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Author Topic: How are windows letting a lot of heat escape from homes if glass is an insulator  (Read 1112 times)

Offline McKay

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Even a double pane window, if I put my hand to it, I can feel it is very much colder then every other part of the outer wall and the rim of the window (in a cold climate, ofc), though glass is a poor conductor of heat.
Is it only because of how thin the glass piece is? If I would have a window glass as thick as my outer walls, would the insulation be as good (or even better than) .. the wall itself?


 

Offline yor_on

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That should depend on density, and how good it reflect and isolate that heat, wouldn't it? A vacuum between the windowpanes use convective heating/cooling, as in there being no matter able to kinetically interact, transferring this heat (or lack of heat) from one side to the other. Something silvery uses radiative heating/cooling, meaning radiation (as 'photons') being reflected. And then you have diffusion, as you leaving your hand in constant contact with that window. I don't know to what degree a solid wall of glass leads heat? Neither what wall you compare it too.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Quote from: McKay
Even a double pane window, if I put my hand to it, I can feel it is very much colder then every other part of the outer wall and the rim of the window (in a cold climate, ofc), though glass is a poor conductor of heat.
Is it only because of how thin the glass piece is?
Yes.

Quote from: McKay
If I would have a window glass as thick as my outer walls, would the insulation be as good (or even better than) .. the wall itself?
Yes.
 

Online alancalverd

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Glass is a better conductor than air, which is why double-glazed windows, whether filled with air, nitrogen or argon, insulate better than thick glass.

If the walls of your house are properly constructed, they contain a lot of air, at least as a cavity between brick layers and more often in a foam or wool to prevent convection. Bricks and breeze blocks have marginally lower conductivity than glass and a plasterboard (sheetrock) liner is a fairly efficient insulator, especially if spaced 2 cm from the brickwork on battens (thus trapping more air). So I regret that in all practical cases, PmbPhy's second answer is wrong.

 
 

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