The creation of double glazed windows is a testament to the phrase, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
Historians speculate that Scottish families residing in large Victorian residences were the pioneers of double glazing. In olden days, many homes would rely on the kitchen fire to keep warm. It was not enough to insulate large houses though, so families were forced to look for ways to fight the draught and keep their colossal mansions heated during winter.
The technology eventually made its way to the United States in the 1930s. As a matter of fact, some accounts credit the invention of double glazing to American inventor C.D. Haven. The windows were then called “thermopane” and were primarily marketed through the Libby Owens Ford Glass Company. By 1950, thermopanes enjoyed immense popularity in the United States and became a trademark synonymous to sophistication and luxury.
Interestingly, it was not until several decades later that the UK market caught up with the trend. The delayed reception boiled down to two practical reasons: Double glazed windows were too expensive for the average household to afford and they were not really needed at the time.
It was only between the late 1970s and 1980s that UK finally took notice – it was impossible not to. It was just too much to rely on traditional heating methods to warm the home if much of the heat was lost through draughty single-pane windows. As energy costs soared, luckily cheaper materials for double glazed windows emerged.
Apart from expensive wooden frames, consumers could then cut costs by opting for aluminium or uPVC alternatives. Overall, the prevailing circumstances demanded that more energy-efficient and cost-effective options be considered.
Today, it’s more than just a luxury item or a need-based commodity. It has become a big business and a major home improvement option. With more companies moving towards expanding their product portfolio, the application of the technology has also expanded from simple windows to entire conservatories.
In UK alone, an estimated 3,000 million pounds is spent annually on replacement windows, doors and conservatories. Newer building regulations aimed to decrease dependency on oil and promote the environment have amplified the overall appeal of the technology.
Experts predict that in the next five years, the demand for energy-efficient products will increase, and although double glazed windows might not exactly be at the forefront, the technology will remain an important factor for homes that want to address their insulation, noise-proofing and energy-saving needs with one simple solution.