For anyone interested in saving money on their heating bills, installing thermally efficient windows is a good place to start. The best energy saving windows can help keep your home comfortable all year round, while also cutting down on your carbon footprint.
When looking for a new set of windows, you can look at the u-value, which is a measurement of how well they insulate. A lower u-value means a better window that’s more likely to seal properly and retain heat. You should also look at the BFRC rating, which measures the air leakage and solar gain that the window passes through. Generally speaking, you can expect to save 14-38% on your heating bill by switching to an energy-efficient fenestration product.
If you’re building a new house, you will want to choose a window that has a high BFRC rating. This means that the frame and panes will be more effective. Some insulated windows are made with metal, which offers a sleek look with little sightlines. Another option is composite frames, which are made from wood fibre or vinyl. The benefits of these options are that they’re insulating, long-lasting and durable.
There are also aluminium and uPVC frames, which can be more energy efficient than wood. However, they aren’t the most environmentally friendly option. They’re difficult to recycle and require a lot of energy to produce.
Choosing an energy-rated window isn’t always easy, though. The best option for you will depend on your building and budget. You can find a variety of energy-rated window manufacturers in the UK. Some of the biggest names include GlassX, Cherwell and Safestyle. They all offer different levels of efficiency, but a C-rated window is the minimum standard. Typically, you’ll want to upgrade to a sealed unit, which has wider panes of glass. Adding a secondary layer of glass is also an option. You can also have a spacer bar. A spacer bar helps create a thermal break and keeps the inner pane of glass from getting too cold.
You can also improve the energy efficiency of a multi-pane unit by adding an inert gas fill. Some of the most popular inert gases include argon and krypton. The argon is usually the most efficient but costs more to manufacture. The krypton is slightly more expensive and is considered the optimum choice for the inner pane of double glazing.
You’ll also want to consider how the air will be sealed between the glass panes. This can improve the performance of a window by reducing heat loss and acoustic insulation. You may also be able to find a window that has a thermal break in the frame. A spacer bar also helps prevent condensation from forming.
You’ll also need to consider the size of the gap between the panes of glass. A 16mm gap is considered the most ideal. If you do not have that much space, you’ll want to look at your options. It’s not always possible to get a small gap, but you can often find an optimum amount.
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