No Pane No Gain: The Benefits of Double Paned Windows
Human beings require light. Our bodies and minds need the natural flow from daylight to nighttime. And from the beginning of human structures, human beings have always needed to have natural light. Having light enter our caves, our stone huts, or whatever humble abode we might be inhabiting, has always been part of building. It helps human beings maintain a healthy cycle and supports the natural circadian rhythm with which we function on a day to day basis. Most modern homes today come equipped with double-paned windows and Low-E Windows. Older homes might still have the single-paned windows and many mortgage lenders might even hold back from financing a home that has these. And yet, how did this change happen? And why did it happen? We thought we’d take a look at how the shift from single-paned windows to the common energy-efficient windows of today happened and why it matters.
If you have purchased an older home that still has single-pane windows, this is especially important, as you are likely to have to make the transition soon. Here at Trim Team, of course, we use only high-quality glass and are able to customize windows to the shape, style, and design you desire. So it’s not just about full functionality and efficiency, it’s about beauty and style too.
Let’s go back a little bit. If we look at early structures, say of 16th century England, already you see the importance that windows played in the homes of this era. Many windows were made of stone or timber and were covered with oilcloth, paper, shutters, or even thin sheets of horn. In 17th century England, windows expanded in size and width. People begin messing around with glass as a window covering, but it was still relatively expensive to produce and make. Most people stuck with other coverings. Stylistically speaking, Gothic design elements came into the fray, such as curved shaped and more exotic and ornate window designs.
Glass blowing was extensively popular for many centuries. It was really the only way it could be produced, but it was not effective for window making because of the raw materials. The Roman Empire kept their glass-making abilities on the down-low and it wasn’t until that empire collapsed, that this skill began to spread across Europe. As Rome had occupied several territories, they had brought, however, their glass-making abilities with them, and the techniques spread.
A little known fact is that the King of England actually imposed a window tax on his citizens. This meant that glass production for windows was largely stopped. It wasn’t until the 1800s, that Britain improved on and continued to produce high-quality glass. The making of different types of glass began to spread and become commonplace.
At the dawn of the 20th century, laminated glass was also introduced. This began to improve the functionality and the safety of a lot of panes of glass. As the 20th century progressed, a wide array of techniques for glass production increased.
In 1959, the process of making float glass was introduced and remains in use today. While the process remains, the quality of glass today is far superior, as there are far less flaws or distortions of the glass. The molten glass is poured onto a bed of molten tin, then it spreads forming a level surface.
The Late 20th Century Shift To Double Pane
So in the late 20th century, there was a shift towards wanting more energy-efficient windows. This created the double pane window, which is the industry standard today on any new home or office. The name says it all. A double-paned window has two panes of glass set into each individual frame. These two frames will have a space formed between them that creates a bit of a pocket. This serves as an extra layer of insulation for your home and helps regulate temperature. There is also a built-in preventative that keeps condensation from forming. Modern homeowners quickly realized that there is really no downside to double-paned windows. Instead, there are several proven benefits including:
- Help save money. The truth is that double-paned windows help keep your energy and heating costs down.
- Better insulation. By creating better insulation, you are using up less energy from your home. The insulation helps keep the temperature consistent.
- More environmentally friendly. With better insulation, you are using less energy and therefore burning less fossil fuels.
Then came the development of Low-E windows, or Low Emissivity windows. Emissivity refers to the ability of a window to radiate energy. As you reduce the emissivity of the glass, it only serves to improve the windows insulating properties, as it serves to re-radiate heat.
The great thing about modern windows is that you can have them in many styles. If you want a classic style, Gothic style, French-style, or more rustic style window, we can make it happen.
Get Quality Glass and Quality Installation for Your Windows
If you’re looking to make the transition into new windows: whether you are replacing all windows with double-paned or looking to improve the efficiency, or simply looking to add a great french window to one side of your house, Trim Team can make it happen. Call us today and find out the many options we offer.