Energy efficiency is very important nowadays as we all strive to make our homes as warm as possible for as little money as possible. Of course it’s not just about money – it’s about the environment as well, and the more we can do to prevent heat loss the more we’ll benefit all round.

In terms of windows, we have the window energy ratings to look at. These have been designed to help us choose the best windows for our homes when we have new ones installed. Let’s find out more about the window energy ratings now.

How do the window energy ratings work?

The idea is that window companies have their windows tested to see how energy efficient they are. The ratings have been created by the BFRC. This stands for the British Fenestration Ratings Council. They have an authorised retailer scheme so consumers will know who they can go to for energy efficient windows.

The ratings go from an A rating – which is the best rating a window can have – to a G rating. Needless to say the G rating represents windows that are the least efficient of all those available.

If a window is rated between an A and a C, it will be approved to carry an Energy Saving Recommended label. So when you are looking to get new windows for your home, make sure they carry the Energy Saving Recommended label. This way you will know they fall into the top section of energy ratings. Obviously if they have an A rating, so much the better, as you’ll know they are the best you can possibly get.

What are the advantages of the window energy ratings system?

The main advantage is that it makes it easy to find the best quality windows to provide energy efficient results for your home. Without the system you would find it virtually impossible to choose one from another. Since the visual look of the windows is not much different from each other, you would have nothing more to go on.

You can also enjoy lower energy bills with more energy efficient windows. This is especially the case if you currently have single glazing. Energy Saving Recommended double glazed units have the ability to keep more heat from being lost from the house itself. They are also able to prevent cold air from getting in from the outside. Thus they provide effective insulation against the cold weather and keep your house warmer in the winter months – all without spending more on your heating.

Another big advantage of energy efficient double glazing of this type is that it makes your home much quieter and cosier than it would be otherwise. Just as the glass is able to provide heat insulation, it also provides noise insulation. This is particularly nice if you live near or on a busy road.

What elements of the windows are measured by the energy ratings system?

Three aspects of a window will be tested in order to see where the window falls on the A to G ratings system. The first test examines how efficient the window is at preventing heat loss. The second test examines how efficiently the window will prevent sunlight coming into the property and heating it from outside. The third relates to something called air leakage. Every window has the potential to leak air, and the less air leaks out from the window, the more efficient it will prove to be.

Needless to say, the better a window performs in each of these three areas, the higher it will rank on the rating scale. It is also interesting to note that when we say ‘window’, we are not just referring to the glass. The entire window including the frame is tested for the purposes of the ratings system. This is good news for you because it means there is no chance of buying a window with excellent energy efficient glass inside a poor frame.

Are energy efficient windows more cost effective to buy?

You will notice that an A rated window is pricier than, for example, an F rated window. However there is the potential to save more money in the long run with the savings you will make on your heating bills.

The most important thing to remember is to look for the window energy ratings label from the BFRC when you are considering buying new windows. The higher the rating is, the better the performance will be. Look out for the latest addition to the windows that are available to buy today as well. The best energy efficient glass adds a metal coating on one of the glass panels inside a double glazed window. You cannot see the metal layer, but it makes the window even more energy efficient than it would be without it.

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