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How Does Double Glazing Work?

Double glazing comes with a whole hoard of benefits that you’ve probably already heard about. From preventing heat escaping your home and reducing your energy bills to blocking out noise pollution and adding extra security to your property — double glazing your windows simply makes sense.

But how does adding a second pane of glass to your window provide so many benefits? If you’ve ever wondered how double glazing works — or want to get to grips with the science behind it before you invest — you’re in the right place.

What exactly is double glazing?

Double-glazed windows consist of two panes of glass. These panes are separated either with a layer of normal air or — for further efficiency — with a layer of argon gas. The panes are then sealed to keep the gas contained.

This gap stays in place due to a spacer bar, which is usually made from aluminium. For those really looking for peak efficiency, spacer bars can also be made from plastic with low heat conductivity properties. Using energy-saving glass also helps to reduce heat loss, although it will bring up the cost of installation.

Triple-glazed windows follow this same concept, using three panes rather than two. Triple glazing traps in more heat than double-glazed windows, however, only those in very cold countries like Norway will see the benefit. 

How do double glazed windows work?

 

 

Double glazing is specifically designed to hold many benefits over single glazing (one pane of glass and no layer of air).

Air is a poor heat conductor and trapping it between two glass panes means that this air is then unable to circulate. Therefore, not only does heat have to escape through two panes of glass and a layer of air, but convection in the trapped air is prevented. The result? Greatly reduced levels of heat loss.

Argon gas has around a 34% lower thermal conductivity level than air, meaning when this is used between the panes it’s even harder for heat to escape through double-glazed windows. 

What else do double glazed windows do?

While their heat efficiency is a huge selling point, this isn’t all that double glazed windows are good for. Double glazed windows are also a great way to keep sound out.

When a soundwave reaches a single-window pane it will vibrate the glass and subsequently the air behind it. Double glazing combats this by adding an extra layer of air and glass.

If you’re still experiencing a lot of noise pollution — even with double glazing — chances are you’re suffering from badly fitted windows. Having this repaired will ensure there are no gaps in your window frame, greatly reducing noise levels. For those who live on busy roads or in the city centre, this is highly beneficial. 

Double glazing can even help those who are suffering from mould or damp problems by reducing condensation on the inside of your windows. Condensation occurs when warm air (with high water content) hits the cold glass, so having two layers of glass will help to reduce this as the inner pane should be consistently warmer. 

Double glazing also heightens security for your property. Having two panes of glass to break through makes your home much harder to access than single glazing. Burglars tend to look out for cheaper, less secure looking windows, meaning the addition of double glazing can help to be a deterrent. 

What can stop double glazing from working properly?

When a double or tripled-glazed pane breaks it can quickly become cloudy, steam up, or form moisture in between the panes. Aside from ruining your home’s aesthetic, this also means that the benefits of the double glazing become redundant. Therefore, it’s important to repair failed double-glazing as soon as you notice it, in order to continue to keep your energy bills low and the temperature high!

To help make this as easy as possible, at Cloudy2Clear we offer free consultations and quotes for all double glazing repairs. All you need to do is get in touch with our double glazing experts and you’ll be well on your way to receiving a personalised quote.

If your issue is with anything other than double glazing, that’s not a problem either. We offer repairs for faulty handles, broken windows and other common problems. See our full range of services to learn more. 

How much does double glazing cost?

Whether you’re looking for ways to cut down on energy bills, boost property value or simply keep your home healthy, one extremely effective investment is double glazing.

If you don’t already have double glazing or your old windows could use some TLC, the first question you’re likely to ask is how much does double glazing cost? While the average price for double glazing a whole house stands at £3000-5000, there are a number of factors which can impact this.

In this guide, we help walk you through everything you need to know about double glazing and give you a rough idea of what double glazed window prices you’ll be looking at.

What can impact this cost?

There are a multitude of factors that can affect the cost of your double glazing. From the style of windows you’re interested in, the number of windows you have in your home and the materials of the frame and mechanisms every choice will have an impact. Here are some of the key points to consider.

Window type

insulating glass

 

One of the biggest deciders in what you’ll be paying for your double glazing is the style of window you’re investing in. Different window types have different performance benefits and, of course, aesthetic properties. Below are some of the most common window types:

Casement windows

The most common window, and therefore the best to use when calculating the average cost of new windows in the UK, are casement windows. Attached by a single hinge at the side, these windows are the cheapest for double glazing repairs, as well as for a first time fitting.

Average cost (based on uPVC frame):
£275 to £420

French casement windows

A slight variation of the above, French casement windows consist of two casements positioned side by side, which open outwards from the centre. These windows are generally slightly more expensive than regular casement windows, but their design does allow for a lot more in terms of light and ventilation. 

Average cost (based on uPVC frame):
£455-£570

Tilt and turn windows

Tilt and turn windows are an incredibly versatile fitting, which is perfect for modern homes. Twisting the handle halfway allows you to tilt the window inwards from the top, providing ventilation without compromising security. However, you can also fully twist the handle to open the window as a classic casement, allowing for full ventilation and easy cleaning. These windows are generally more costly than casement windows.

Average cost (based on uPVC frame):
£445-£625

Sash windows

This type of window is perfect for a property that wants to retain its period aesthetic. While original sash windows are tough to double glaze due to thin glass and the glazing bars used, modern double-glazed sash window options are available. The latest sash windows are created to be thicker and more sturdy but are pricier than the previous window types.

Average cost (based on uPVC frame):
£590-£820

Bay/Bow Windows

Box and bay windows are one of the greatest ways to open up a room and increase the amount of light in your home. Understandably, due to the increased amount of glass panes and materials needed to create these types of windows, they’re much more expensive to install and double glaze. 

However, the benefits can easily outweigh the cost. Bow windows tend to have the higher price of the two, as they typically have more sections but the price of both bay and bow windows rises depending on how many sections it is you want. 

Bay window average cost (based on uPVC frame):
£1,070-£2,205 dependent on window size and amount of sections.

Bow window average cost (based on uPVC frame):

£1,085-£2195 dependent on window size and amount of sections.

Frame materials

double glazing repairs

 

There are a number of materials that can be used to construct double-glazed window frames. Making your choice will often depend on a number of factors, ranging from your house aesthetic to your overall budget. Some of the most common frame materials are listed below.

uPVC

uPVC is the cheapest material used to model window frames — and by far the lowest maintenance option. With a high resistance to mould and rot, and no need for painting, uPVC frames can simply be wiped clean and look as good as new! They’re also great for insulation and are recyclable, making them brilliant for those wanting to make greener choices.

Average cost (based on 1200 x 1200mm):

£350 – £900

Aluminium

While aluminium is considerably more expensive than uPVC, it also comes with a different set of benefits. Aluminium is the strongest frame material and therefore can be used to create windows with a slimmer frame and a larger glass area — perfect for a modern home or corporate building. It’s also a highly durable material, meaning they’re built to last. 

Average cost (based on 1200 x 1200mm):

£770 – £960

Timber

Wooden frames are full of character and add a real sense of warmth to a property. As a bonus, if treated correctly, they’re a great insulator and can have a long lifetime. Due to this, they are one of the most expensive window frame materials, while also requiring the most maintenance — as without regular upkeep, they can start to deteriorate. 

Average cost (based on 1200 x 1200mm):

£1,370 – £1,500

Spacer bars

Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any more options when it comes to your windows, along come the spacer bars. 

Spacer bars (or profiles) are the hollow frame which separates the two panes of glass used in a double-glazed window. The spacer bar is bonded to the two frames to create a cavity, which is then filled with air, or another gas such as argon. 

The spacer bar itself can be one of two types:

Metal bar

The most common type of spacer bar used is a metal edge spacer bar. These are usually formed from aluminium, which is chosen due to the fact it’s lightweight and flexible while still being strong. The bar is then filled with a desiccant, which absorbs moisture and prevents the windows from becoming foggy.

Steel can also be used for spacer bars, however, this is usually a material associated with fire-rated safety glass. Aluminium spacer bars are the most low-cost spacer bar choice but are not the most heat effective option.

Warm edge spacer bar

A warm-edge is exactly what the name suggests. This bar insulates the edges of the sealed window, which is where most heat is lost. In turn, this slows the rate at which heat is lost through your windows.

Warm-edge spacer bars are made from materials with a low heat conductivity, such as specially-designed plastics. This makes them considerably more expensive than the typical aluminium spacer bar, but can save you money on heating costs over time. 

Product Specifications

The above are all general costs associated with double glazing, but if there are unique specifications that you require for your windows then these will also add to the overall cost.

Adding colour, or a texture like a wood grain finish or having a specialist request such as the use of safety glass are factors which can bump up the price of your double glazing. Locks or fastenings, such as child-safe options can also impact your bottom line.

Along with this, prices typically change between different vendors and can fluctuate at different times of the year. Therefore, it is essential that you do your research and ensure that you have a reputable company on your hands to avoid overpaying.

Alternative double glazing options

In some scenarios, getting a whole new set of windows installed will likely be essential. However, if you’re only experiencing minor problems with your existing windows, there are cheaper options available.

If your double glazing is frequently misting up and obstructing your view or you’re beginning to notice a draft coming from any of your windows, chances are that your double glazing is failing. Your first reaction may be to price up a whole new set of windows, but in most cases, it can save you money and be just as effective to fix what you already have.

At Cloudy2Clear we offer free consultations and quotes for double glazing repairs as well as repairs for faulty handles, broken windows and other common problems. Simply get in touch with our experts today and you’ll be well on your way to receiving a personalised quote to bring your double glazing back to life.

 

Top static caravan holiday tips

Is there anything more quintessentially British than a caravan? Those iconic holiday parks allow us to take a well-deserved break and take in some of the nation’s most picturesque spots.

It’s estimated that there are currently over one million leisure caravans in the UK today, with 365,000 of them classed as static. But it’s not as simple as packing a bag and heading to your nearest caravan site, you need to plan out your getaway to get the most out of your break.

If you’re new to caravanning, there’s no need to worry. We’ve compiled our top tips for staying in a static caravan so you can make the most of your holiday.

Static caravan tips for beginners

 

seaside holiday

 

1. Choose the right location

With over 2500 static caravan parks to choose from in the UK, you’re spoilt for choice when planning your holiday.

And though it may be tempting to choose a location based on convenience or the views, it’s important to make sure you’ve done your research before settling on a park.

Does your location have a kids club to keep the little ones entertained? Is it dog-friendly? Is it accessible for those with disabilities or the elderly? These are all things to take into consideration to make sure you’re not hit with any nasty surprises when you arrive.

2. Plan your journey

Once you’ve settled on your dream destination, do your research to make sure you know how to reach it. Sat navs have made travelling to new locations effortless, but it’s always a good idea to familiarise yourself with your route before setting off.

Find out if any areas suffer from heavy build-ups of traffic or are in the process of roadworks. It’s also a good idea to carry a hard copy of your route for emergencies, just in case your battery dies or your sat nav is being temperamental.

3. Limit your packing to essentials

As I’m sure you know, it can be very easy to overpack when going on holiday. A couple of outfits can quickly lead to a boot full of suitcases. Unlike hotels, however, caravanning doesn’t offer an abundance of extra space to store your bags.

Think carefully about what you need for your holiday. If you can do without it, don’t pack it.

4. Think of the weather

Have you thought about how you’ll be spending your time while at your caravan?

If you’re planning to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors, make sure to check the weather! British weather can change at the drop of a hat, so waterproof clothing and wellies are a must if you’re going on a lot of walks.

If you’re lucky enough to be spending your holiday in the sun, don’t forget to protect yourself with suntan lotion and UV resistant sunglasses.

Packing tips

Woman packing a suitcase

1. Use a soft-sided bag – They’re not only less bulky than a suitcase, but they’re much easier to store in your caravan once you arrive.

2. Roll your clothes – You may be used to folding your clothes at home, but rolling them before packing them in a bag saves tons of space.

3. Use the space – Rather than just chucking everything into bags, place them strategically to make the most of every inch of space. Don’t forget the side pockets!

4. Use ziplock bags – If you’re only away for a few days, opt for ziplock bags instead of bulky makeup and wash bags. This way you can save space and stick to the essentials.

5. Cling-film open bottles – No one wants to be faced with dreaded shampoo leaks all over their clothes. Remove the caps of your open bottles and wrap with cling film before replacing them to prevent any spillages.

6. Pack a bin bag – Bin bags are great for storing dirty clothes and used towels. This way you can keep wet and muddy clothes separate from your clean ones and makes it easier to know what to wash when you get home.

7. Don’t over-pack – Plan out your days so you know how much to take with you. Do you really need a fresh outfit for each day? Fight the temptation to pack your whole wardrobe and instead reuse the clothes that you can.

8. Make a list – By writing down everything that you need for your trip, you can properly plan out what you’ll need and stick to it. It also means you won’t forget to pack anything essential.

Static caravan essentials checklist

If you’ve never been caravaning before, you might not know what you’ll need to take with you on your holiday. To make sure you don’t forget something you’ll need when you get there, we’ve created a checklist of essentials for your static caravan holiday:

– Crockery and glassware
– Cutlery and utensils
– Washing up liquid
– Bin bags
– Groceries
– Bedding (if needed)
– Towels
– Medicine/first aid kit
– Toiletries
– Toilet roll
– Clothing
– Swimwear (if needed)
– Suncream
– Sunglasses
– Wellies/walking boots
– Insect repellent
– Disposable BBQ
– Deck chairs
– Indoor and outdoor games
– A torch

Safety tips

The last thing you want when you’re on holiday is for someone to have an accident, especially when it could have been avoided. We’ve compiled a list of caravan holiday tips to ensure you stay safe while you’re relaxing:

1. Buy a torch – Most static caravan sites are far from the light pollution of big cities, which means you might struggle to adapt to the darkness. Make sure you’ve got a torch handy for whenever you’re walking around outside when the sun’s down.

2. Fire safety – You should always have a minimum of one smoke alarm and a fire extinguisher in your caravan at all times. A fire blanket is another good piece of safety equipment to invest in, in case of a kitchen fire.

3. Gas canisters – Most static caravans are heated by propane gas cylinders. Always make sure that your gas connection is secure and that any canisters are fixed in a safe and secure position. It’s also advised that you get a professional to perform a gas fire and boiler check annually.

4. Keep your doors and windows secure – It’s crucial that you keep your doors and windows locked for your own security. Make sure all locks, handles and hinges are in good working order and aren’t stiff or jammed.

If your static caravan has seen better days, our expert engineers can help with caravan window repairs. We can repair failed double glazing of any shape and size, and can even perform lock, handle and hinge repairs. Get in touch with your local branch of Cloudy2Clear today.

 

How to clean UPVC window frames

 

Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (UPVC) is the most popular material for window frames. Why is this? UPVC is not only easy to manufacture, but it’s also long-lasting and relatively maintenance-free. You can even choose the colour and finish to match the aesthetic of your home.

Despite being resistant to rotting and rusting, UPVC windows can become dirty from build-ups of dirt and grime if not properly maintained. Luckily, cleaning UPVC is easy, which means that you can keep your windows looking bright and fresh all year round.

Woman cleaning her house windows

Maintaining UPVC

Before taking on the bigger messes, there are a number of ways that you can take care of your windows. By following these simple steps and regularly cleaning your UPVC doors and window frames, you can stop build-ups of dirt from forming at all.

1. Use a vacuum

For removing small amounts of dirt or thin layers of dust from the edges and corners of your frames, you can simply use the dusting brush on your vacuum cleaner (the attachment with the soft bristles). Not only is this a really quick and simple way to clean around your windows, but the bristles on the brush will protect your UPVC and double glazing from being scratched.

2. Open your windows

It’s all well and good to give your windows a quick wipe down, but it’s in between the frames that need to most attention. These are the areas that most of us are guilty of forgetting about and can easily get clogged up with dirt. Ignoring these areas can cause your windows to become stiff and cause bigger problems if left unchecked.

3. Stick to soft cloths

After you’ve cleaned your windows and left them looking sparkling, it’s vital that you remove any residual moisture left over. You need to be thorough, but you don’t want to use anything too abrasive and risk damaging the frames or glass. All you need is a soft cloth or kitchen roll to give your windows a quick once over.

4. Keep on top of it!

The best way to clean your windows is to keep them clean. By regularly washing your UPVC, you won’t need to spend time scrubbing away at dirt and grime or risk your windows becoming clogged or damaged.

Best cleaning products for UPVC

Warm, soapy water

It may sound simple, but this is all you need to use if you’re cleaning your windows regularly. Giving your UPVC a quick scrub with a sponge and soapy water is enough to remove light dirt and keep your frames looking nice and bright.

Vinegar and hot water

This is a great alternative to using manufactured products with chemicals. Mix one part vinegar with 4 parts hot water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. You can then spray your frames and leave it to do its work for 10-15 minutes, then simply wipe away with a clean cloth. You can then enjoy lovely bright windows without any chemical smells being left behind.

UPVC cleaners

If your window frames have been neglected for a while or if you’ve just moved into a new home, you may need some stronger products to bring your UPVC back to life. Specialist UPVC cleaners usually come in the form of a cream or paste and can help to remove really stubborn muck without posing a risk to your double glazing or window frames.

What to avoid when cleaning UPVC

Harsh chemicals

Stay far away from any products that contain bleach, white spirits, methylated spirits, nail varnish remover or any other harsh chemicals. It’s possible you may have heard hearsay or an old wives tale that recommends such cleaners, but they aren’t to be believed. Products of this type will only damage your UPVC frames as well as posing a risk to your window sills and even surrounding paintwork or wallpaper.

Dyes

Check your cleaning products thoroughly before using them on your windows. Even harmless dish soap can contain dyes to give them a bright colour. Although they’re fine for their intended purpose, if used on UPVC, they could end up staining your lovely bright frames which will be very difficult to remedy.

Rough sponges

As already stated, soft cloths are the ideal material for wiping down your windows. If you don’t have one at hand, don’t be tempted to use a scourer or abrasive sponge – you’ll risk scratching your UPVC.

For more information on how to keep your windows looking at their best, follow our guide to maintaining your double-glazed windows. If you’ve noticed your double glazing has become cloudy, get in touch with your local branch of Cloudy2Clear and our expert engineers will give you a free, no-obligation quote.

 

How to maintain your double-glazed windows

Replacing your windows is a big commitment. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’re replacing a failed set of double-glazed windows, installing double glazing can be expensive.

If installed professionally by a team of reputable engineers, you can enjoy your double glazing for years without issue. However, if you don’t treat your windows with a little love, their quality and effectiveness can fail – even if fitted by experts.

Here at Cloudy2Clear, we want to make sure you get the most out of your investment. That’s why we’ve created a helpful list of tips to ensure your double glazing maintenance is up to scratch.

How to clean double-glazed windows

how to maintain your windows during autumn
1. Choose the right cleaner

Think carefully before using cleaning products on your windows. Choosing a cleaning product with harsh chemicals can damage your double glazing and isn’t necessary to get your windows shining again.

The most reliable cleaner is actually a homemade solution: simply combine one-part white vinegar with four-parts water. With this mixture, all you need to do is wipe your windows in a circular motion with a microfibre cloth. An old toothbrush or cotton buds are great to use too, as you can really get into all the nook and crannies to leave your windows totally grime-free.

2. Clean on a cloudy day

Another good tip is to clean your windows on a cloudy day. You may be tempted to get outside in the sun to get your double glazing gleaming, but the sun can often dry your windows too quickly, leaving streaks on the glass.

3. Use newspaper

Speaking of streaks, newspaper is a fantastic buffer for glass. It may sound a little odd, but it’s a cheap and super simple way of leaving your windows dry and your view clear.

How to maintain UPVC windows

UPVC, also known as Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride, is the most popular material for double glazing as it’s low-maintenance, sturdy and long-lasting.

The only UPVC window maintenance that you need to worry about is the seals. Failed seals are the main cause of cloudy windows, as gaps in the seals allow moisture to become trapped inside your window panes.

If you notice any small lumps and bumps in the seals, you can gently push them back into place. If, however, the lumps become a common issue, it’s best to get in touch with a specialist who can assess the problem and offer guidance.

Seals can also get dirty, ruining the aesthetic of your windows. To clean your seals, simply use an old toothbrush and some warm water to carefully scrub away any grime.

How do I stop mould from building up?

A build-up of condensation on double glazing is a common issue and can cause more problems than an obscured view.

If condensation on your windows is a regular occurrence, the moisture can cause mould to appear on your double glazing and even your walls.

Here are a few tips to help prevent mould:

– Remove any condensation on your windows with a sponge or window squeegee

– Don’t push your furniture right up against your walls

– Open windows to keep your home ventilated while cooking or showering

– Make sure your home is properly insulated

To learn more about preventing condensation, view our guide here.

How do I keep my hinges, locks and mechanisms running smoothly?

Double glazing maintenance is more than just looking after your windows, it’s also important to make sure your hinges, locks and mechanisms are all in working order. Faulty locks and handles can cause problems with heat loss, condensation and security.

The best way to keep your hinges, locks and mechanisms running smoothly is to ensure they’re regularly cleaned and free from dirt and grime. This will make sure your hinges open smoothly and sliding doors won’t stick in their tracks.

If you think your locks, handles and hinges need more than just a good clean, our expert engineers can replace them to keep them at their best and save you money in the process.