-1.5 inches in the measurements.
- Next, cover the window frame with double-sided tape and leave it for a few minutes. Next, peel off the backing from the tape carefully. You need to make sure you don’t tear the tape.
- Once you’ve created a seal, run a chisel over it as it will help smooth out the seal. If there is any extra film, cut it off.
- Lastly, use a hairdryer over the film to get rid of any wrinkles.
Although adding the film will make your windows look less attractive, there are many benefits as well. Firstly, it lets you create a double-glazed window without spending too much money. And besides improving insulation, it also reduces condensation. Moreover, it is super easy to install the film. But you won’t be able to open individual parts of the window with the film installed because it is fixed with tape.
Other Factors to Consider for Do It Yourself Double Glazing Windows
Once you’ve installed double-glazed windows in your house, you can expect less energy loss. But, there are some other aspects that you can focus on to further improve the energy-efficiency of your double glazing windows. You can use thermal window curtains, which increases the R-value, especially at night. More R-value means better resistance to energy loss. You can also use an insulating film on your double-glazed windows to further reduce heat loss.
Moreover, cold air can enter your room if there are cracks around the frames of your double-glazed windows. To solve this problem, you can use silicone caulk around the frame. If you notice your windows are foggy or there is condensation, it’s usually because their seal is broken. So, it’s best to replace such windows.
Q: Does installing double-glazed windows reduce energy costs?
Yes, double-glazed windows are designed to reduce energy transfer or heat loss. So, they keep your room warmer in winters and cooler in hot weather. This means you need less energy for heating and cooling your room, which, in turn, reduces energy bills. But if there is even a small hole in the seal of the windows, air can pass through, which affects the efficiency of the windows.
Q: Do double-glazed windows add value to my house?
Double glazing windows are quite popular these days as they help improve energy efficiency and also reduce noise. So, if you have these windows installed in your house, they definitely increase your house value.
Double glazing windows are a great way to improve energy efficiency and reduce your energy bills. Not to mention, they also reduce noise and condensation. These windows consist of two panes of glass with a layer insulating gas between them, which helps reduce heat loss. So, if you don’t have these windows in your house, it’s a great idea to install them yourself.
If you opt for do it yourself double glazing windows, you can either replace your old windows with double-glazed windows. Or you can convert your current windows into double glazing windows by covering them with an insulating film.
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