The most common cause for a high energy bill is the heat escaping from the windows, making your heating system work harder and costing you more money. With double-glazed windows, you can save money on your energy bill and leave a smaller carbon footprint at the same time. Having double-glazed windows has many other benefits, such as reduction in hot-spots and drafts because of the temperature control they provide. They can also prevent condensation from entering your home.
Having sealed windows can save you a lot of money depending on the type of home that you live in and where in the United Kingdom you reside. In Northern Ireland, savings can range from £75-230 a year. In other places such as Scotland, England, and Wales a resident can save anywhere between £50-160 a year.
How They Work
Double-glazed windows are as they seem; two sheets of glass with a gap of about 16mm between them. You can get triple-sealed windows, but they often do not work as well as double-glazed windows. The gap between the two sheets of glass works as a barrier and traps in sunlight or escaping air. Some companies will add gas (usually argon or xenon) between the sheets for added efficiency. The most efficient framing for the windows should not contain metal in the spacers. The framing itself can come in a variety of materials such as wood, aluminum, composite, or uPVC.
Make Sure It’s Legal
Be sure to do some research on whether or not you are allowed to do any convergence to your property. Your building may be listed as a historical building and you may not be allowed to make changes on the outside or inside of the property. You can check on the convergence restrictions in your area by contacting the local council conservation officer. If you do live in a historical building, you can then contact either Historic Scotland or English Heritage to find out ways to safely insulate your building.
Alternatives to double-glazing if your conservation organization will not allow it, is to consider secondary-glazing. It is simply done by adding a second glass panel to a window. It is not usually as effective as proper double-windows, but it can still save you energy and money. It is also a cheaper alternative to double-glazed windows. The last alternative is to buy heavy curtains.