There are countless reasons why people choose to improve or renovate their homes. Some people hope to come up with extra space or add value. Others are considering reducing their bills and adding to their comfort by investing in energy efficiency.
No matter what the goal is, energy efficiency should always be one of the priorities in a project.
Since windows are some of the largest units in a room and they connect to the outdoors, that should be one of your top considerations when it comes to energy efficiency. While most people focus on the actual design, the truth is quality standards are more important in the long run.
If you’re not sure what to do next, here are a few ideas to improve your home.
Double or triple glazing?
Double glazing covers windows with two different glass panes. Old classic windows came with one pane only. Two panes will clearly add an extra layer of insulation and can better keep warm or cool air inside.
Mix your windows with internal glazed doors, too, and you’ll take insulation to another level. After all, focusing on one side and ignoring the other is pointless. Oak is a common and sustainable material these days. It looks luxurious, but it’s more affordable than ever. It’s durable and offers great insulation.
Back to windows, to enhance insulation, the two panes in double glazing are separated by a specific gas. Apart from the extra insulation, double glazing will also add to your home security, reduce damp and add to the noise pollution too, meaning your home will be quieter.
While not as popular due to the price, triple glazing takes everything even further. An extra glass pane will take the benefits of double-glazed windows to another level.
Based on your budget, there’s also the option of secondary glazing. In other words, single glazed windows are given an extra glass pane, without having to replace it. It’s not as good as double glazing, but it’s getting close enough.
As for the inside, you can add even more to your insulation by investing in blinds or heavy curtains.
Energy requirements for windows
Different countries have different systems or types of ratings in terms of thermal efficiency for windows. In most countries, they’re given as codes, from A to G. A windows are the most efficient ones, but with technology advancements in the industry, you can also find A+ ratings or even better.
There’s a minimum requirement for energy efficiency recommendations, usually C.
While most manufacturers offer a certain level of energy efficiency, it does pay off shopping around to find extremely high ratings. Quality windows will be able to keep the heat inside during the cold winter months and save money on energy bills.
On the same note, you’ll be able to keep your rooms cool during hot summers. Curtains and blinds will also help.
Most popular window materials
Layers of glass are not the only things you should pay attention to when interested in energy efficient upgrades. The frame is just as important. There are more window materials out there, and each of them comes with its own particularities.
uPVC is a common choice because it offers high quality insulation at an affordable price. Other options include wood, fiberglass, and composite. Metal frames, on the other hand, won’t deliver in terms of energy efficiency. Aluminum is a popular metal option, but it has very poor insulation capabilities.
The right time to replace your windows
Window replacement is not an easy task. It’s not the type of DIY project anyone can do, as it requires experience and a more professional approach if you truly care about energy efficiency. At the same time, the costs of such a project can put some people off.
But then, energy efficiency does cost more in general. The good news is it pays for itself. In the long run, you’ll save money by controlling your energy bills, especially with today’s energy crisis.
All in all, if your windows are 15 to 20 years old or older, chances are they need replacement. If you don’t have double glazing, that’s a pretty good reason to get an upgrade. You should also consider a replacement if locks no longer work, glass is cracked or even smashes, and they can’t open properly.
Other times, it’s only a matter of personal preferences. You want an upgrade, whether in energy efficiency, style, or looks, so feel free to go for it.
Bottom line, window replacements are a serious project that implies educating yourself, getting quotes from different brands, and doing your homework. You need to know more about your options, as well as the features they come with and their costs if you want to make as much as possible out of this upgrade.