If youâ€™re home is single glazed or your double glazing was installed prior to April 2002 then you could be losing heat and therefore money, literally out of the window. However, by switching to Energy Efficient Windows (EEWâ€™s) you can save energy and reduce your household bills by as much as *Â£461 per year.
There is a sometimes bewildering amount of new technology out there and so, to help make choosing Energy Efficient Windows easier for householders, the British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC), has launched a ratings system, based on the energy label found on all new washing machines and tumble dryers.
All windows are rated from â€˜Aâ€™ to â€˜Eâ€™ with â€˜Aâ€™ being the most energy efficient. This labelling allows householders to simply and quickly compare the energy efficiency of competing products.
So what are Energy Efficient Windows? They are windows that help to contain and conserve heat within your home during the winter, cool it in the summer, keep out wind and resist condensation.
This can be done in a number of ways, apart from using triple or even quadruple glazing, such as using a thin coating on the glass, insulated glazing units (IGU), or even gas fillings.
Apart from the glass itself, cold bridging is an issue which has come to light recently. In standard windows the spacers were made from metal aluminum, which doesn’t keep the heat. The warm edge spacers of energy efficient windows are made from steel, foam, vinyl or even fibreglass.
There is no point having wonderful windows if they are not fitted correctly and the latest weather stripping methods should also be employed to ensure no drafts sneak in. If you live in a single glazed house and install energy efficient windows, you could reduce the energy you use by 0.30 tonnes or 18% – almost reaching the Government target of 20%.
Add to this your other energy saving measures, such as low energy lightbulbs and just switching off appliances you don’t use, and you could be making a real impact in reducing your carbon footprint.
For more information on Energy Efficient Windows and details of suppliers and fitters in your area please visit the Glass and Glazing Federation website â€“ the trade association for all companies who make, supply or fit flat glass, such as windows, film or plastics, or alternatively telephone 0870 042 4255.
For more information on the BFRC and its energy ratings system visit the website, www.bfrc.org or telephone its advice line, 020 7403 9200.
* in an electrically heated house taken from DTI Quarterly Energy Prices, Tables 2,2,3 –