Practical Advice: Glass Efficiency
A summary of why efficient glazing is important, and what you should look for when sourcing glazing for your home.
With a vast amount of glazing making up the structure and form of any garden room, orangery or conservatory, it’s important to consider how efficient that glass is. Making sure that it doesn’t allow too much heat in or out will pay dividends in the long run – not only ensuring that your extension maintains a comfortable and consistent temperature year-round; it will also be more financially efficient in the long run.
Most modern properties use double glazing, as it is one of the most efficient yet affordable types of glazing available. However, there are different levels of efficiency dependent on the type of materials used, quality of individual components and the installation techniques. Here’s a summary of why efficient glazing is important, and what to look for when sourcing glazing for your home:
Benefits of efficient windows:
- Minimise heat loss – Double glazing consists of two sheets of glass with a slight gap between them – usually around 16mm, in order to create an insulating barrier between the home and the outside. This gap is usually filled with gas, designed to enhance the insulating qualities of the glazing, and the most common of which being Argon. However, other gases can be used which have greater insulating properties – such as Xenon and Krypton, although these are more expensive.
- Reduce household bills – Efficient glazing helps maintain constant temperatures within the home, therefore requiring less heating from central heating systems and fireplaces throughout the year, which reduces bills. In turn, using less fuel also helps to minimise the household’s carbon footprint.
- Reduce noise – Not only does double glazing keep the house warm and draft free, it also helps insulate properties against outside noise.
What to look for when sourcing efficient windows:
- Type of glass – the most energy-efficient order hydrocodone syrup glass for double glazing is low emissivity (Low-E) glass. This means that it limits the amount of heat which can escape. This Low-E glass often has an ‘invisible’ coating of metal oxide on one of the internal panes next to the gap, enhancing its insulating properties.
- Type of gas – as mentioned above, double glazed windows usually have gas in between the panes. Argon is the most common and more affordable, whereas Xenon and Krypton are more efficient but in turn more costly.
- Type of spacers – spacers are set around the inside edges, and are used to keep the sheets of glass separate. The most efficient spacers contain little or no metal, so make sure you pay attention to this detail.
- Type of frame – one common misconception is that newer materials such as uPVC are the most effective material for the frame, however any frame material can produce energy efficient windows if designed correctly. At Westbury we use timber for our frames, due to it’s aesthetic qualities.
Modern windows are usually manufactured to be highly energy efficient, however they may not be suitable for all residences. For example, listed buildings and properties in conservation areas tend to face greater restrictions on the type of windows that can be installed. It is important in these instances to seek expert advice before making any changes to the property. In certain cases, it may be necessary to seek planning permission too.
Whilst the initial cost is undoubtedly an important factor when sourcing glazing, it is important to remember that over the life of a window, the cost of heat lost is greater than the purchase cost – so you will undoubtedly save money in the longer term.