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What is Secondary Glazing?

Written by MS
05/07/2021 09:00:41


Keeping our homes warm, eliminating draughts, and lowering those energy bills are three of the most common reasons that people undertake home improvement projects. As both building and window insulation have developed in recent years, more and more people are opting to upgrade to double and even triple glazing options. 
 
In general, all forms of insulated glass consist of two or more glass window panes, separated by a vacuum or gas-filled space to reduce heat transfer. This locks heat in the home during the winter months to keep energy bills low. 
 
In this latest blog from The Plastic People, we are going to take a look at the most cost-effective form of glass insulation: Secondary Glazing. If you have already purchased your glazing panels and would like to check out our installation guide, click here.
 
What is Secondary Glazing?
 
So, the central question, what exactly is secondary glazing? Much like both traditional double and triple glazing, secondary glazing involves adding a layer or pane to your windows, which locks in heat. 
 
By fitting an internal pane to your existing single glazed window, you can create multi-glazed glass without the need to replace all the window frames around your home. As a result, secondary glazing is dramatically cheaper to purchase and install than more traditional techniques. 
 
Installing secondary glazing is a simple DIY task too. You can complete it by yourself - without the need to hire expensive labourers to install new windows for you. Here at The Plastic People, we do all the hard work for you too! 
 
We can cut to size/shape the glazing panels and supply a MagnetGlaze kit, so all you have to do is place the secondary glazing panels in situ. 
 
Benefits of Secondary Glazing 
 
We have already mentioned a few of the benefits of secondary glazing, but here we are going to take a more in-depth look at why you should consider this method of glass insulation over more traditional techniques. 
 
  • Price: Typically, double glazing costs between £200 and £700 per window (not including installation), which leads to a bill of multiple thousands of pounds for an entire home. Whereas, for secondary glazing, the average window pane costs £50 (+) - dramatically lower! Secondary glazing is the perfect alternative to uPVC double glazing if your budget is not too big. 
 
  • Installation: As previously mentioned, secondary glazing can be a DIY project. Therefore, you will not need a team of labourers to install your new windows, saving you both time and money! A whole house can be fitted with secondary glazing panels in one weekend. 
 
  • Planning: Unlike double and triple glazing, secondary glazing does not require planning permission before installation. This means if you live in a listed home/area, you will not have to seek extra guidance from the local government before improving your home! (Again, avoiding planning permission saves you both time and money.) 
 
  • Insulation: While secondary glazing does not provide the same level of insulation as double and triple glazing, it does still offer good heat retention. This will help you reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint. 
 
  • Security: Adding an extra layer or pane to your windows also provides an additional layer of security. Secondary glazing is harder to break into than single-paned windows. It reduces the amount of noise pollution too. 
 
The Types of Secondary Glazing 
 
There are several different types of secondary glazing on offer, which provide different benefits. In this section, we are going to take a quick look at each type of glazing, so you can decide which is best for your home. 
 
Magnetic Glazing
 
We may be biased as suppliers of MagnetGlaze kits, but we think magnetic secondary glazing offers the simplest installation process. As the glazing panels are cut to size for you, all you have to do at home is attach the magnetic strips and position the internal glass in place - it’s that easy.
 
Click here to check out our secondary glazing installation guide for more. 
 
Magnetic secondary glazing is typically semi-permanent too, so you can install the panels in winter and then remove them in summer to let heat pass through your home easier. 
 
There are a couple of drawbacks to this installation method, though. Particularly strong winds can knock off the glazing panels - but this rarely happens, and they can simply be reattached without any hassle. 
 
To get your secondary glazing cut to any size or shape, make sure to check out our online calculator! We also supply MagnetGlaze kits and a range of other plastic adhesives.  
 
Secondary Glazing Film 
 
Secondary glazing film is a self-adhesive and transparent film, which you stick to the inside of your window to create a double glazing ‘effect’. This is an incredibly cheap system of glazing that offers some added insulation. 
 
Nevertheless, the film is incredibly noticeable on your window and, over time, begins to sag and form air bubbles. There is also no barrier against noise pollution in this option, and the general thermal insulation is limited too. 
 
Wooden and Aluminium Secondary Glazing 
 
Wooden and aluminium secondary glazing are the two methods that most resemble traditional double uPVC double glazing. These involve either wooden or aluminium frames - made to mimic your existing window frame - which holds the glass insulation panels in place. 
 
These two methods ensure that the additional glazing fits the design of your home perfectly, and offer high levels of insulation. Aluminium frames in particular are incredibly slim line and sturdy, while wooden frames are a little bulkier. 
 
On the other hand, these two options are the costliest secondary glazing methods and cannot easily be removed. Wooden frames require maintenance, and aluminium frames can sometimes be more expensive than uPVC double glazing. 
 
That just about brings us to the end of this guide to secondary glazing. You should now be experts in the world of window glazing and glass insulation, and ready to venture into the world of home improvements! 
 
If you need any extra advice on secondary, please get in contact with our customer services team. They will be more than happy to answer any questions. Email us today at service@theplasticpeople.co.uk 
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