DIY double glazing solves chills in a Victorian semi
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 December 2011 at 9:33 am
'My wife and I moved into our new home with baby and toddler in tow some six years ago,' writes Dan Saniaszek. 'I say “new”, but in reality it was a late Victorian semi. Thankfully, not a draughty and cold horror story, but still a long way from being energy efficient. Over the years, I’ve upgraded the 20+ year old boiler to a condensing one, and topped up the loft to 300mm, among other DIY energy saving improvements.'
'One problem area that bugged us for the first couple of years was the large single-glazed, wooden-frame window comprising five individual panels in the sitting room. As the family sofa was right under this window, it was the first place we felt a chilly draught down our necks of an autumnal evening, and the inevitable argument between myself and my wife about turning the heating on or putting more clothes on ensued (I’ll leave you to decide who was in favour of which option!).
'Copious amounts of sealer did little to improve our comfort. As a heritage building in a conservation area, our options were limited – the style of window had to remain. Quotes in excess of £2,000 put paid to replacement double glazing.
'I had various professionals round looking at internal secondary glazing options but the geometry of the windows wasn’t right.
'Then, in a moment of inspiration that had somehow eluded me 'til then, I examined the external framing and concluded it would be a piece of cake to put a second piece of glass in each of the window units to create a 2 inch thick air gap. Glaziers were duly called and, for less than a tenth of the price of a replacement window, we cut out the chills, kept the heating off a bit longer, retained the period features and to cap it all, substantially reduced the airoplane noise from the flightpath above our house! We were warned about the potential for condensation so I put silica gel in the air gap. We’ve not experienced any problems. '
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Photo by Jenni Douglas
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