Double glazing cuts heat lost through windows by half and installing it could save you around £130 a year on your heating bills. Double glazing works by trapping air between two panes of glass creating an insulating barrier that reduces heat loss, noise and condensation. The benefits of double glazing include:
Benefits of double glazing:
- Smaller energy bills
- A smaller carbon footprint
- A more comfortable home
- Peace and quiet
- Reduced condensation
All properties lose heat through their windows so installing energy efficient glazing is an effective way of reducing your energy bills and keeping your home warmer and quieter. Double glazed windows use two sheets of glass with a gap between them which creates an insulating barrier, whilst triple glazed windows have three sheets of glass. Both options can deliver a high level of energy efficiency. It is not the case that you have to use triple glazing to gain the most energy efficient window.
Energy efficient windows are available in a variety of frame materials and styles. They also vary in their energy efficiency, depending on how well they stop heat from passing through the window, how much sunlight travels through the glass and how little air can leak in or out around the window. Some window and door manufacturers helpfully use a window energy rating scheme to show the energy efficiency of their product. This is similar to the one you may have seen on appliances such as your fridge or washing machine. A-rated windows are the most efficient. To check a window’s energy efficiency before you buy, look at the energy label. Grants may be available but are issued on a first come, first serve basis so if you don’t act now, you could miss out.
Which frame suits your home?
The frame you choose will depend on your home and your personal taste. For all frame materials, there are windows available in each energy rating.
- uPVC frames are the most common type. They last a long time and can be recycled.
- Wooden frames can have a lower environmental impact, but require maintenance. They are often used in conservation areas where the original windows were timber framed.
- Aluminum or steel frames are slim and long-lasting and can be recycled.
- Composite frames have an inner timber frame covered with aluminum or plastic. This reduces the need for maintenance and keeps the frame weatherproof
How many layers of glass do you need?
Double glazing has two layers of glass with a gap of around 16mm between them. There is also the option of triple glazing, which has three layers of glass. Both A rated double and tripled-glazed windows are available.
What type of glass is best?
The most energy efficient glass for double glazing is low emissivity (Low-E) glass. This often has an unnoticeable coating of metal oxide, normally on one of the internal panes, next to the gap. It lets sunlight and heat in but cuts the amount of heat that can get out again.
What’s between the panes?
Very efficient windows might use gases like argon, xenon or krypton in the gap between the 2 sheets of glass.
Do you need ventilation?
Because replacement windows will be more airtight than the original single glazed frames, condensation can build up in your house due to the reduced ventilation. If there is not a sufficient level of background ventilation in the room, some replacement windows will have trickle vents incorporated into the frame that let in a small amount of controlled ventilation. Condensation can sometimes occur on the outside of new low-e glazing. This is because low-e glass reflects heat back into the home and as a result the outside pane remains cool and condensation can build up in cold weather – but this isn’t a problem.
For more ways to reduce your carbon footprint, visit our Eco Page here. If you’re interested in making your home more energy efficient (and saving money at the same time!) visit Ace’s Tips for all you need to know about boiler efficiency, loft and cavity wall insulation, double glazing, solar electricity installations and general energy saving tips.