What Types Of Double Glazing Windows Are There?
Timber windows aren't as energy efficient or durable, but they are a more eco-friendly option
You can get lots of different types of double glazing windows. They come in a variety of styles and can be made out of different materials.
Double Glazing Window Frame Materials
Traditionally, most double glazing windows are made with uPVC frames. You sometimes see this referred to as just 'PVC,' but they're both the same. It's a building material that was introduced to replace classic wooden window frames when double glazing started to be built in new homes.
It's relatively low-cost and requires very little maintenance. uPVC also has the benefit of being incredibly durable and energy efficient - making it the perfect partner for double glazing.
Aside from uPVC, the other two types of materials used are:
Timber windows aren't as energy efficient or durable, but they are a more eco-friendly option. Also, they provide a unique look that might go well with country homes or more traditional houses. However, there's a reason uPVC was introduced; timber windows require far more maintenance, cost more to install, and don't last as long.
Aluminium is very strong and long-lasting - as well as requiring almost zero maintenance. Perhaps the best thing about this type is that it's so versatile. You can have so many different colour choices, and it goes really well with contemporary homes. The downside is that it is considerably more expensive, which is why uPVC remains the most popular choice.
Double Glazing Window Styles
When you're looking to buy double glazing windows, you will come across a plethora of styles. More often than not, there are five main styles available:
Tilt & Turn
This style is trendy and involves the double glazing windows being attached via hinges to the frame. The hinge allows the window to open inwards into your home. Think of them as working in the same way as a traditional door. Casement windows can stay in place when they're opened so you can allow lots of air into your home.
The best way to envisage a sash window is to imagine a classic guillotine that was used to chop off people's heads in the old days. The windows work with the same sliding motion up and down. They slide up to be opened, then down to be closed. Usually, there are two double glazing panes - one at the top and one at the bottom. In traditional sash windows, the bottom one is the only one that moves.
But, you can get dual ones where both panes can be slid down and up to create a more versatile window.
Bay windows add some extra space to your home by protruding outwards in a curved fashion. You almost get a crescent shape that's filled with four or more windows. They tend to be quite large to allow lots of natural light in, and the ones on each end can be opened. Typically, the opening mechanism is in the casement style.
Tilt & Turn
Next, we have the tilt & turn style. Here, the windows have multiple attachments that let them open in different ways. They can tilt inwards with the bottom of the window staying in place. Sometimes, you can alter how far they tilt, other times it only comes out to a specific angle then gets locked in place.
Then, you can also open them by turning the windows inwards as well. Here, they open similar to the casement style, but you can sometimes alter if they open from the left or right - it depends on the handle placement.
These are similar to tilt & turn. But feature two panes on top of one another, both with tilting and turning functions.
We recommend that you consider all the options before installing your double glazing windows. There's no definitive winner out of the styles, but uPVC is definitely the most popular material to use. The double glazing costs vary depending on the type and style of your windows, and we'll dive deeper into the figures later on.
Double Glazing Energy Ratings
While we discuss the different types of double glazing windows, it makes sense to talk about the energy ratings as well.
These windows are given a rating based on how energy efficient they are. This works the same as household appliances; the more efficient the window is, the better the rating. As a general rule, the better the score, the more expensive the window is as well.
Energy ratings for double glazing windows are as follows:
In the UK, current regulations state that all new windows have to come with at least a C rating. The higher up the scale you go, the more money you tend to save on your annual energy bills.
Alongside this, you have to pay attention to the U-Value as well. This is a number that shows you how well heat passes through a surface. Ideally, you want double glazing with a high U-Value as this means it's excellent at trapping heat and stopping it from escaping.
It's suggested that you look at both the energy rating and U-Value if you want to get double glazing that's genuinely energy efficient and insulates your home.