These days, double glazing is very common throughout the world. Many homes use double-glazed windows to prevent heat from leaving their homes in the winters and entering in the summers. While an American inventor named C.D Haven is known for inventing double glazing in 1930, the concept goes much further back.
Double glazing faced many challenges from its inception and became available for sale after a long time. It has a rich and significant history, and its evolution has given birth to the highly efficient and feature-rich double-glazed windows we see today.
Let’s dive into the history/evolution of double glazing to understand how this popular window instalment came to be.
The History/Evolution of Double Glazing
The history/evolution of double glazing dates back to the 1870s, when it was first conceptualized and used in homes.
During the Victorian Times, Europeans needed an effective solution that could keep their homes warmer during the harsh winters. Since there was no effective insulation in homes, the bigger the home, the colder it would get. This need for a solution gave birth to the idea of double glazing.
Many homes across Germany, Switzerland, and Scotland started to add an additional pane of glass to their windows, using available materials like putty. This was the first time double glazing was used on a large scale, even though it wasn’t known by this name.
American inventor Haven improved on the existing concept and developed a technologically advanced solution known as ‘Thermopane’. The invention used two panes of glass and bonded them within a single frame or window.
Multiple manufacturers reject Haven’s invention because of the complexity and high cost of production.
Haven’s struggles end as finally, the Libbey-Owen-Ford Glass Company in Ohio decides to manufacture and patent his invention as Thermopane. The patent is registered, but unfortunately, WWII begins, causing production to stop.
Late 1940s – Early 1950s
Thermopane quickly becomes popular in the US during the late 40s and early 50s. This post-World War II period saw an economic boom in America. Thermopane was heralded as an excellent long-term and cost-effective solution. During this time, Thermopane was also seen as a symbol of luxury and sophistication among the rich and middle classes.
The growing development sector in Britain meant that thousands of new homes were being developed. Their single-glazed windows could only keep the wind out but not the cold or indoor condensation from heating, which caused mold growth.
Better solutions were needed because mold was posing serious health risks. The British government finally set up legislation and regulation to protect citizens. They encouraged builders to invest in energy-saving technologies that would also be cost-effective.
While most of the US was benefitting from double glazing for over two decades, the UK only started developing and using it during the 70s. Widespread use was sparked by the arrival of inexpensive materials and The Suez Canal Crisis, which forced the government to consider more efficient options.
Since fuel prices skyrocketed during the crisis, it increased household energy bills. UK citizens needed efficient and cost-effective solutions, which pushed the demand for insulation with double glazing to new heights in the UK.
The 80s are widely known as the era when double glazing became the norm. During this time, most homes in the UK and US used double glazing to benefit from long-term improved thermal efficiency, cost benefits, and safety features.
By the 90s, most homes in western countries across the Americas and Europe started using double glazing as an effective insulation solution. Double glazing saw true global growth as more people around the adopted double glazing.
Double Glazing Today
After decades of widespread use, double glazing has gone through many improvements. Today, it can retain more heat, provide better insulation, more energy efficiency, is stronger than ever, and offers incredible noise reduction.
Most importantly, the latest manufacturing techniques have reduced the cost of production while improving features, performance, efficiency, and individual requirements like design. Today, you can opt for double-glazed window designs of your choice without breaking the bank or waiting too long.
Various manufacturers offer customized fits, multiple color options, dual-color options, and choice of materials, among other customization options. Modern double glazing is different from the early days when people only had limited options for double glazing that were less efficient and expensive from a handful of manufacturers.
The Future of Double Glazing
Despite having achieved far better efficiency, performance, and added features. Existing performance and standards are constantly improving, and the demand for improved designs is also increasing.
More homes are incorporating double glazed windows than ever, and no one seems to be moving away from it, increasing the overall popularity. This popularity can be due to the multiple long-term benefits and low-cost insulation of such windows.
On the flip side, manufacturers keep introducing competitive offerings. They bring the latest and greatest double glazing options and window designs to market. As a result, we expect improved efficiency, performance, and features at lower, customer-friendly prices in the coming years.
Moreover, while custom designs are currently available, in the future, their production time and costs will decrease as well. You will be able to get double-glazed windows that meet the exact color and design of your home’s interior and exterior.
There will be very little that double-glazed windows don’t cover, from traditional and classic designs to contemporary and innovative ones. Eventually, there will be significantly more homes with double glazing than without it.
One innovation that is in the pipeline is triple glazing. It adds an extra pane of glass for increased insulation. However, the difference is not that significant, especially when you consider the extra costs.
While triple glazed windows exist today, they are not nearly as common or in demand. However, they will become more popular in colder regions like the Scandinavian countries of Sweden and Norway, where the increased insulation has a greater impact.
Over the years, the improvements in double glazing have significantly increased the usefulness and popularity of double glazed windows. They are a highly cost-effective solution that keeps the heat inside your home during winters and prevents it from entering your home during summers.
The warmth, insulation, energy efficiency, longevity, security, cost savings, noise reduction, and design options make them one of the most important elements of any modern home. Of course, with so many options, materials, and manufacturers in the market, it is often difficult to choose the right double-glazed windows.
You must do prior research and make sure you only choose high-quality double-glazed windows for your home, as it is a long-term investment.