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When Does Double Glazing Need Replacing?

Aluminium Windows in Oxford installed by Paradise Windows

Double glazed windows have become a fact of life for many of us, yet knowing when the time is right to replace your double glazing can feel confusing. The technology has improved so much in recent decades, that double glazing from, say, the 1990s won’t be as good, long-lasting or even as aesthetically pleasing as more recently produced units.

Here, we look at how this home improvement has evolved over the years, and how to know when you need replacement windows.

Double Glazing: A Brief History

Double glazing is believed to have first been introduced in this country in Victorian times, in Scotland, to help combat the particularly severe winters there.  Then, in the 1930s, the technology moved to the US, meaning double glazing only really took off in the UK in the 1970s, when some things (e.g. aluminium window frames) became cheaper to produce.

At the same time, energy bills increased steeply, and so there was more incentive to improve homes’ energy efficiency.

Today, the Fenestration Self-Assessment (FENSA) scheme means member double glazing contractors can give homeowners certificates with a guarantee of up to 10 years, offering complete peace of mind. And consumer group Which? has said that 67% of homeowners reported warmer home since fitting double glazing.

With stronger incentive than ever to be energy efficient, and more and better products available on the market than before, double glazing remains vitally important as we all look to stay warm affordably while reducing noise pollution and reducing carbon footprint.

Not only are the more recently produced double glazing units more functional and better-made than their older counterparts, but compared with the choice 20 years ago, there are many more shades and styles to choose from now. Whether you want to jump on the trend of olive green or other pastel shades of windows, or you want more window and less frame, it might be time to update and replace your double glazing!

Does My Double Glazing Need Replacing? The Signs To Look Out For

Whether you have a uPVC window or any other type, having double glazing doesn’t necessarily mean you should never upgrade your windows. Older models may lack some of the features of the latest double glazing, or may not be working efficiently.

Here are some tell-tale signs to look out for:

  • Leaks: If any water is entering through your frame, the seal may no longer be functioning properly. While the drainage section may just be blocked, it may also be time for replacement windows.
  • Condensation: If you’re noticing beads of moisture between the two panes of your double glazing, unfortunately, that’s not a minor issue. Ultimately, it means there’s no sealing of the gas cavity between the panes of glass. In this situation, you do need to upgrade your windows immediately, whether they are sash windows or casement windows. Window condensation can cause interior damp issues too, so this is not to be overlooked!
  • Glass that’s cracked or chipped: Again, here replacement windows and doors are the only realistic option.
  • Draughts: A draught means that, again, a seal has broken down. You could just replace the seal, but replacement windows could save you money in the long run.
  • Damage to the frame: If you have aluminium windows this is less likely, but window frames can become damaged over time. While cosmetic problems may not necessarily need a full replacement, in some cases this may still be preferable.
  • Poor Soundproofing: If you can hear every sound from outside your window, whether its traffic or your neighbours leaving or coming back home, updated double glazing might provide a path to some peace for you.

Other things to look out for include higher energy bills and finding it harder than usual to close your uPVC or aluminium windows.

The good news is that, with modern double glazing, which as discussed has evolved significantly over the years, you can look forward to improved security such as multiple locking systems on your windows and doors, tougher glass and all-round improved energy efficiency. Talk to us today about replacement windows for your home.