The likelihood is that if you have single glazed windows in your home, you will benefit from looking at the environmental benefits of secondary glazing.
Before discussing the pros and cons, it is important to know exactly what this is as it can often be confused with double glazing. While the aims are similar to those of double glazing, this is a cheaper and easier option and is often used as an alternative when local building and planning restrictions exist.
Installation of secondary glazed windows should be carried out by a qualified fitter for best results, but the process is fairly simplistic and anyone with sound DIY experience should be able to do the same job at a fraction of the cost. The two main forms of this glazing are the basic version which is simply a plastic sheet fitted over the existing window, and the more advanced option which is an additional glass pane fitted in a frame added to the existing window.
There are numerous benefits to be gained from upgrading your windows, and an improved thermal performance is one of the main ones. The effectiveness of a window can be enhanced by up to 60% with a well fitted upgrade, and light breezes can be eradicated completely. Most heat lost from the home escapes through the windows and from an environmental viewpoint, an improved thermal insulation system considerably lowers carbon emissions.
As well as thermal insulation, acoustic insulation can also be substantially improved. In the hectic society we live in, noise can be a major source of annoyance and whether it comes from traffic, music, or general hustle and bustle it can lead to increased amounts of stress. In reality noise pollution can actually have a seriously detrimental impact on health, and the benefits of reducing this should not be underestimated.
Improved security is another welcome benefit of theses improved windows. They can protect against fire, blasts and gunfire, and in addition can make it more difficult for opportunistic burglars to force entry.
While the environmental advantages are important, it is perhaps the financial benefits that encourage most people to commit to upgrading their windows. As much as one third can be saved on the average heating bill, which very quickly adds up to cover the initial outlay of fitting the window. Given the current economic climate, such savings are difficult to dismiss.
To balance things up, it is necessary to point out the one major disadvantage that crops up from time to time. That disadvantage is condensation. If the glazing is not fitted correctly, the lack of ventilation can cause a build up of condensation which may not sound that serious, but if not treated it can actually lead to the window rotting away from the inside.
By looking at the environmental benefits of secondary glazing, and indeed the minor disadvantages, an informed choice can be made in determining whether this particular glazing solution is suitable for your particular situation.