The concept of a window is one of those truly simple ideas that dramatically increased the quality of life for everyone. Long ago, buildings had only a few tiny windows because construction techniques and materials were such that many large windows would weaken a building too much to justify them. As a consequence, most very old buildings tend to be dark, oppressive places where a light of some sort is essential anywhere in the building.
As construction engineering moved forward, we gained access to large windows that make buildings far brighter and more cheerful. This step forward brought an unforeseen problem. Since glass is an excellent conductor of heat, people discovered that the more window a building had, the more utility money was flowing out of it through those windows. Today, people attempting to combat this phenomenon frequently turn to two solutions, each with their own pros and cons. Those choices are roller shutters and double glazing.
Double glazing is simply taking advantage of the fact that gases are extremely poor conductors of heat. A double glazed window will have two or more panes of glass with air or another gas trapped between the panes. This trapped layer provides insulation to minimize the heat transfer between the interior and exterior of a building. The major advantage to using double glazed windows is that they are a no fuss solution. Once installed, there is nothing for users to do to take advantage of the insulation.
There is a price for the way double glazed windows are built. Condensation can occur within the window and the owners have no way to clean this area. Aside from hoping the problem corrects itself, the only other option to fix this problem is ripping out and replacing the windows.
The second money saving option is roller shutters. When in the down position, roller shutters actually provide far more insulation than even the best double glazed windows. They also protect from far more than heat transfer. They provide security against burglary and fire in addition to just saving money on utilities.
There is a single disadvantage to roller shutters for windows. You cannot see through them. While opening and closing roller shutters can be as simple as the flip of a switch, some feel that any effort on their part is too much effort.
While most people feel that they are making a decision between roller shutters and double glazing, the truth is that wise building owners often install both to get the best of both worlds.
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