The Energy Saving Benefits of Replacement Windows
Thursday, 10 March 2022
The cost of heating our homes is on the rise. This means that many people are thinking about ways to optimise the energy that their homes consume. One way to do this is through insulation, and the energy saving benefits of replacement windows are a key part of this. Around 10% of home heat can be lost through window and doors. This means that energy efficiency is one of the most popular reasons for replacing the windows to your home.
How does double glazing save energy?
While some homes are still single glazed, many have outdated double glazing that has aged significantly and does not provide the energy saving benefits of replacement windows now on the market. Contemporary products consist of two panes of engineered glass, in between which sits argon or another inert gas. This gas is heavier than the air around us, making it incredibly effective at both muting noise and retaining heat. In addition, the seals and frames around double glazed window casements all play a part in energy efficiency. Combined, they dramatically reduce the amount of air being transferred between the outside and inside.
What are the benefits of energy saving replacement windows?
There are many different improvements that are made to your home by choosing to replace your window system with contemporary products. We know that new double glazed windows can save energy, but how does this manifest in benefits to you, the customer?
Cost of Heating
The amount of heat that leaks from different parts of your home is calculated using a ‘U value’. The lower the U value, the less heat is being lost. Building regulations now ensure that windows carry a U value of no higher than 1.6. However, on average old double glazing units perform at a U value of around 2.8. When modern products achieve up to 1.4, you can see the huge difference that can be made to household bills.
By making your home well insulated and energy efficient, you can reduce your carbon footprint. Installing double glazing can reduce the annual carbon emissions of a household by over 400kg. As a guide, this is the same amount of carbon produced by driving just over 2,000 miles. Which makes this a no brainer when it comes to eco responsibility.
Of course windows should be weather proof, surely? When it comes to energy saving however, there is more than meets the eye. The energy performance of a window depends on more than keeping the rain out. If you’ve spotted mould around your windows, there could be moisture getting in or ventilation is poor. The best performing windows will protect from moisture, whilst maintaining enough ventilation to keep your home healthy.
This is both a problem with single glazed windows and old double glazed products. Condensation is produced when warm air meets a colder surface. Contemporary double glazed units are constructed with an inert gas in between the glass panes and thermal breaks in the casements. This helps the inside pane of glass maintain a temperature that is closer to the ambient room temperature, preventing condensation.
While ventilation is important for the health of a building, you certainly don’t want to feel draughts from your windows. Energy saving replacement windows are engineered to strike a balance between air flow and insulation. This means that they keep heat loss low whilst allowing air circulation that does not become draughty.
As well as the practical benefits of energy efficiency, we mustn’t forget simple home comforts. Energy saving replacement double glazed windows make domestic life that much more comfortable. They’re easy and ergonomic to use, secure and keep your home snug and welcoming.
In the past, double glazed windows had a reputation for causing oppressive heat in the warmer months. The technology of modern products that keeps heat in during the winter keeps heat out during the summer. This all goes to help your home remain a comfortable temperature, reducing the need for energy guzzling air conditioning units.
How different windows perform
With a range of energy saving window replacement products available, it helps to understand how the different options work. What may be appropriate for one project may not be so for another. Really, each home is unique and so it’s important that you find the right energy efficient solution for your circumstances.
On average, current double glazing products perform a score up to 1.4 in U value. You can choose your double glazed window product in a huge range of casement styles, making this solution appropriate for all projects. Choose from authentic wood effect to sleek modern aluminium frames, and even sliding sash styles. The design and engineering advances that have been made in recent years means that double glazed windows have been accepted for period property restorations in conservation areas.
Perhaps obviously, the U value of triple glazed windows is even lower than double glazing. With the third pane of glass comes an additional air pocket buffer. As one of the panes of glass is constructed thicker than the others, this ensures a marked improvement in thermal protection. Triple glazed windows typically achieve a U-value of 0.8 and some as little as 0.5. So when it comes to heat transfer, this feature is the most energy efficient glazing choice.
Low Emissivity Windows
No matter how many panes of glass you choose in your energy saving replacement windows, don’t forget about glass technology. Low emissivity, or low-E windows, can be as much as 40% more efficient than standard double glazed windows. The glass is covered in an almost invisible coating of metal oxide that reflects long-wave infrared energy, or heat. Low-E coatings minimise the amount of UV and infrared light that can pass through glass without compromising the amount of visible light that is transmitted.
Every home improvement or refurbishment project will have a different set of priorities. However, in today’s climate, energy saving is increasingly becoming a prime concern for most people. To discuss how double glazed window products can improve your home performance just get in touch.