Tips on Saving Energy and Money on your BillsJune 28, 2013
Inefficient windows and doors account for a large proportion of total energy loss in the home – over 20% for certain households. The main culprits are draughty windows and single-glazed windows. Draughts cause rapid heat loss by convection, and single-glazed glass is not very effective at keeping the heat in when the weather is cool. A slightly better option is secondary glazing, though if you really want to save energy and money and reduce your carbon footprint, double-glazed windows are certainly one of the best options available to you.
Double glazing is made from two separate panes of glass with a space in between, and the space is usually filled with gas such as air, argon or xenon. Because the space is very small, the gas cannot circulate well and therefore heat transfer by convection is significantly reduced. This is the same reason why these windows are also very good at limiting sound transfer.
The most energy efficient double glazing comes with low-e (low emissivity) glass, which allows light and heat to come through from the outside, but only lets a minimal amount of heat out from the inside. Other layers are also used with certain brands to reduce glare, control reflection and control the amount of heat absorbed. The gap in between and the thickness of the glass varies depending on the provider, as does the type of window frame. Pane spacers are also used to separate the two panes of glass. Non-metallic pane spacers are the most energy efficient type of spacer.
The Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo and the BFRC rating are given to the most energy-efficient windows. Replacing all of your single-glazed windows with double-glazed windows like this could save you up to £170 per year on your heating bills. While double glazing is a significant investment, the benefits of greater noise insulation, greater security, less condensation and smaller heat loss usually make the investment well worth it, and over time they will pay for themselves through your energy bills.
The Green Deal is a new government initiative that can fund your new double glazing. With this system, you pay for the new windows via the savings you make on your energy bills. This means you can upgrade your home and make it more energy efficient without paying any money upfront.
If you do not want to replace your existing windows, or you are unable to because you live in a listed building or conservation area, there are still ways to reduce heat loss and draughts. Draught-proofing is important for any home and if you draught-proof all of the places where draughts are common, such as doors, windows, pipe work, fittings, keyholes and letterboxes, you can significantly reduce energy loss and save an average of £55 per year.
Heavy curtains are effective at stopping draughts, while blinds and shutters add an extra layer for trapping in heat. It is a good idea to install blinds within a sealed frame. Be careful when draught-proofing in areas that require adequate ventilation. Cutting off all ventilation can lead to condensation and damp in such areas.
Tips on Saving Energy – An infographic by the team at Windows Direct London
Written by Windows Direct London.