Energy efficient glazing is one of the best investments you make for your home to help reduce both your carbon footprint and your energy bills.
It is an uphill battle to keep your home warm when you have inefficient insulation. There is no use in spending hundreds of pounds on heating every year when so much of it is being lost through your old windows and doors.
By insulating your home with energy efficient double-glazed windows, you’ll save an impressive amount on the costs of keeping your house warm. So, how do they double glazing do this?
Two panes to prevent heat loss
The ‘double’ in double-glazing is because there are two panes of glass within your frame. There is a gap in between the two, sometimes filled with gas, that works as an insulating barrier to keep the heat inside your home.
The gap is usually only around 16mm, but this space between the outer and inner window can stop heat loss, prevent condensation appearing on your window, and even stop noises from outside.
Low E glass to reflect heat back into your home
Low emissivity glass is a breakthrough in energy efficiency and insulation. The glass is covered in a special transparent metallic coating that keeps your home warm in two different ways.
The first is that the metals reflect heat that would otherwise escape back into your room. Where 20% of the heat you pay for is usually lost through inefficient windows, Low E glass bounces the warmth back instead. That means very little is wasted.
The other perk of the dual action coating is that it is essentially a one-way system. No warmth can escape to the outside, but outside heat and light from the sun is still able to enter through the windows. This essentially works like a cosy green house in winter both creating and retaining the heat in your home so you don’t have to waste money on high energy bills.
Yet, at the same time, this glass is able to stop the cold travelling through the glass into your home too. Everything works to make your home warmer and contain the heat once it is in there.
Solar heat gain providing you with free heating
It’s true, you could save money and energy on heating by harnessing the power of the sun! And, yes, that even applies in Britain!
Solar radiation is absorbed by the glass in your double-glazed window and subsequently released inward, which means your home gets gradually warmed up by rays of the sun.
You can check your window’s energy efficiency as well as its Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, known as the SHGC, by looking at the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo and British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) energy label.
The SHGC will be expressed as a number between 0 and 1 on the energy rating label. The higher the window’s SHGC number, the more solar heat it is capable of transferring from the sun into your home.
The lower the U value, the lower your energy bills will be
The ‘U’ value of a double-glazed window is a measurement of how capable it is of transferring heat. The figure tells you how easily heat can pass through the material and you should be able to find the U value of any window with an energy rating on its energy label.
Of course, you want your windows to transfer as little heat as possible from inside your home to the outside, so the lower the U value of the glass, the more effective it will be as an insulator.
However, it is extremely important that you look at all aspects of your window’s energy rating as a whole. Although a higher U value does suggest the material lets out a lot of heat, it may still have a high overall energy performance rating.
That’s because other aspects of the glass work to counteract the low U value, such as Low E coated glass reflecting heat back into the room instead of transferring it.
A rated for top energy efficiency
An organisation called the British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC) is the authority for checking all parts of a window and grading its performance. Overall, it’ll be given a score ranging from A+ down to G, with A+ being the most efficient and G- being the least.
The latest Buildings Regulations require all new homes in the UK to have a Window Energy Rating of at least a C. Remember though that having new, energy saving double glazing is also very important for your home’s energy efficiency rating for when you come to sell the property.
Having windows that keep the warmth in your home will save you a large amount of money for many years to come. If you’re considering cost efficient double glazing to help you save on your energy bills, talk to a trusted local glazing firm to find out all your options.