Modern residential complexes are often glazed with cold glazing systems. What do residents get as a result? In the summer, the balcony is worse than in the sauna, and in the winter everything freezes over, flows, mold forms, and there are drafts. At the same time, the management of residential complexes, management companies and the city planning committee prohibit the insulation of the facades of houses with a change in the appearance of the facade structure, because the style and concept of glazing of the house must be preserved. The solution is simple – to replace cold glazing with warm one without changing the facade. The external aesthetics are preserved, the requirements of the Criminal Code and the city are observed to preserve the uniformity of facade glazing. What can you get in return? This will be discussed in the article.
Warm glazing – really warm
Winter in most regions of Russia lasts more than 3 calendar months. Imagine that during the entire cold season it will be about the same on the balcony as it is outside. How can such a room be used? Yes, especially in any way. Unless you go out to check if you are dressed warmly enough for a walk. Warm glazing of a residential building will create about the same microclimate on the balcony as in the room. To be convinced of this, it is enough to know the principle of organizing both types of glazing.
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So, the features of cold glazing are as follows:
- an aluminum profile without insulation is used;
- single or double glass with a thickness of 4 mm each;
- the design comes out cheap, lightweight and protects from precipitation;
- cold glazing will not protect against cold or heat. In winter, on such a balcony it will be a maximum of 3-50C warmer than on the street, and maybe the temperature will be completely the same;
- cold glazing has low sound insulation qualities, so if you live in an area with heavy traffic, the apartment is unlikely to be quiet enough.
Warm glazing has the following features:
- a plastic profile with a large number of air chambers is used, which act as a heat insulator. Sometimes polymer inserts are additionally used. All this is necessary to create a reliable barrier to cold and heat;
- 2- and 3-chamber double-glazed windows are the second component of reliable thermal insulation. You can use energy-saving or noise-insulating glass units to improve the performance of the glazing;
- warm glazing is more expensive, the structure itself weighs more, but these disadvantages can be forgiven due to the numerous advantages;
- the main plus is that it will be just as warm on a balcony with this type of glazing in winter as in an apartment. Naturally, in addition to the glazing system, you will have to take care of reliable insulation of the floor and walls.
The balcony will be protected not only from the winter cold, but also from drafts, winds and dampness.
Warm balcony – additional living space
There is probably no point in explaining that a warm balcony can be used with benefit. There are never many square meters, and you know exactly why there was not enough space in your apartment. If you carry out high-quality insulation and glazing, organize heating using portable electric heaters or a film warm floor, then the balcony space can be used for the following purposes:
as a recreation area – the most common option. A small sofa or a couple of armchairs, or a bar counter with chairs, or a hammock – and your place of relaxation is ready. If you add here a cup of coffee and a nice view from the window, then you won’t want to leave such a balcony either in winter or in summer;
like an office. On any balcony, you can place a small work surface and a chair. It may be possible to complement the mini-office with shelves for books, stationery, etc., if they are, of course, necessary. A big plus of this solution is that you can make the most of natural light. At the same time, at certain hours, the sun’s rays can fall directly into the laptop screen, so do not forget to hang curtains or blinds;
as an extension of the bedroom or kitchen. In the latter case, you can take out the dining area or the bar counter to the balcony, if the view has it. You can put a refrigerator and a small cabinet;
small flower garden. If it is warm on the balcony in winter and there are no drafts, you can grow almost any plants. The main thing is to choose light or shade-loving views – it all depends on the location of the balcony;
the sleeping area is a bold option, but quite real on a warm balcony;
small library. Shelves with books can be arranged both on the wall and in a niche under the window;
mini gym. It is better not to put heavy exercise machines on the balcony, and they are unlikely to fit, but a treadmill, orbitrek or bicycle simulator will be just right.
Savings on heating bills
An uninsulated balcony and cold glazing have a low coefficient of thermal insulation. This means that in the winter they will easily release the heat you pay for, and you will have to use additional electric heaters, thereby only increasing your utility bills.
If the balcony is insulated and glazed in a warm way, then the heat cannot just leave the apartment. The result is savings in heating costs and a more comfortable microclimate with an acceptable temperature and no drafts.
Warm glazing = silence in the apartment
“Warm” plastic profile with air chambers is able to absorb noise, but still the role of a glass unit in this matter is much more significant. The fact is that when using cold glazing, they usually install single or double glass, which does not differ in phenomenal soundproofing qualities. The plastic profile allows you to install much more advanced double-glazed windows in this regard.
The degree of sound insulation is determined by the following parameters:
number of air chambers. There is one chamber between two glasses, two between three glasses, etc. When we talk about a single-chamber double-glazed unit, they mean a design with two glasses. A single-chamber double-glazed window is inexpensive, but not very good in terms of heat and sound insulation. If the area is noisy, sounds from the street will be heard in the apartment. A double-glazed unit is one third quieter and warmer than a single-chamber unit. It costs more, but given the lower heating costs, its cost will pay off already in the second winter;
glass unit width. The wider it is, the more air is inside the chambers, and the better the sound insulation qualities. Every 3 mm of width increases the sound insulation by about 10%. It turns out that a two-chamber double-glazed unit is a two-chamber discord. A 42 mm wide product will be much quieter than a 28 mm wide two-chamber analogue. However, don’t go overboard with width. If, with an increase in the chamber to 16 mm, the sound insulation qualities increase proportionally, then in the interval of 16-24 mm there is almost no increase, and then the sound insulation qualities begin to deteriorate;
the distance between the glasses may be different, and if the two cameras are different in width, then the sound will penetrate worse into the apartment;
- glasses of different thicknesses also work for your silence;
type of glass. In most cases, you can easily get by with ordinary glass, but if the requirements for silence are increased, then pay attention to soundproof double-glazed windows. They are made on the basis of laminated triplex glass using soundproof film.
Warm glazing – protection against summer heat
Summer time is characterized by high intensity of sunlight, if the sun is at its zenith and the rays fall on the balcony, which does not have high-quality thermal insulation, then after a while it becomes very hot on the balcony. The floors are heated and give off heat to the airspace of the loggia. The walls are warming up strongly. As a result, the temperature can rise to the eerie 50-600C in summer, so that it becomes very uncomfortable to be on the balcony.
With the correct thermal insulation of the balcony after the installation of glass units with solar control film with the required thermal conductivity coefficient, the passage of ultraviolet rays through the new glass units is reduced from 60% to 14%. As a result, balconies keep cool in summer and do not overheat. And they can be used as additional usable space.
The use of solar control glass units is highly recommended if the balcony faces south. Different technologies are used to make glass able to become UV protection. It can be glass with a mirror surface or tinted film, tinted in bulk or tempered glass. An ordinary double-glazed window can be turned into a sunscreen unit using a special film.
The balcony can be equipped with energy-saving sun glasses. They will keep out the heat in summer by reflecting the sun’s rays, and the silver coating will reflect heat from the radiator in winter.
Materials and technologies used for warm glazing make it possible to completely seal the balcony, i.e. it will be protected from cold air, and from heat, and from a draft, and from humidity, and from noise, and from foreign odors, and from dust, and from smog – the list goes on, but you get the general idea. That is why the insulated and glazed balcony can be used as you like.
The reverse side of the coin is that with complete tightness, fresh air cannot enter the balcony. There are several ways out. This is periodic ventilation, but the air valves, which let in fresh air, but keep out dust and partially cut off the noise, show themselves much better. An even more advanced ventilation option is mechanical ventilators and breathers. They are power-regulated, equipped with charcoal filters and can heat the incoming air.
Security and burglar resistance
What type of glazing do you think the balcony will be the first to surrender to intruders? Of course, “cold”, because a thin aluminum profile is easier to crack than a massive plastic one (it has reinforcing metal inserts). Moreover, in “warm” glazing, more massive glass units and more powerful fittings are used – all together this gives a more burglary-resistant structure.
To heighten the effect, you can use shock-resistant double-glazed windows made of triplex glass, which can withstand serious mechanical stress and resist breaking for a long time. Even if the intruder has enough strength and time to damage the glass, it will not crumble immediately, but will split into non-sharp pieces that remain on the film.
Durability and reliability
When using warm glazing, strong structures are used that tolerate wind loads, precipitation and temperature changes well. This means that the warm glazing will last for a long time without collapsing under the influence of climatic loads.
On the other hand, durable warm glazing protects all materials and elements of the balcony. This applies to both floor slabs and finishes.
Are there any disadvantages to warm glazing? Of course, like any technology. The main disadvantage is usually called the price, but if you take into account the level of heat and sound insulation, additional living space and the durability of the structure, then you can hardly complain about the cost.
Due to the use of a more massive profile, the area of translucent structures is reduced, which leads to the loss of part of the sunlight, but the difference with cold glazing is not so critical.
The only fair drawback is the weight of the structure, but problems arise in old houses, often in panel Khrushchevs. Residents of brick 9-storey buildings and modern new buildings in this regard should not worry. In any case, the responsible company will immediately warn if warm glazing is not possible.