Energy Efficient Windows
Improve the energy efficiency of your home with the right glazing for your windows.
Not only will it reduce draughts and cold spots, it will also insulate your home against external noise and reduce condensation. Unlike a single paned window, energy efficient windows will have a gap of air between two or three glass panes which act as an insulator making it less likely for heat to be lost to outside air. The optimum gap size is 16mm although smaller gaps may be suited in some cases. Depending on your budget and your needs, you can fit secondary glazing, upgrade double glazing or install new double or triple glazing. Whichever you decide to choose, the material used for the window frame can also have a huge impact on the energy efficiency of your home so choose carefully.
- Increase energy efficiency of your property
- Lower heating bills
- Less draughts and cold spots
- Quieter home
- Reduced condensation
Double Glazed Windows
Double glazed windows are made of two glass panes sealed in a single unit. The gap in between these panes is filled with either air or an inert gas creating an insulating layer. Aside from making your home more comfortable it can also save you money. A detached house in England with an energy efficiency rating (EPC) above C, for example, could save an average of £100 per year on energy bills by changing the single-glazed windows to double glazing.
If you live in a conservation area, period property or listed building you can install secondary glazing in which a secondary pane of glass or other transparent material is fitted inside the existing window. Old windows can often have gaps around the edges allowing for cold draughts so updating them can also make your home more energy efficient. New double glazing systems are fully sealed and insulated cutting the heat lost through these gaps. You can also opt for low emissivity (low-E) glass which reflects heat back into your home through a thin metal oxide coating on one of the internal glass surfaces to be even more energy efficient.
Triple Glazed Windows
Rather than two glass panes, triple glazed windows are constructed with three glass panes, meaning that there are two gaps filled with air or gas rather than one. This makes them a slightly more effective as an insulator. Looking at the energy efficiency level of a double-glazed window compared to a triple-glazed one there is a minimal difference.
The energy efficiency level of a window is measured using the U-value. The lower this value the better, but looking at new modern double-glazed windows and triple glazing, there’s only a difference of 0.8 while the difference between single glazing and modern double glazing is 3.4.
If you already have relatively new double glazing, it may not be worth the investment to install triple glazing. Triple glazing may be the preferred choice for properties still being built or if there are condensation problems, noticeable cool draughts, or noise pollution.