Honesty, integrity and transparency.
We all want to make sure that what we put our time, effort, and investments into are of good quality – they should have clear benefits and ideally deliver those benefits for a good, long while. It’s no different when it comes to any improvements we make to our homes, and of the many possible things we can have worked on, windows can be the most finicky of the lot. We know it’s a good way to save energy, but how long does double glazing – along with the benefits and savings it brings – last?
Let’s take a quick look into this matter.
The long and short of it is that most double glazing units should last you an average of 20 years. Of course, there are quite a number of factors to consider in what exactly constitutes a “good” double glazing unit: factors such as the quality of the materials used, temperature differences, workmanship of the installation, and even the geographic location of the home these are used in, just to name a few.
Not all double glazing units will last the same, even if they’re all from the same double glazing company. Depending on the aforementioned factors, some can last for as little as 10 years, while others can last for far longer than the average of 20 years, giving as much as 35 years of service before it effectively bites the dust. As such, companies will typically provide a warranty of 10-20 years, depending on the manufacturer.
Another factor that can significantly affect a DGU’s longevity is its location within the home and where it faces in relation to the equator – windows facing toward it often last less than 12 years.
Over time, double glazed windows may incur some wear and tear and all manner of minor damage, such as gas-filled insulated glazing unit slowly, gradually leaking. The Center for Sustainable Energy comments:
When around 25% of the gas has evaporated, the thermal performance of the windows will be reduced and replacing the windows or installing a secondary glazing measure should be considered.
Another issue that may occur has to do with condensation, when it “collects between the layers of glass when the perimeter seal has failed and when the desiccant has become saturated, and can generally only be eliminated by replacing the IGU”. Want to know more? Read up on What You Need to Know About Double Glazing Condensation.
And of course, the ravages of time can take its toll on your double glazed windows as well. One way this happens is when significant temperature differences between the outside and inside surfaces of the DGU can stress the spacer adhesives, potentially causing it to fail. The smaller the gap between glass panes in a DGU, the more prone to this sort of issue it becomes. When this happens, look into having your double glazing unit serviced, or in more severe cases, it may be necessary to consider having the entire unit replaced.
For the most part, good quality double glazing units properly installed and given reasonable, appropriate maintenance should last you a good two decades, if not more. A reputable company with good service should give you peace of mind with a good warranty that should cover your investment for a significant part of its expected lifespan, and once past that, you always have a good number of options for dealing with any issues that may arise.