When having your windows replaced, choosing the most environmentally friendly option isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for your bank balance too. Inefficient windows can cost you money, as they waste energy and let heat escape from your home. Double and triple glazed windows provide a barrier against heat loss, therefore bringing down your energy bills. But with so many different options available – and all of them claiming to be eco-friendly – how can homeowners make the right choice?
Window Energy Rating
To help consumers choose energy efficient windows, the British Fenestration Rating Council has designed a UK wide system for measuring the efficiency of windows. The Window Energy Rating (WER) is given to all windows and the grading system uses the letters A-G, with G being the worst performing window.
The rating is calculated by looking at three different factors of the window:
U Value (thermal efficiency) – The U value tests the heat loss from the window, and is measured by how much heat is transferred from one side of the window to the other. The lower the U value, the warmer the home because less heat loss takes place.
Solar Gain (G Value) – Homeowners want to use as much natural energy as possible from sunlight, rather than paying to heat the house. The G value measures how much heat from the sun’s rays passes through the window.
Air Leakage (L Value) – Air leakage is the technical term for draughts, so the L value measures how airtight windows are. If there is a weak point around the window, this will be spotted. You want to aim for an L value of 0 for the most energy efficient window.
With these ratings in mind, you should aim for a window energy rating of A-C to optimise the energy efficiency of your home.
It’s not just the glass to be considered if you’re an environmentally conscious homeowner. The frames of the windows also play a large part in the decision. Aluminium windows are probably the material of choice as they are durable, efficient and sustainable. As aluminium is a recyclable material, homeowners needn’t worry about the environmental impact.
Timber windows are also a good choice, by using a natural material. They look great but aren’t recognised for providing the same durability or efficiency as PVC-u and aluminium. That’s why we also offer a composite window option, for the best of both worlds. On the interior the window frame is made from sustainable timber, while on the exterior a sturdy aluminium frame provides maximum performance.
Need more help choosing your windows? Speak to one of our friendly experts today who can advise on the right style and material for your home.