Windows are one of the key elements of any building – whether we are talking about a single-family home, a large company or another public building. They provide light to the interior. Windows also protect us from the cold and other adverse weather conditions such as rain, wind or snow. Therefore, choosing good quality windows is very important for the thermal insulation of the building and our comfort. In this case, we are usually talking about the window’s chambers, which play a major role. We often see in the specifications that a particular window has 3,4,5 and sometimes even 6 chambers. But what does this mean in practice and what does it affect? Let’s find out…
What are chambers in windows?
Before we get into the practical application of chambers in a window, it is first worth explaining what they are in general. Well, window profiles are the most structurally complex parts of any window. They comprise the sash, the frame, the transoms and the seals. It is they that hold the glazing in the frame and it is they that bear the greatest responsibility if we mean the properties and parameters of windows. If you look at the cross-section of the entire window profile, you will definitely notice chambers, i.e. air-filled cavities. It is these that have a huge impact on the thermal performance, deformation resistance and stability of the entire window. Therefore, in most cases, the more chambers, the better the quality of the window. However, we deliberately wrote “usually”, as there are exceptions to this rule too.
Where, then, is the exception to the rule?
As we mentioned a little above, it is true that the number of chambers is of great importance and the more chambers, the better, but there is an exception to this, or even two. Firstly, we should not equate the chambers of window profiles with the chambers of the glazing packages, as these are two completely different aspects. This is because we can often come across that a window is triple-glazed. The immediate thought in our minds is that it is also three-chambered. But nothing of the sort, because then it will be double-chambered. The same applies to double, four or five-pane windows – there will always be one less chamber.
The second and more technical issue is to look at the profile thickness and manufacturing technology. For the number of chambers in a window to meet expectations, the profile should be wide enough and the chambers large enough. The proportion that should be maintained is therefore of key importance. Otherwise, it may happen that a three-chamber window, for example, will be better in thermal terms than a four-chamber window!
Window chambers – does the number matter?
As we already know, there are different types of windows available on the market, with different numbers of chambers. We can easily find two-, three-, four-, five- and even six-chambered windows. At present, however, 5 or 6-chamber windows are the standard, and it is worth betting on such solutions, especially if we care about energy efficiency or want to apply passive solutions. In the case of energy-saving windows, it is important that the Uw coefficient does not exceed 0.9 W/m2K, while in the case of passive windows, this value cannot be higher than 0.8 W/m2K. But why is this so important?
Because low-quality windows and doors can lead to a loss of up to 30% of heat, which in turn affects our heating bills. If we save on window and door joinery, we will quickly lose this money, as rooms will quickly cool down and radiators or the heat pump will be forced to work at full capacity. This means that heating costs can be significantly higher than with well-insulated windows.
By investing in multi-chambered windows with good performance and a solid glazing package, you will feel a significant improvement in the thermal and acoustic comfort in your home.
Remember that chambers in windows are not all you need to pay attention to!
Although, as we mentioned, the number of chambers in window profiles is very important, it is not the only variable that ultimately influences the purchase of an energy-efficient, robust and passive window joinery. For this to be the case, in addition to a sufficient number of chambers, we should get a high-quality glazing package with reliable gaskets, excellent profiles and expert installation – preferably with warm external installation. For only such a combination will guarantee us full comfort and maximum profits from heating our home or business.