With winter on its way and energy costs increasing you may be looking for ways to keep your home warm at less expense. This blog discusses how you can limit the amount of heat lost from your home by focussing on the key area where heat escapes – your windows.
There are a few choices to insulate your windows – double glazing and a DIY option secondary glazing:
Double Glazing – an effective, familiar and popular choice. Already in place in most new homes, double glazing is a permanent solution. It is effective when the gap between the panes of glass is airtight and filled with an inert gas (or a vacuum) creating a thermal seal. As it sounds, installation is not an easy DIY task. A company will need to come around to your house and measure up and produce the windows specifically for you which can be messy and disruptive. The associated cost of double glazing also may mean you wish to consider other options before deciding. For some homeowners in conservation areas and in listed buildings, double glazing may not even be an option because of planning requirements. If you decided to swap all your single glazed windows in an average three-bed home, you could expect to save about £150 a year on your heating. UPVC double-glazing units should last around for 20 years or more, so your payback is relatively slow, but eventual!
Secondary Glazing – not as familiar as double glazing is secondary glazing. Secondary glazing provides an immediate insulating barrier at a fraction of the cost of double glazing. Even with its low price tag, a discreet, unobtrusive secondary glazing system will not look cheap and competently installed neither will it detract from your window features which may be a special concern for those with sash windows, stained glass and leaded windows. One of the benefits of secondary glazing is that it is reversible. Secondary glazing window panes can easily be lifted out as and when necessary, especially if a magnetic fixing system is used rather than screws or adhesive systems. For those renting a cold property secondary glazing can be an ideal option. Secondary glazing is also an ideal solution for those in listed buildings or living in conservation areas. However, with uneven window surrounds, partial / slanted window cavities and any fittings which project or overhang a secondary glazing system is unlikely to install well and be effective. Accurate installation is key to secondary glazing success. Adding secondary glazing to existing single glazed windows would save you about £75 a year on energy bills. So, around half that you would expect with double glazing but overall a quicker payback since the secondary glazing system will be considerably cheaper.
Shutters, blinds, thermal curtains and thick curtains – can help prevent anywhere from 50% to 20% loss of heat. But, given they block out light and views we think they make a better night time option !
A combination of the above may be your answer. If you would like more details about a lift out magnetic secondary glazing system the friendly team at The Plastic People are happy to help. Details of their magnetic secondary glazing system can be found on their site here. This includes a video of an installation.