Changing the windows of your home may be a worthwhile investment if you are looking to reduce your energy bills. This is especially true for older houses that have windows that are not well fitted. A common problem is air leakage, which is the largest contributor to heat loss from a window. The design of your windows can help to keep your heat inside and to reduce your air leakage.
Using non-metallic materials such as glass fibre or steel reinforced polymer can make a big difference to how your windows perform. These materials are often called warm edge technology. When you have a window that is made from these materials, you can expect it to have a U-value of 3.6 W/m2K. That’s close to the energy performance of conventionally glazed windows. You can also install low emissivity (low-e) coatings on your glass to improve its performance.
When you are considering changing your windows, you should consider whether you need to get planning permission for the changes. It is important to get consent if you are installing new windows in a listed building, though this may not be necessary for changes that are only minor. If you do need to get planning permission, you should look at the National Planning Policy Framework for guidance.
If your house is a listed building, you should get advice from the local conservation officer before making any alterations. They should consider your building’s significance and the extent to which the changes will alter the fabric of the building. In addition, you should ensure that the design of the new windows is appropriate and will complement the appearance of the group.
As part of your application, you should give reasons for any changes that you make. For example, if you are replacing single glazed windows in a flat, you should consider removing the old windows and replacing them with new, thicker double-glazed ones. Similarly, if you are renovating a period property, you should take special care to replicate the frame dimensions and glazing bars of the existing windows.
If you are renovating a listed building, you should get the assistance of the local planning authority. They should be able to advise you on how best to carry out the alterations and give advice on any policy on energy-saving measures.
Window upgrades are most effective when implemented together. Identifying the most effective strategy for your renovation is the first step in achieving your sustainability goals. By applying these strategies and selecting the most suitable window systems, you can reduce your energy usage and carbon emissions.
Before you apply for permission to replace your windows, you should find out if you need to make changes to the frames. Most changes to the windows of an existing building require the installation of new frames. However, there are many ways you can modify the existing frames. One way is to add structural foam or a polysulphide seal. Another is to make the frame wider so that it can accommodate the thicker replacement double-glazed windows.
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