What Are The Benefits Of Installing Energy Efficient Windows In My Home?

What Are The Benefits Of Installing Energy Efficient Windows In My Home?

Elmhurst Windows

Written by Elmhurst Windows
7th Jan 2022

5 Minutes to Read

Double glazing might seem like a no-brainer these days, but it actually only took off in the UK in the '70s and '80s. We're going to look at what makes for an energy-efficient window, and identify the benefits of making sure your windows are as efficient as possible.

 

Conduction and heat loss

Conduction means that heat will always try to move from a warm place to a cooler place. If your home is warm but it’s chilly outside, the heat inside will always try to get out. With energy prices heading up, it makes sense to ensure that the heat you’re paying for stays inside. Energy efficient solutions also mean it takes less energy to warm your home in the first place, which is good news for the environment.

 

How does double glazing work?

With single pane glass windows, heat only needs to be conducted through one layer. At its simplest, double glazing is a double layer of glass, making it harder for heat to escape. These layers are vacuum-sealed, and the space inside filled with argon gas. The seal stops moisture getting in-between the panes, which means no condensation.  Argon gas is a poor conductor of heat, so it slows down the rate at which heat passes from the inside to the outside. 

 

Will double glazing save me money?

Yes, particularly as part of a combined energy-saving approach along with insulation and draught-proofing. The Energy Saving Trust has found that up to 26% of domestic heat loss goes out through windows, so it makes sense to choose energy-efficient solutions.

 

How do double glazed windows retain heat?

Double glazing helps to keep heat in by trapping warm air more effectively than single glazing. The space between panes is filled with argon gas, which slows down the rate heat can travel from the warm side to the cold. At Elmhurst, along with the benefits of the double glazing itself, our windows are tightly sealed to prevent heat loss through gaps in the frames. The spacers which keep the panes of glass the right distance apart are ‘warm spacers’ - which cut down heat loss further - and we use a transparent coating on the glass to reflect heat back inside. 

 

What is energy efficient glazing?

Energy efficient glazing is the term used for windows made from two or more panes of glass produced in a sealed unit. Efficiency is further improved by the use of Low E glass, argon gas within the sealed unit, and warm spacers. Energy efficiency doesn’t just save money: it’s also an important factor in reducing our carbon footprint.

 

What is Low E glass?

Low E glass is another name for low emissivity glass, the most energy efficient choice for double and triple glazing. Low E glass uses an invisible, microscopic coating of metal oxide on one of the window’s glass surfaces, usually an internal pane. This works to reflect heat back into the house, whilst still letting in sunlight and solar heat.

 

What are warm edge spacers?

Spacers are the strips used to keep the panes of double glazing the correct distance apart. Metal spacers allow heat loss, as metal is a good conductor. Warm edge spacers, made from polymers, make sure this doesn’t happen. They also work to prevent cold air gathering at the edges of the window, an issue which can create condensation.

 

What is a U-Value?

The U-Value is the term used to measure how easily heat passes through the window. A high U-Value means a lot of heat is being lost; a low U -Value tells you that the window is working well to keep heat in. It needs to be considered alongside the window’s energy rating for a complete picture.

 

How are energy ratings worked out for windows?

Ratings can help you to compare the efficiency of different windows. Here at Elmhurst, we use the scheme developed by the British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC). It rates and colour-codes the energy efficiency of any window, including the frame and the glass, for heat loss, draughts and solar gain. Our windows are all capable of achieving an A+ energy rating, keeping you warm and saving you money.

 

Does the choice of frame affect the efficiency of a window?

Window frames are commonly made from uPVC, timber, composite or aluminium. Aluminium, being a metal, will conduct more heat to the outside than the other choices. Wood is a good natural insulator, but maintenance issues can cut down on efficiency. uPVC and composite frames both work efficiently to keep heat inside, where you want it. However, the most important factor is how well the window is manufactured: a well-fitting, sealed and correctly installed window will cut down on draughts and maximise efficiency. 

 

Condensation and ventilation 

Condensation is caused when warm air hits a cold surface. Double glazing cuts this possibility right down, reassuring you of the efficiency of your windows and also cutting down on unsightly effects of moisture. 
Efficient, well-made and well-fitting windows work in part because they cut down on draughts. Our homes need to breathe: it’s important that the air inside is refreshed, and no-one wants a build up of unwanted emissions or vapour. Opening windows regularly to allow fresh air in is good practice all year round. You may also want to consider controlled ventilation options.

 

What other benefits will I get from double glazing?

Double glazing brings you a great deal in terms of energy efficiency, and there are other benefits as well. The added strength of the glass brings higher levels of security, a factor enhanced by shootbolts, locks and key-operated handles. The double construction of the glass doesn’t just keep heat in: it also helps to keep sound out. And a well-made, high quality double glazed unit will offer years of satisfaction, adding value to your home and bringing additional comfort to your life.

 

With Elmhurst Windows, energy efficiency is part of our high standard of manufacture. Our windows are designed with quality in mind and they last: we’re proud of our 15-year guarantee and excellent customer service. Contact us today to discuss how our windows can improve your home.

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