Double glazing is a highly effective way to keep your home warm and free from draughts. The principle of double glazing is that two panes are better than one. Warm air is trapped in the gap between the panes, offering an added layer of insulation. The double panes of glass also offer excellent sound control, allowing you to prevent sounds from outside disturbing you in your home.
Double glazing is designed to last for a long time with good maintenance, but there are some things that can cause the components to wear down and eventually become less effective. While some of these components can be replaced, eventually, it will become more economically viable to replace the entire window. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the factors you should look out for when your windows are nearing the end of their life.
How often does double glazing need replacing?
This all depends on the quality of the windows and how well they are installed. Environmental factors will also have a big impact on how long your double glazing lasts. In general, double glazing can last for 10-50 years. Some will also offer a guarantee for a minimum amount of time, so if you’re worried that your double glazing has failed, you should check if you are still under warranty.
On average, most homeowners will look at replacing their double glazing every 20 years or so. This is typically how long you can expect to wait before components in your window frames will start to break down.
Can condensation in double glazing be fixed?
Sometimes, you don’t need to replace your double glazing and there are simple fixes you can try before you need to spend money on replacements. For example, condensation in your windows isn’t always a sign that you need to replace the entire window. Sometimes, this simply means that a gasket has failed and this will need to be replaced.
Signs your double glazing needs replacing
If you’re not sure if it’s time to replace your double glazing, read on to learn some of the most common signs that your double glazing has stopped performing at its best.
Draughts around your windows
In the colder months, if you feel cold air around your windows, this is a telltale sign that your windows have failed and you’ll need to replace them. If you’re struggling to keep your home as warm as usual, this could be a sign that your windows have failed. If the draughts are coming from around the glass part, this could be a sign that the rubber seals around your windows have worn away. If the draught is coming from around the brickwork, this could be a sign that your window sealants have failed.
Chips or cracks
Chips or cracks in your window will prevent the double glazing from working effectively. If you have a chipped, cracked or smashed window, you’ll need to replace the glazing portion of the window. And if your windows are very old, it might be more cost effective to replace the entire frame.
Increase in condensation
If you struggle to see through your windows because of condensation, this could be a sign that you need to replace the glazing or the entire frame. When water is able to get between the panes of glass, it will turn into vapour as it is heated. This leads to a misty appearance that settles between the panes. Condensation is a sign that the seal is broken and needs to be replaced.
Your windows are leaking
If your windows are allowing water in from the outside, this is a clear sign that something is wrong. It could mean that a seal has failed or there is a blockage in the drainage section of your windows. Regardless of the cause, windows leaking water into your home is a surefire sign that you need to replace your windows.
Your energy bills are on the rise
If you notice that your home is more difficult to keep warm and comfortable and your energy bills are rising at the same time, this is a sign that your windows aren’t working as efficiently as they could be. If there is a fault in the window seal, they will not trap a layer of warm air and they will not work efficiently.
In this instance, you may need to replace your window seals or consider replacing the entire window. If you want to make your home as efficient as possible, it can be beneficial to replace your windows with energy efficient frames that help to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
Difficult to open and close
It isn’t only the glazing that can break down over time, it’s also common for the window components to break or become difficult to use. If you struggle to open or close your windows, if they are seized shut, or if the frames simply don’t work for your needs anymore, it could be time to think about replacing them.
Making sure your windows are safe and efficient is essential for home safety, as you may need to use a window to escape in the event of a fire. It’s also common to change your windows as your needs change. For example, if your family is growing and you have children, you might choose to change to a safer style of window that will allow you to open your windows without the risk that your child could fall out.
The quality of your windows and the standard of installation will have a big impact on how long your windows last. Some will only last for 10 years while others will be perfectly functional for 50 years. After around 20 years, most homeowners will start to think about the possibility of replacing their windows with something more modern and energy efficient. This can help to keep your energy bills down while also making your home warm and comfortable.