Energy efficient windows with double glazing can bring a wide range of benefits to your property, including reduced condensation, protection against external noise and fewer draughts.
One of the main benefits, however, is the effect double glazing can have on your household bills. Keeping your home warm whilst also ensuring you can make ends meet can be a bit of an ongoing battle.
Of course, there are the obvious ways in which you can keep your energy bills in check – turning down your thermostat and having your boiler serviced each year, for instance – but for those properties which still have single-glazed windows, these considerations can be just a drop in the ocean.
What is needed in this case, is a good basic level of energy efficiency in the first place, and double glazing can provide this.
How does double glazing work?
Double glazing works by creating an insulating barrier between the outside and the inside of your home. Single glazing doesn’t provide this, and warm air can leach out of the home via the glass. Double glazed windows consist of two panes of glass, which are mounted into the frame with a small gap between them.
A special (completely harmless) gas is used to fill this gap between the panes, thus creating an insulated barrier. This makes a huge difference to keeping the cold air out and the warm air in, and vice versa in the hotter months.
What is a U-value?
When purchasing double glazing for your home, it’s important to take notice of the U-value. The U-value is an indicator of how efficient the window is at stopping heat from passing through. The lower the U-value, the more energy efficient it is. Here are some examples:
- A cavity wall has a U-value of 1.6 W/m²
- A solid brick wall has a U-value of 2.0 W/m²
- Single glazing has a U-value of around 5.0 W/m²
- Older double glazing can have a U-value of around 3.0 W/m²
- Modern double glazing has an amazing U-value of around 1.6 W/m² – the same as a cavity wall
Can anyone have double glazing fitted?
If your home already has double glazing which needs replacing, then it’s very likely that you’ll be able to go ahead without hindrance. For properties with single glazing, it may be worth checking with your local planning office to see if you’re allowed to have double glazing installed.
For some listed properties, it’s possible that you’ll have to keep single glazing due to the historical importance of your home.
For those who reside in a conservation area, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or where there are rules on the look of your property, there may be some restrictions on the type of double glazing you can have fitted.
Whether you think you know the status of your property or not, it’s ALWAYS beneficial to check before arranging any work, just in case. If you are found to have broken planning laws then you will be ordered to reverse the changes you have made and you may be issued with a fine.
Check with your local council or planning authority. It may also be beneficial to speak to your neighbours, as they may have experienced this already.
How do I get the ball rolling on new double glazing for my home?
Always do plenty of research before committing to anything, as having double glazing fitted to your home can be a large expense. It’s important that you seek out a company who you trust and who can provide you with high-quality service and aftercare.
You should always ensure that the company you choose are FENSA registered and can provide high-calibre windows. Any decent window fitting company will be able to give you plenty of information about the glazing and the frames, as well as security considerations and expected energy rating.
Ask friends and family about their experiences, and check online reviews for a good idea about what is available in your area.
Most double glazing companies will be happy to quote you for free and with no-obligation. It’s likely that they’ll need to visit your home to take measurements and you should always try to be present for this, as questions may arise during the survey from both you and the window fitters themselves.
Once you’ve got a few quotes and you know what your options are, you can then make an informed and safe decision.
This article was written by Coral Pearce-Mariner, copywriter and marketing assistant at Evander – the nationwide property services company. Specialising in all types of glazing installation and repair, Evander can help with your home improvements, however big or small.