One of the quickest ways to lose heat from a property is through the windows. However, energy efficient glazing can reduce these losses as well as make your home quieter and reduce your heating costs. This could be with special glass, double or triple glazing.
The benefits of energy-efficient windows
• Replacing you old inefficient single glazed windows with B-rated double glazing could save you approximately £180 per year. (Energy Trust 2013)
• You could have the benefit of knowing that being more energy efficient, you have reduced your carbon footprint by approximately 700kg per year (Energy Trust 2013)
• Double or triple glazing will reduce condensation on the inside of your windows
• The costs and savings for each property will be different. Triple glazing is more efficient than double glazing but will cost more. This will mean that the time taken to recover the cost will vary. However new windows should last at least 20 years.
How energy-efficient glazing works
Double and triple glazed windows have two or three sheets of glass with a gap between them. Teach of these gaps is usually about 16mm. This gap creates an insulating barrier that prevents the heat from travelling from the warmer environment to the colder one. Better quality windows will fill this gap with a gas such as Argon, Xenon or Krypton. The panes of glass should also be kept apart by non-metal spacers so they do not conduct heat. This further improves the insulating properties of the window. You should always look for the BFRC rating for each window and the Energy Saving Trust logo. The frames of windows can be made in a variety of materials such as soft wood, hard wood. plastic and even aluminium.
Windows in period properties
Period properties, especially in conservation areas may have special problems with replacing the windows. There are however a couple of options available. Secondary glazing is the most usual. Secondary glazing is where you have a second pane of glass in the inside of the window. This will not be as efficient as double glazing, but should still save you approximately £110 per year (Energy Trust 2013)
Being in a conservation area does not mean you can’t change your windows, but you will probably have to replace them with something that looks very similar to the original and this will undoubtedly need to be made especially for the property. Listed building can be even more of a problem. As it may not be possible to change the appearance of the windows at all and have to be the same as the original ones.