Double glazing is an effective way of keeping your home warm and saving money on your energy bills in the process. There are a few different types of double glazing, and knowing what the energy ratings mean, and how double glazing works, will help you to make better-informed choices.
Almost half of the people who invest in double glazing do so to make their home warmer, and 40% say that they got double glazing to save money on their energy bills. Double glazing can be invaluable for both these things and will pay for itself over the lifetime of the windows, by stopping you from losing heat from your home.
A survey of Which? members from August 2016 looked at consumer satisfaction with double glazed doors and windows that were purchased and installed within the last five years and showed that overall, most people who invest in double glazing are very happy with their purchase.
Why Choose Double Glazing For Your Windows?
Double glazing means that instead of having a single pane of glass in your windows, you have two panes that are separated by a layer of air. This helps to insulate your home:
– It keeps warm air in your property, reducing draughts and lowering your heating bill.
– It keeps noise out, which allows you to sleep better, or enjoy your TV without being distracted by noise from outside.
– It cuts down on the amount of condensation that builds up on the windows.
– The double glazed glass is far more difficult to break than single glazed panes, meaning it is more secure too.
How Much Money Will You Save With Double Glazing?
Around 60 percent of the homeowners surveyed by Which? said that they felt their home was warmer after getting double glazing, and 36% say that it has helped to cut their heating bills. In theory, if you replace all the single-glazed windows in a semi-detached property that has three bedrooms with double glazing, then you should save at least £75 per year on your heating bills, and potentially £100 with B-rated glass, and that saving increases to £85-£110 with A-rated glass. Double glazing can reasonably be expected to last for 20 years, so that’s a saving of £1,500 to £2,200 over the lifespan of the windows – or more since heating bills increase over time with inflation.
Most double glazed windows have uPVC frames, which are cheaper than wooden frames, can be recycled, and are very energy efficient too. These frames can be found in a number of different colours, and there are even wood-effect finishes. Most people opt for white frames, however, because they are easy to clean and will match most paint jobs too.
If you don’t want uPVC frames, then you can get residence 9 windows with timber or aluminium frames. Timber is sometimes preferred because it is a naturally renewable resource, and it also looks good. A lot of people in conservation areas choose timber, and it works well for period properties too. Timber is more expensive than uPVC, and it will need regular maintenance, but if you look after it properly then it can be expected to last for just as long as a uPVC window frame, and it can be re-painted to match your property.
Understanding the Window Energy Rating (WER) System
This system is very similar to the energy rating system that is used for household appliances. Windows rated A+ are the most energy efficient, windows rated G is the least energy efficient. Building regulations say that all new windows that are fitted to domestic properties must be at least C rated. There are some companies that say they can make windows which are A++ rated for energy efficiency.
Upgrading from C rated windows to B=rated windows can save you around 6.5 percent more on your energy bills, and there is a similar saving for going from B to A. It costs about 15 percent extra to step up a level in energy efficiency when you are getting new windows fitted, so it is worth doing a projection on the costs.