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3 Advantages of Double Pane Windows

Double pane windows are a form of insulated glazing that has multiple glass panes (two or even three as the case may be) that are typically separated from each other with a small space in between that  may be filled with inert gas. This is done to ensure that heat is retained evenly in the room where the double pane windows are located. A common type of double pane window is the ‘Storm Window’.

Storm windows are external windows that may cover the primary windows of the house and not only help retain heat in extremely cold climates, but also help prevent the main windows from highly adverse weather conditions  such as hailstorms, snow and heavy rainfall.

Advantages of Double Pane Windows

1. Save up on extensive heating bills

A double pane window can retain a surprisingly high amount of heat and as such is a ‘must have’ if you want to curb runaway energy bills. In fact, they have been known to allow energy savings of up to fifty percent or so.

2. Environmentally friendly

Another advantage of double pane windows is that they help reduce your overall energy footprint. The lesser the energy consumed vial fossil fuels the lesser the harmful emissions and noxious smoke and gases released.

3. Sound pollution

Double plane glass also aids in controlling sound pollution as the twin layers of gas coupled with the inert gas in between aid in greatly reducing any ambient sound in the immediate environs of the structure.

How double pane windows are constructed:

Glass

The glass panes in double pane windows are usually at least 6 mm thick. They may be crystal clear for maximum ingress of light as well as visibility or tinted to tone down harsh sunlight and give a softer hue to the room. Some outer panes are also layered with a one way mirror finish to afford the residents an extra measure of privacy. All the different types of glass are specially treated to handle thermal stress and the ability to withstand violent storms so that they do not break and destroy the insulation so offered.

Spacers

With many double paned windows, a spacer is used to ensure that the two panes are kept separate from each other. The space between the two panes is pre-determined for optimum airflow as well as heat retention. This is where highly professional glaziers come in. Not having the right space between the panes would mean a lot of heat energy would be dissipated, thereby reducing the functionality of the window.

Gas filling

In lieu of a vacuum, some double pane windows have inert Krypton or Argon gases. They not only help increase insulation but also greatly increase heat retention as well.

Frames

While many frames are made of aluminum or other metals, the most effective double pane window frames tend to be fiber glass. This is because fiber glass itself is an excellent insulator, while being light and totally immune to warping in the long run.


Different Types of Windows

Broadly defined, a window is ‘any opening in a structure that allows the ingress of light, sound and wind and when closed, it effectively blocks the same’.  Depending on seasonal variances, weather and the personal preference of the home dweller, almost all windows may be opened or closed as and when desired.

In fact, ever since mankind first started erecting structures to protect itself from the external environment and the vagrancies of nature, windows have been part and parcel of all such structures. The earliest windows were simply holes in the walls that were covered with different kinds of animal skins to let in light and air or block the same as the case may be. Over millennia, windows have developed into different, sophisticated types of structures. Some of the different types of windows include:

Awnings

These structures are hinged from the top and are mostly found above primary windows to offer better ventilation

Hoppers

These windows are hinged from the bottom and may be opened from the top; they generally open inwards and are commonly found in educational institutions

Casement windows

These windows are constructed to guide the breeze directly into the house in warm climates. They offer excellent ventilation since they are hinged from the sides and once opened at an angle, are able to bounce the breeze directly into the room to help prevent stuffiness. They are generally held in their prone position though ‘casement stays’ that help ensure they remain opened at the pre-determined angle.

Fixed windows

Fixed windows as the term implies are permanently fixed into their positions and cannot be opened as such. They are typically found in churches and other buildings that only require light for illumination purposes.

Stain glass windows

Such windows are predominantly found in clerestory structures and since centuries have been used to showcase the eternal battle between good and evil. They are primarily painted in different colours and contain vivid imagery that when coupled with sunshine from outside serves to create extremely beautiful scenes and give the structure itself, added splendor.

Picture window

A picture window is a type of fixed window that is glazed with plain glass. Its core purpose is to provide a view of the outside environment and as such, it cannot be opened. It is often framed on the sides in a manner analogous to a picture frame.

Skylight

These types of windows are placed on the top floor or roof of a structure. Their purpose is to provide sunshine into the room below. While some of them can be opened, they are rarely done so due to the fact that they are difficult to access unless one climbs the roof itself.

Storm Windows

Such windows are typically found in very cold climates and are used to trap thermal heat inside the house. They are generally used to cover primary windows and as such, also have a secondary function of protecting the main windows form inclement weather conditions.

Egress Windows

Such windows are also referred to as emergency exit windows and are used to exit a structure quickly and safely in case of fire, flooding or any other emergency.


Casement Windows: An Overview

A casement window, by its very design is a particular type of window that moves on its frame courtesy at least one or more hinges that are attached on the side of the window.

As a general rule, such windows are equipped with a sash that tends to open in a horizontal direction directly opposite the hinge itself. This has the added advantage of increasing overall ventilation as the window once opened, cannot only help direct the breeze in but also increase airflow into your home.

Such windows either may be installed in any home as a standalone unit or as pairs, that when opened can effectively combine ventilation efforts to increase both the airflow as well as sunlight into the home.  When casement windows are paired together, their hinges are typically placed outside the home.

However, for a casement window to remain open, it is imperative that some sort of locking mechanism be in place, otherwise the window will simply keep crashing into its frame every time a stiff breeze hits it. For this purpose an assortment of locking mechanisms exists that are collectively referred to as “Casement Stays.”

Different types of Casement Stays

Most casement stays are simply bars of metal that are designed to hold the casement window in a specific position. However, mostly they are used to keep the window open while the more common ‘dead bolt’ is used to keep the window closed.

Most metal windows have built in stays in place when they are delivered to the house where they are to be installed. However, wooden windows have to have a skilled carpenter who would install them after affixing the window to the structure itself.  Different stays for casement windows include simple bars, each with holes in them where a hook may easily be fitted.

This way it is possible to keep the window open to the desired level depending on which hole or slot the hook is placed. While ‘telescopic stays’ as the term implies may be extended or contracted up to the desired level of extension. Once in place they retain that level for extended periods. However, care should be taken to lubricate the same so that they do not rust after prolong exposure to the environment and thus effectively jam the window permanently in its position.

All casement windows offer exception ventilation advantages over their awning (hinged from the top) or hoppers (hinged from the bottom) counterparts since they can be angled to catch the wind regardless of its direction.

The wide glass front often acts like a ‘sail in a schooner’ and bounces the breeze directly into the room, effectively making sure that your home is never stuffy, even in hot weather.