Insulating your home is one of the best ways to make your home energy efficient – and one of the key ways to save energy is through double glazing. Double glazing acts as second layer of protection for your home from losing heat. And when around half of heat used to keep your home warm is lost through the walls, windows or loft, you could cut this significantly by installing double glazed windows.
Single glazed windows alone can lose around 20% of your home’s heat. Double glazing can make a wise long term investment for your home, and be good for the environment. Double glazed windows can save £80 to £100 and 680kg of CO2 every year – not to mention adding real value to your property if you later choose to sell.
How Double Glazing Works
Double glazing works by trapping air between two panes of glass. This creates an insulating barrier that will stop heat being lost, stop condensation appearing at your windows, and will also help stop noise from outside.
You should look for energy saving recommended double glazing, to ensure that you are installing the most energy efficient frames and glass. This will be particularly important when Energy Performance Certificates give an energy efficiency rating to homes in the new Home Information Packs that you’ll need, if you choose to sell your property after June 2007.
Remember that installing double glazing can considerably alter the outside appearance of your property, so choose the type of double glazing for your home carefully. This is of particular importance when installing new frames and window panes into older style properties.
In the main, you can choose uPVC, aluminium or timber frames for your windows – choose wisely and in accordance with the other main style features of your property. If you have a listed building or a building with unusual features, please bear in mind that you may need to get building or planning permission from your local council before you start work. Contact your local council to find out if you’ll be affected by any regulations.
Ensure that you use an experienced professional to install double glazing rather than trying to do it yourself. However do get involved by asking how the windows will look when the job’s finished, what sort of security is being fitted to the windows and what guarantees accompany the double glazing work.
The cost of installing double glazing greatly depends on the size of your house, and how many windows you wish to fit double glazed panes into – but expect to pay several thousand pounds for it. The double glazing company market is a competitive one, however, so shop around and see what deals are on offer – and don’t be afraid to haggle!
If your budget is tight, you may choose simply to double glaze the windows in individual rooms rather than your entire property. Pick the rooms you use most often and tend to heat most. Remember there may also be grants available to you in installing double glazing. You local energy efficiency advice centre, who can be contacted on 0800 512 012, will be able to tell you about any local initiatives.