When it comes to replacing your windows you’ll want the most energy efficient units possible to make maximum savings on heating bills. So what is most effective? There’s a lot to choose from including double glazing, triple glazing, secondary glazing and then low-e coating. On top of this you need to decide on the right frame material.
Take a look at our guide to choosing energy efficient windows below:
Modern windows are given a rating from A to G based on their energy efficiency. A offers the most energy efficiency, whilst G the least. This rating is provided by the British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC). When replacing your windows, always try to pick the highest energy rating possible. The Energy Saving Trust advise that an eco-home will have windows of at least a C rating, which can be paid back in six years.
What is the best glazing for energy efficient windows?
When it comes down to energy efficiency, triple glazing is the best. It boasts three panes of glass separated by two gas spacers. The spacers contain a motionless gas to prevent heat passing through, such as Argon.
However, you have to also think about being cost effective. Triple glazing will be the most expensive option and choosing double glazing can be very rewarding too. Double glazing will work out as a cheaper installation and you can still save up to £200 every year on energy bills.
If you want to remain as environmentally friendly as possible you could even request glass which is 33% recycled too.
Secondary glazing can be installed at a cheaper price to double or triple glazing and is great for those on a budget and still wanting to reduce energy bills. It is also a solution for those living in a conservation area or listed building, whereby double glazing is prohibited. A second pane is fit on the interior of your existing single glazed window.
Low-E window coatings have become more popular in the UK as an extra way to improve the efficiency of window units. Coatings give the windows a slight tint which deflects the sun’s glare, whilst also helping to reflect heat back into your home, rather than let it escape. This coating can be applied to double or triple glazed windows.
What are the best window frames for energy efficiency?
You may be surprised to find out that timber offers the most energy efficiency for your windows. Experts suggest hardwood or treated soft wood will hold maximum energy efficiency properties.
Wooden window frames are more expensive than their uPVC counterparts, so if you’re on a budget then don’t worry about selecting uPVC. This is an energy efficient material too and popular in the windows, doors and conservatories construction industries.
It’s recommended to avoid metallic window frames such as aluminium though, because they will conduct heat out of your home. They’re also the most expensive window option.
You should try to select windows which have a minimal amount of frame, so avoid using grids or muntins if possible. Sash windows aren’t recommended when it comes to energy efficiency either as a large area is taken up by frames. In some instances Building Regulations may stipulate them and there are well-performing options too choose from.
Facts & Figures You’ll Love To Share
- Replacing your inefficient windows with double glazing will help you save up to £200 a year on expensive household bills.
- Installing double glazing is an environmentally friendly option, slashing carbon by 680kg annually.
- As well as a monetary saving, double glazing will cut condensation and reduce noise pollution.
- Switching your old windows will boost your property’s EPC rating and make your home a more attractive buy in the market.
- For homes in Conservation Areas, consider secondary glazing to make energy savings when double glazing isn’t permitted.