The history of double glazing

What are double glazed windows?

Double glazing is basically two panes of glass specially installed with an Argon gas in between to increase energy efficiency and thermal performance. You can think of it like an environmentally friendly jam sandwich! The ‘bread’ is the two types of modern energy efficient glass, designed to control the flow of heat through the window so that your home stays warmer. The ‘jam’ is a cushion of air in our windows a special inert gas (found naturally in our atmosphere) called Argon. “Inert” means that it is safe and non-reactive – that’s why Argon is known as the lazy gas. Argon drastically reduces the mobility of heat moving through it; this means that heat stays in your home for longer.

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How long has double glazing been in use?

For many British houses double glazing and uPVC windows are relatively common and easily assessable; you can walk down pretty much any street in the UK and see a line of double glazed windows. But even though the concept has been around for many years double glazing only really became popular in Britain throughout the 1970's and 80s. It is believed that modern day double glazing as we know it was invented in America by C.D Haven in the 1930's, though the Romans invented a similar idea of heat retention over 2000 years ago.

In olden times many people relied on fires to keep their homes warm but there was an issue, particularly with larger houses, in keeping the heat inside the home. A lot of the property's heat escaped through the windows and simply insulating them did not provide enough warmth during cold winters. Noticing the major problem C.D Haven invented double glazed windows which were known as "thermopane"; they were revolutionary in that they provided an amazing thermal benefit and transformed many households. During 1950's America thermopanes became extremely popular and were perceived to be a product associated with sophistication, luxury and superiority.

It took several decades for the UK to realise the benefits of double glazed windows and we gradually saw the rise in many British homes. Safestyle was founded in 1992 and while today's market is incredibly different the main benefits of double glazing have remained the same. People chose to replace their windows because of the thermal benefit and the reduction of energy costs. Double glazing has advanced massively since its introduction and you can now choose glass with advance technology and additional protection. Today you can choose from many different styles, colours and frame options to find the perfect windows for your home. It's important to remember that double glazing does not last forever and it will eventually need to be replaced. A good estimate is that if your double glazing is over 20 years old then it might not be working as efficiently as when it was new, and certainly won't match the standards of today's glazing products. You can find the top signs that suggest your double glazing has failed and is performing inefficiently here.

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