31Mar 2024

Single Glazed Windows vs Double Glazed Windows: Which is Better for Your Home?

Posted in: Home Improvement and Window Styles  –  By Patchett Joinery

When it comes to choosing the right windows for your home, the decision between single glazed windows vs double glazed windows can have a significant impact on your comfort, energy efficiency, and overall living experience.

While single glazed windows have been a staple in older homes, double glazed windows are becoming increasingly popular due to their numerous advantages.

Double glazed windows offer superior UV protection, blocking harmful UV rays more effectively than their single-pane counterparts. However, not all double glazed units are created equal – the type of glass used plays a crucial role in determining the level of protection against UV radiation.

Beyond UV protection, the choice between single and double glazed windows affects insulation, energy efficiency, and durability. Double glazed windows, with their additional layer of glass and insulating air or gas space, provide better thermal insulation, reducing heat transfer and potentially lowering your energy bills.

Double glazed windows are typically more durable and long-lasting, offering enhanced soundproofing and protection against condensation and drafts, creating a more comfortable indoor environment.

Understanding the differences between single glazed windows vs double glazed windows is crucial because the right choice can transform your home into a more comfortable, energy-efficient, and visually appealing living space. 

Skilled man fitting white-framed window on a cloudy day.

What Does Glazing Mean? 

Glazing means the glass used in windows. You’ll often hear it when deciding between single glazed windows and double glazed glass windows.

Glass helps control the light, air, and warmth flow into a home. Different glazing options affect how well windows insulate. The glass also gives windows strength and durability. Without glazing, windows would be empty frames!

In the UK and other countries, the two most common glazing types for windows are single glazing and double glazing. Single glazing windows only use one sheet of glass, while double glazed glass windows have two panes of glass separated by an air gap. This small difference greatly impacts how well windows insulate and how comfortable a home stays year-round.

What Is Single Glazed Windows?

Single glazed windows are a type of window commonly found in older homes across the UK. They contain just one pane of glass. Many properties built before the 1980s had only single glazing because it was more affordable than other options.

Single glazed windows typically use regular float glass for their single pane. Float glass is a basic glass made from sand, limestone, and soda ash. It is of lower quality compared to modern glass varieties.

These single glazed windows lasted around 30-50 years on average before needing repairs. After this period, they would start to become drafty as the single glass lost its ability to retain heat. Many people upgrade older single glazed windows for improved comfort and lower utility bills year-round.

5 Major Benefits of Single Glazed Windows

While single glazed windows might seem outdated compared to their double-glazed counterparts, they still offer several advantages, especially for certain homes and circumstances. 

Here’s a look at some of the major benefits:

Cost-EffectivenessSingle glazed windows are more affordable for initial production and installation, making them a budget-friendly option.
Ease of RepairTheir simple design allows for easier and often cheaper repairs, as replacing a single pane of glass is straightforward for skilled professionals.
Historical AccuracyPerfect for maintaining the authentic look of historical or period properties, as they match the original specifications and aesthetics..
Environmental ImpactManufacturing requires less material and energy than double glazed windows, offering a reduced environmental footprint during production.
Natural LightSingle panes provide less obstruction than double glazed units, allowing more natural light to enter the room.

What is Double Glazed Glass Windows?

Double glazed glass windows are the go-to choice for modern homes across the UK. Unlike single glazed windows, these feature two panes of glass instead of one. This clever design creates an insulating layer of air (or gas) between the glass panes, offering a bundle of benefits for homeowners.

Newly built houses often feature double glazing as standard. Why? Because these windows play a huge part in making homes more energy-efficient and comfortable. Double glazing in the chilly British weather helps keep the warmth in and the cold out. Plus, they’re great for reducing outside noise, making your home a peaceful sanctuary.

The glass in double glazed windows is usually more challenging than in single glazed windows. It’s designed to withstand the UK’s variable weather. Plus, the space between the glass panes can be filled with gases like argon, adding extra insulation.

On average, with proper care, they can keep your home cosy and quiet for about 20 to 35 years, sometimes even longer. This makes them a smart investment for homeowner looking to improve their property’s energy efficiency and overall comfort.

5 Common Benefits of Double Glazed Glass Windows

Double glazed windows have become a fundamental feature in homes looking for comfort, efficiency, and security. This innovation not only enhances the living environment within the home but also contributes to significant energy savings over time. 

Let’s dive into the five common benefits of double glazed windows, showcasing why they’ve become popular among homeowners, especially in climates like the UK.

Enhanced InsulationThe air or gas layer between the two panes significantly reduces heat transfer, keeping homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Energy EfficiencyImproved insulation means less energy is needed to heat or cool the home, lowering energy bills.
Noise ReductionThe double layer of glass effectively reduces external noise, making homes quieter and more peaceful.
Increased SecurityDouble glazed windows are more difficult to break than single glazed, offering better security against intruders.
Reduced CondensationThe air gap between the panes prevents condensation from forming on the inside window pane, reducing dampness and mold risk.

Man holding a double glazed window.

Comparing Single Glazed Windows vs Double Glazed Windows

When picking the right windows for your home, the choice between single glazed windows and double glazed windows can make all the difference. Let’s break down the 15 key differences to help you make an informed decision.

1. Insulation Performance

While a single glazed window lets the sun’s warmth permeate your room, it doesn’t hold heat well when temperatures drop. In contrast, the air gap in double glazed windows traps heat, offering a snug barrier against the cold, keeping your home warm in winter and cool during summer.

2. Energy Efficiency

If you’re in a region with mild weather, single glazed windows might surprisingly keep your home comfortable without much help. On the flip side, double glazed windows shine in most climates by cutting down on the need for artificial heating and cooling, which could translate to significant savings on your energy bills.

3. Overall Security

A single glazed window may be vulnerable due to its lone pane. Meanwhile, the robustness of double glazed windows comes from that extra pane, making it a sturdier barrier against unwanted guests.

4. Condensation Resistance

Dealing with condensation is common with single glazed windows, leading to potential dampness issues. Double glazed windows, with their insulating air gap, vastly reduce the risk of condensation, keeping your windows clear and your rooms dry.

5. Soundproof Qualities

For those living in bustling areas, single glazed windows might let in more noise than desired. Double glazed windows excel in muffling the sounds of the outside world, offering a quieter, more serene living space.

6. Cost

Looking at initial costs, single glazed windows are easier on the wallet. But double glazed windows are a wise investment for long-term savings, especially on heating and cooling expenses, despite the higher upfront cost.

7. Aesthetic Preferences

Single glazed windows have a charm that complements historic homes beautifully, preserving their timeless elegance. Double glazed windows offer versatility for a broader selection of styles that fit modern and traditional designs alike, enhancing any home’s appearance.

8. UV Radiation Blocking

Though single glazed windows can filter out some UV rays, double glazed windows can be equipped with special coatings that better protect your home’s interior from the sun’s fading effects, keeping your fabrics vibrant for years.

9. Internal Temperature Stability

Single glazed windows might let indoor temperatures fluctuate, while double glazed windows help keep your home’s climate pleasantly consistent, effectively warding off the chill of winter and the blaze of summer.

10. Environmental Impact

With a lighter manufacturing footprint, single glazed windows might seem eco-friendlier. However, the energy efficiency of double glazed windows reduces overall carbon emissions, making them an environmentally sound choice over time.

11. Longevity and Durability

Although single glazed windows can withstand time with proper care, double glazed windows are inherently more durable, designed to resist the rigours of harsh weather and everyday use, offering peace of mind with their extended lifespan.

12. Aesthetic and Design Options

Single glazed windows cater to those seeking to maintain a classic or historical look, effortlessly fitting into older homes. On the other hand, double glazed windows are available in a wealth of designs, ensuring an option to complement any architectural style, from vintage charm to contemporary chic.

13. Maintenance

Simple repairs on single glazed windows can be straightforward, making them relatively easy to maintain. Yet, double glazed windows tend to require less upkeep over the years, thanks to their robust construction that stands up better to daily wear and tear.

14. Climate Withstand

While single glazed windows may suffice in gentler climates, offering basic elemental protection, double glazed windows are equipped to tackle a broader spectrum of weather conditions, providing superior insulation against winter’s cold and summer’s heat.

Each window type has unique advantages tailored to different needs, preferences, and environmental conditions. Knowing these differences helps you choose the right windows for your home, ensuring comfort, efficiency, and style.

Two experts lifting a single glazed window for installation.

9 Things to Check when Choosing the Right Windows For Your Properties

Choosing the right windows for your home goes beyond looks. It’s about what fits your needs, weather, and budget. In the UK, with its unpredictable weather, the choice between single glazed windows vs double glazed windows makes a big difference. It affects your comfort and energy costs. 

Here are nine important things to consider to make the best choice for your home. As you read each one, ask yourself how it fits your situation.

1. Energy Efficiency

Why It Matters: Energy-efficient windows can significantly reduce your heating bills, which is especially important in the UK’s variable climate. Poorly insulated windows can lead to heat loss, making your home less comfortable and more expensive.

Ask Yourself: How well will these windows keep my home warm in winter and cool in summer?

2. Sound Insulation

Why It Matters: Good sound insulation is key in noisy environments. Windows that fail to block out noise can affect your quality of life, making your home less peaceful.

Ask Yourself: Will these windows keep external noise out effectively?

3. Security Features

Why It Matters: Windows are a common entry point for burglars. Weak windows can compromise your home’s security, putting your property and loved ones at risk.

Ask Yourself: Do these windows have strong locks and durable glass?

4. Durability and Longevity

Why It Matters: Durable windows withstand the test of time and weather, offering better value for money. Windows that deteriorate quickly can lead to additional repair or replacement costs.

Ask Yourself: How long are these windows expected to last?

5. Condensation Resistance

Why It Matters: Condensation can cause mold and damage to window frames, affecting your home’s air quality and structure. Ineffective windows can lead to dampness and health issues.

Ask Yourself: Can these windows prevent condensation build-up?

6. UV Protection

Why It Matters: UV rays can fade furniture and harm skin. Windows without UV protection can lead to sun damage inside your home.

Ask Yourself: Do these windows offer protection against UV rays?

7. Aesthetic Appeal

Why It Matters: Windows significantly impacts the look of your property. Choosing the wrong style can affect your home’s curb appeal and value.

Ask Yourself: Do these windows complement the style of my home?

8. Environmental Impact

Why It Matters: Eco-friendly windows help reduce your carbon footprint. Choosing less sustainable options can contribute to environmental degradation.

Ask Yourself: Are these windows made from sustainable materials?

9. Cost vs Value

Why It Matters: While initial cost is an important consideration, the long-term value in energy savings, durability, and maintenance needs is crucial. Opting for cheaper windows can cost more in the long run.

Ask Yourself: Am I getting the best value for my investment?

Room with large glazing windows offering scenic garden view.

Making the Right Choice: Guide to Selecting Your Home’s Ideal Windows

Choosing the right home windows requires more thought than just appearance. It’s an investment that impacts your comfort, bills, and home for years to come. As we’ve covered, single and double glazing have advantages depending on your needs.

The nine criteria examined – climate suitability and maintenance requirements – are crucial for your property. Understanding factors like noise insulation, UV protection, and lifespan will help make the choice tailored to your location and lifestyle.

Overall, double glazed windows typically provide unbeatable energy efficiency through exceptional insulation. The savings recouped in lower bills largely offset their upfront premium. For most UK homes, upgrading to double glazing makes excellent financial sense in the long run through reduced spending on heating and repairs.
Don’t hesitate to contact local experts like Patchett Joinery if you need any guidance matching premium joinery craftsmanship with your project needs. Their expertise in timber windows, doors, and specialised UK-appropriate products ensures ideal, durable solutions.

Stylish perspective of glazing window design from homeowner's view.

Why Choose Patchett Joinery: Where Quality Meets Innovation for Your Windows and Doors

At Patchett Joinery, we pride ourselves on blending over 170 years of tradition with the latest technological advances to offer premium windows and doors. Founded in 1840, our journey from a versatile joinery firm to specialists in timber windows and doors showcases our dedication to excellence. 

Whether you’re considering double glazed glass windows for their energy efficiency and soundproof qualities or appreciate the aesthetic appeal and simplicity of single glazed windows, our team is here to craft the perfect solution for your home.

Our commitment extends beyond craftsmanship. We’re dedicated to sustainability, ensuring our products elevate your home and protect our planet. By choosing Patchett Joinery, you’re not just upgrading your windows and doors but investing in a greener future and embracing a blend of heritage and innovation.

Contact us for a personalised strategy that meets your household’s unique needs. Let’s create something exceptional together. 


What Are Double Glass Windows Benefits?

Double glazed windows offer enhanced insulation, keeping your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. They’re more energy-efficient, reducing heating and cooling costs. They also improve noise reduction, increase security, and minimise condensation inside the home.

Is Double Glazing Better Than Single?

Yes, double glazing is generally better than single glazing in terms of energy efficiency, insulation, and noise reduction. It provides a higher level of comfort and can lead to savings on energy bills.

Is it Worth Paying for Double Glazing Windows?

Investing in double glazing is worthwhile for most homeowners. The initial cost is offset by long-term savings on energy bills, improved home security, and increased property value. Plus, it enhances living comfort by reducing noise and regulating indoor temperatures.

Does Double Glazing Add Value to a House?

Double glazing can add value to a house by improving its energy efficiency rating, enhancing aesthetic appeal, and increasing buyer attraction due to improved insulation and reduced noise. These factors can make a property more appealing in the real estate market.

How Much Warmer Is a House With Double Glazing?

A house with double glazing can be significantly warmer, reducing heat loss by up to 50-60% compared to single glazing. This can make a noticeable difference in maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature during colder months.