A Start To Making Homes More Energy Efficient

If you are considering all the ways you could make your home more energy efficient, double glazing is one of the first things you should look at updating, along with cavity wall insulation and roofing insulation. Only then does it make sense to consider a Solar PV installation.

As the name implies, double glazing has two panes of glass rather than the traditional single pained window. As you would expect two panes of glass are far more effective at retaining heat than any single pane window is able to. There are several levels of quality when it comes to the glass used in double and triple glazing windows. There is more information on our site in regard to this. We also have more information on triple glazing which can be found on the website. Double Glazing products by and large consist of skylight windows, conservatories and replacement doors and windows. The past few years have seen vast improvements made in the manufacturing processes for glazing products and glass and glazing installers have a huge variety of exciting products on offer. A good double glazing company should be able to offer you a solution based on both your financial situation and the properties need, so be sure to consult with the professional when you sit down to discuss the options you have available.

In addition it would be far easier to sell your home or flat if you have had double glazing installed at the property you are putting up for sale. During the next few years, the Green Deal, a Government backed initiative, will require homes meet a certain standard of energy efficiency. Landlords will be expected to update properties which do not meet expectations by law and tenants will also be given the right to insist that their landlord makes these upgrades. If these expectations are not met then the properties will need to be removed form the rental market completely, making it illegal for a landlord to rent that property out until the work has been completed. We here at FairTrades feels that is an important step towards better home energy efficiency when home owners update older single and double glazing units with their more modern counterparts. Energy Performance Certificates (EPC's) give information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your energy costs. All homes bought, sold or rented require an EPC which is valid for 10 years.

To recap, an EPC is required when a building is built, rented or sold. Have replacement double glazing doors and windows fitted not only saves the future home owners from having to do it, you immediately start benefiting by saving on your heating bills. Did you know that Britain is already running very close to the maximum output we have available when it comes to our energy grid? With future migration and population growth in mind we need to start conserving energy where ever possible and our ageing housing stock is one place where we can all make a difference. The day has also come for businesses to look at what they can do to conserve more energy as the majority of Britain's heat is lost through ageing office and factory buildings with little to no double glazing having being installed in millions of such sites around the country.

Of course double glazing is not just ideal for fitting if you want to sell your home. You can enjoy your home far more with double glazing fitted because it reduces noise pollution as well as heat loss. This is especially good if you live on a busy road or have people walking past your front door on a regular basis.

You may also have heard of triple glazing but according to reports double glazing meets the current standards of efficiency here in the UK when it comes to retaining the heat. When it comes to whether or not to install triple glazing rather than double glazing, this is a choice which only the home owner can make. Triple glazing is very efficient at keeping the heat in, something which may come in to play in the future. We will need to wait and see what legislative changes occur with the coming Green Deal and what this means for the Energy Performance Certificates.

Should I Get Double Glazing or Triple Glazing Installed?

Since double glazing is better at keeping the heat in and the cold out than single glazing, surely it stands to reason that triple glazing is even better. Perhaps, but is the increased performance worth the additional investment?

You would be tempted to think this is the case but there is more to the argument than meets the eye. Recent research has revealed that triple glazing is actually capable of producing a larger carbon footprint than double glazing. So, if you want your property to be energy efficient and you want to reduce the size of its carbon footprint, it would appear that over the long term you are better off sticking with high quality double glazing.

Although this may well be a disappointment to those companies who offer triple glazing as part of their product range, the Code for Sustainable Homes, the UK's roadmap to moving towards building zero-carbon homes requires new installations to have a U-value of no more than 0.8 on the PassivHaus standard. To get a window with such a low U-value, one not only needs to use triple glazed windows but the window frames need to be insulated too! Then there is the issue of cost, the best triple glazing units use an inert gas called krypton between the window panes instead of argon, argon is cheaper, and the whole manufacturing process is that much more complicated and expensive. Both industrial and commercial properties are already moving towards triple glazing installations and many 'new home' builders will be taking triple glazing far more seriously in the near future! As for whether domestic property owners will be rushing to upgrade their current double glazing units for triple glazing remains too be seen though.

There are many ways of reducing the carbon footprint of a property, whether it is used for domestic or commercial purposes. The true benefit in terms of overall performance between double and triple glazing is very low and due to greater manufacturing costs are not necessarily greener at this point in time.(2012) Initially we would like to encourage home owners to view their property as a whole in terms of energy efficiencies! Double and triple glazing and even solar PV works best when walls and roofs are insulated! An insulated home is an energy efficient home and ensure that any money spend on updating a property provides a good return on the investment. The trick is to invest money where it will be repaid in terms of a lower carbon footprint, providing energy savings over a longer period of time. Some companies offer analysis of the carbon footprint of a premises and this can make interesting reading.

Choosing Double Glazing vs. Triple Glazing Installations

Double glazing units have two panes of glass within a highly specialised PVCu frame whereas Triple Glazing incorporates three panes of glass. Different countries have different needs and here in the UK current double glazing replacement windows are considered to be more than efficient enough for our current needs. Currently the Building Regulations require newly installed windows to have a U-value 1.6 or less.

A normal house wall is around .3 in U-value by comparison. Double glazing windows absorb about as much heat as they let out while triple glazed windows absorb just a little less heat than their double glazed counterparts. Essentially, this means that double glazing can help heat up a home slightly better on a warm day, so along with drawing the curtains you really are doing as much as you can to preserve the heat. That's where you may be wrong! Have you considered your chimney? Yes, it too is loosing you valuable heat, and its going straight up and out from your fireplace!



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