As winter sets in it is natural that we look forward to the warmth of a comfortable home. While 2016 was all about hygge, the concept for 2017 looks to come from Sweden: lagom –‘not too much, not too little’. Translating to ‘enough, sufficient, just right’ lagom is an ethos of moderation. If you’re looking to strike the balance of a cosy home with rising energy costs and production then turn your attention to the two main offenders for heat loss: your roof and windows. Once roofs are insulated, the popular next treatment is for windows, and because it’s so well known, double glazing – but it’s far from an automatic choice.
Usually factors which influence whether to go ahead with the double glazing option are the fitting process as sometimes this can involve the removal of existing windows and sometimes not permissible at all, aesthetics (some residents prefer to maintain feature windows rather than change them to double glazed units) and costs. Costs of double glazing vary depending on supplier but some typical guidance is below.
Type of double glazed window 90cm x 120cm
- UPVC casement - £800
- UPVC sash - £1600
- Hardwood casement - £1300
- Hardwood sash - £1900
For residents looking to spend less or those living in rented properties or listed buildings, double glazing may not be a viable option and other considerations are needed.
If you’re after a ‘not too much, not too little’ lagom approach then Secondary Glazing is worth a look as it will provide some of the same benefits of double glazing at a considerably lower cost (both are said to prevent around 60% of window heat loss)
Where double glazing removes a single glazed window and replaces it, secondary glazing adds a pane of glazing to the existing window on the interior side. The addition of this pane provides energy insulation and soundproofing. Typically this glazing pane is made from clear acrylic or PET which is a recyclable plastic. The plastic looks just like glass but is much, much stronger and is half the weight of glass making the plastic a practical solution.
The secondary glazing pane is usually held in place with a lightweight frame which doesn’t really alter the look of the original windows and building – a great plus for residents with feature windows (which are often the draughtiest of all!).
If you are interested in secondary glazing take a look at some of the secondary glazing kits available. Secondary glazing can easily be installed as a DIY project where the secondary glazing panel fits to your existing window with screws, adhesives or magnetic fixings. Magnetic choices are probably the quickest and easiest to fit and take down again when the weather warms up – because the glazing is simply held securely in place by magnetic strips.
The key success factor for Secondary Glazing seems to be installing it so it achieves a thermal seal. So, DIYers / lagomers everywhere, check out installation instructions that are available for any Secondary Glazing kit you are considering. If you’d like some advice, talk to our helpful team at the Plastic People on 0113 249 2222 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curtains and draught proofing
Simpler solutions all have a part to play too. Draught proofing strips can work well around windows and are another easy DIY choice. Cracks can be filled with sealant to further reduce any draughts coming in. Thick, thermal lined curtains can block draughts too though perhaps an evening solution since they will block out light at the same time.