However, the upfront costs involved can be a reason to keep putting off improving the aesthetics, living environment and keep putting up with thermally inefficient out dated windows and doors. Given home buyers now expect a property to be fully double glazed (or a large reduction on the asking price), one should be pragmatic and if you don’t have the cash flow to replace all the windows and doors in one go, then do them in stages, starting with the ones in your living rooms and/or bedrooms first, so you get the maximum benefit from stage one of your home improvement investment.
Technological advances in the UK double glazing industry over the last ten years or so have caused the 1st and 2nd generations of replacement double glazing (which at the time was a significant improvement on single glazing) to be superseded by high performance “thermally broken” energy saving efficient windows, enabling far better energy ratings to be achieved using today’s more technologically advanced products.
For UK double glazing manufacturers to achieve a decent window energy rating (i.e. C, B, A, A+ or A++) they need a frame that is thermally broken (i.e. where the outer pane and inner pane are separated, so that the cold on the outside cannot be transferred to the inside) and a high specification sealed unit with a warm edge spacer bar separating the inner and outer glass panes, which should be filled with an inert gas like Argon, which not only insulates, it helps with sound reduction too.
Recent technological advances now enable certain PVCu products to obtain even greater energy ratings than “A”. Some companies use triple glazing to achieve better than an “A” rating, whereas others have opted to improve their double glazed frames, making them more robust as well as more thermally efficient in the process.
Triple glazing sealed units costs more than double glazed sealed units, simply because there are two warm edge spacer bars, rather than one, and three panes of glass rather than two. This means triple glazed units cost more to replace if they break down or crack than double glazed units, a factor worth noting when making a decision between these two options.
Independent double glazing manufacturers and installers Hazlemere Window Company Ltd have been replacing windows in the South of England for over 33 years. They have recently switched all their PVCu casement windows with side hung and top hung opening vents to A+ as standard. The outer window sash on the bespoke PVCu windows they supply and install now has 6 chambers increasing the thermal break between the inside and outside, as well as the robustness of the product. They also now offer a PVCu triple glazed window with a slimmer outer frame that has an A++ energy rating.
As it is now possible to have professionally fitted bespoke A+ energy rated double glazed windows installed for far less than A+ or A++ triple glazing, it makes better financial sense to invest in double glazed A+ windows. If the most thermally efficient windows in the country are not well fitted, they won’t perform, so it is important to select an experienced installer you can trust to do a professional job on your property.
The dividends therefore, in terms of lower heating bills start soon after having well fitted thermally broken energy saving windows installed. It therefore geuinely pays to have them all done, even if in phases. Properties with thermally broken double glazing are more attractive to potential buyers than single glazed windows or first generation non thermally broken double glazing.
To find out more about the potential replacement window options on your particular property, along with free professional advice as to which type and style of windows would add the most value to your home (whilst saving on heating bills), ask for a no-obligation consultation and free quote from one of Hazlemere Windows experienced experts.
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