Never before has it been so important to optimise the energy efficiency of our homes when considering just how much energy prices have skyrocketed in recent months. Homeowners and businesses alike are feeling the pinch of the continually rising energy costs, with bills expected to increase by as much as £1500 annually. This increase will result in most households paying an extortionate £3240 yearly for their energy consumption. Although the government has put provisions in place, it’s not nearly enough to combat the struggles that are to come.
In order to minimise our usage, most of us are putting our heating on at a lower temperature, for shorter lengths of time, and less frequently. Instead of central heating, we find ourselves turning to wrapping up warm and employing further measures to insulate our homes. That’s where our attention turns to our doors and windows, as replacing draughty doors and windows is one of the most effective ways of improving our home’s insulation.
How do I know if my windows are energy efficient?
It’s fair to say that we all want to save money on our energy bills; however, so few of us know how to identify whether our windows are energy efficient. Listed below are some of the tell-tale signs that windows have become inefficient.
- Air leaks – Lighting a candle or incense stick and holding it near the window frame will reveal whether a draught is coming through the frame.
- Moisture and mould – The presence of moisture or mould between the window frame and wall indicates there’s a gap.
- Sealant damage or cracking – Visible signs of damage on the sealant may be allowing heat to escape.
- Single glazing – Windows installed before 1980 are likely to be single-glazed; these will lose heat far quicker than double- or triple-glazed windows.
- Damaged weatherstripping – Old or damaged weatherstripping can allow heat to escape.
- Inefficient window frame material – Anything other than aluminium, timber, or uPVC frames will likely be lacking in efficiency.
How do double-glazed windows save energy?
Double-glazed windows trap air between the two panes of glass, which creates an insulating barrier that prevents heat loss. Within this cavity sits an inert gas, such as argon, to further minimise heat transfer.
During the winter, the interior of a property with double glazing is warmer since less heat is radiated out, and draughts are excluded. In summer, the amount of heat radiated by the sun is reduced due to the extra layer of glass.
What does “triple-glazed windows” mean?
As the name suggests, triple-glazed windows are comprised of three panes of glass. Like double-glazed windows, the cavity between each pane of glass in triple-glazed windows is filled with an inert gas. This extra layer prevents heat loss even further.
Are there available grants for replacing old windows?
Unfortunately, replacing doors and windows can be a costly procedure. Meanwhile, leaving them in an inefficient condition can be just as expensive when considering the elevated energy bills. That said, are there financial aids out there?
Thankfully, there are window replacement grants available across the UK; however, these only tend to be available to low-income or vulnerable households. For instance, the Energy Compilation Obligation puts an obligation on energy companies to assist low-income families in making heating improvements to their homes. Similarly, the Home Repairs Assistance grant offers up to £5,000 over three years to those who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- People over 18 with a disability
- People over 18 that receive government-funded benefits
- People who are 60 or older
Should I replace my draughty windows?
Generally speaking, roughly 18% of our homes’ heat loss occurs via our windows. As a result, individuals with poorly fitted windows or single glazing will be paying extortionate prices to warm their homes. There’s simply no escaping the fact that replacing old doors and windows will optimise a property’s ability to retain heat and keep bills to a minimum.
Timber, UPVC, or aluminium?
It may come as a surprise that the most thermally efficient window frame material is timber. Not only is it the most thermally efficient, but it’s also the most environmentally friendly. Therefore, although timber may be a little more expensive in terms of upfront costs, it will save you money in the long run.
How much money can I save with double- or triple-glazed windows?
By installing A-rated double- or triple-glazed windows in an entirely single-glazed property, the following could be saved annually for a typical gas-heated home:
Upgrading from single to double or triple glazing isn’t the only step that can be taken to save on energy costs. Get in touch with Diamond Windows to discover how we can optimise your home’s energy efficiency and help you save on your energy bills.