Making Apartment Windows More Secure: Tips for Renters and Landlords

Basic Pointers About Double-Glazed Windows

You might, like many people, be interested in making your home more energy efficient. One way to achieve this is with double-glazed windows. Here are several basic pointers for these windows.

Double-glazed Windows and Heat Transfer

You can think of double glazing as insulation for windows. Bulk wall and ceiling insulation consists of materials filled with pockets of air that block heat transfer. Double glazing achieves this by using two glass panes with a sealed air pocket in the middle. Heat struggles to cross the gap, so the window works as a thermal barrier. Sometimes the sealed centre space is filled with gas, which is more effective than air.

The Security Benefits of Double Glazing

Though the prime purpose of double-glazed units is energy efficiency, they also enhance home security. They increase the difficulty for burglars, who have to get past two glass panes rather than one. Plus, the sealed air can act like a shock absorber, making the outer glass harder to break.

To increase security further, you can insert stronger types of glass. For example, use toughened safety glass, which is sturdier than standard glass. Other options include thicker sheets of glazing. Or you could place security film over the glass, which holds the glass in one piece even if it cracks. This works similarly to laminated glass, which has a plastic film inside two glass sheets.

The Energy Efficiency of the Frame Material

The window frame material also affects the thermal efficiency of a double-glazed window. The double glazing blocks heat from passing readily through the glass, but heat may instead transfer through the frame depending on its material composition. Timber frames, for example, don't transmit heat, making them energy-efficient. However, wooden frames need painting every few years once the old layer flakes.

Aluminium is another option for double-framed windows. While this material is almost maintenance-free and lightweight, making it easy to manoeuvre, heat can pass through an aluminium frame. Thus, on a hot day, as the sun shines on the window, the frame will heat up and transmit that warmth inside. A solution to this is an aluminium window with a thermal break. These frames have a strip of plastic inside to block heat transfer.

You could alternatively opt for PVC double-glazed windows. These are manufactured to mimic painted timber in various colours. They're low-maintenance and light, and they don't transmit heat, making them an effective frame material for double-glazed windows.

For more information on double-glazed windows, contact a local contractor.