No matter what type of windows are used, every home is going to lose some heat through them. If you have an older home with single-glazed windows, then your windows may seem like they have draughts because of the heat loss that can occur in the winter time. To help keep your home warmer and to reduce your energy costs, you should consider replacing the old windows on your home with more modern double- or triple-glazed windows.
Energy Ratings for Windows
When you’re selecting new windows for your home, you will notice on the label that they are rated from A to G on their efficiency with A being the most energy efficient and G the least energy efficient. You may pay more for an A-rated window, but you will see a reduction in your energy bills if you are replacing old single-glazed windows.
Along with the A to G energy efficiency rating, windows will also have “U” values. A windows u-value will be displayed on the label and it measures how easily heat can pass through a material, such as the frame of the window. A high u-value means the material allows a high amount of heat to escape and a low u-value means a lesser amount of heat escapes through the material.
In some cases, a window that has a high energy efficiency rating may also have a high u-value because the material used in the construction of the window allows heat to pass through it. Reading the labels when selecting a replacement window will help you find one with both a high energy efficiency rating and a low u-value.
Why Choose Double-Glazed Windows?
Although you can choose from a double- or triple-glazed window to help reduce your energy bills, there isn’t a significant difference between a double- or triple-glazed window in terms of efficiency. In order to save some money when selecting your new windows, you should stick with a double-glazed window to help keep your home warmer in the winter.
Double-glazed windows are made with two sheets of glass with about a 16 mm gap between the panes to help prevent cold air from leaking through the window into your home. This gap is sometimes filled with gases like argon, xenon or krypton to help create an insulation barrier to keep cold air out. Energy efficient windows are made from a variety of materials and in various styles so they can easily fit in with any style of home.
Along with reducing heat loss, which makes for a warmer home, a double-glazed window also provides a noise barrier. If you live on a busy street, the noise from passing people and/or motorists will be reduced, which can allow you to hear your television without turning it up or sleep better if you work nights and need to sleep during daytime hours.
Window Frame Materials
When windows are assessed for their energy efficient ratings, the entire window is included in the rating, which means the frame and glass. Energy-efficient window frames are made of several different materials including aluminium, steel, wood, uPVC and composite frames. Although some people will assume that their timber framed windows have to be replaced with wood frames, that isn’t true. You can select any type of frame that you wish for your new replacement windows.
The only time that it is necessary to replace a wood framed window with a timber framed double glazed window is if your home is within a conservation area. Homes in conservation areas are of architectural or historical interest and any work done on your home must help preserve it or enhance the character of your house. Before you choose a double-glazed replacement window, seek advice from the local council’s conservation officer.
The use uPVC frames are very common for high-energy efficient windows and it is a material that is used to make other building products like door frames, cladding and plumbing pipes or downspouts. UPVC stands for unplasticised polyvinyl chloride and it is often referred to as rigid PVC as it does not flex. It is a safe material as it does not contain phthalates or BPA and the material is even used to make dental retainers and mouth pieces.
Venting for Windows
Since the new double-glazed windows will be more airtight than the original windows, there is a chance that condensation can build-up due to the lack of ventilation. For homes that do not have much background ventilation, you can purchase replacement windows with trickle vents in the frame to help provide ventilation for the windows. However, if condensation starts to appear between the panes of glass, then that could indicate a broken seal and the window will need to be replaced.
How Much can You Save?
The main reason for purchasing energy efficient windows is to help lower your energy costs and make your house warmer. By replacing old windows with new replacements, you can save hundreds of pounds a year, which will help pay for the replacement windows in just a few years.
If you were to select a B-rated double-glazed replacement window, according to the Energy Saving Trust, you could save 110 to 145 pounds per year for a detached home. However, the savings that you experience will depend on the size of your home, the materials used in the manufacture of the replacement windows and the expertise of the window installer. If installed correctly, a double-glazed replacement window should last at least 20 years, if not longer.
Many manufacturers and suppliers in the United Kingdom sell energy efficient windows to meet with building standards set by the government. If you are in the market for replacement windows, as well as doors, you can click here for more Kloeber product information. You can talk to a representative about replacing your windows and arrange to visit their showroom or have someone come out to your home to discuss your options. Buying energy efficient replacement windows can be a great way to save money and have a more comfortable home this winter.