Choosing the right window style can help to make your home warmer, more comfortable, and more energy efficient. Windows can also improve the security of your property. In addition, they can be a valuable source of natural light and reduce noise.
There are a variety of window styles, including aluminium, wood, and uPVC. Most modern uPVC windows are energy efficient. The most energy-efficient windows use innovative double glazing. The two panes are separated by a spacer bar, which acts as a barrier and prevents heat transfer. The spacer bars are often made of aluminium or stainless steel.
The Energy Saving Trust recommends installing C-rated windows to achieve the Energy Saving Recommendation. This is because the average UK home loses around 25% to 30% of its heat through its windows. To qualify for this certification, a window must be installed properly, and it must meet building regulations. It can be a little tricky to figure out which windows meet the standard.
The most energy-efficient type of glass is low-E, which reflects light rather than blocking it. This glass is also extremely durable. It features a microscopic coating of metal oxide. The coating makes the glass resistant to UV rays and reduces the damage caused by the sun. It can be up to 40% more energy-efficient than a standard double-glazed window.
Another common choice for energy-efficient windows is a composite frame. This is a combination of different materials that combine to create a strong and durable frame that is both flexible and lightweight. However, this option is also the most expensive. It may not be worth the extra cost unless you’re planning a high-performance green building. Alternatively, you can choose to install secondary double glazing. This can be less expensive but can be a little fiddly to clean.
The British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) rates windows on a scale from A to G. A-rated windows are more energy-efficient than B-rated windows, and A+ windows are the most energy-efficient. A-rated windows are usually uPVC. They are typically very durable, making them a great choice for homeowners.
A-rated windows also reduce the carbon footprint. The BFRC calculates the energy efficiency of a product by considering its overall air leakage, its solar gain value, and its U value. In addition, it rates thermal performance. In order to meet its standard, a window should be able to block a large percentage of the sun’s energy. The lower the solar heat transmittance, the higher the rated level of efficiency.
The BFRC uses a scale called the Window Energy Rating scale (WER), which assesses the whole window’s energy efficiency. The lowest-performing windows are rated G. These are usually fixed, non-operable windows. You will need to be careful when selecting the style and material of your window. Poorly fitted windows can increase heat loss by as much as 30%. Similarly, poorly designed or prepared wall openings can lead to poor window performance.
The cost of installing an energy-efficient window depends on the size of the window and the material used for its frame. In general, a triple-glazed window is more effective than a double-glazed window.
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