Over the last thirty years, double glazed window installations have risen considerably in the United Kingdom. Many new build homes are now built with them fitted as standard. But, if you are seriously thinking about converting your home or business, what do you need to know?
At Conwy Valley Windows & Conservatories, we have over 100 years of combined experience in installing our PVCu Windows and double glazing doors and conservatories. We are specialists in the design and installation of PVCu double glazed windows in all areas of the home and we have installed our replacement windows, doors and conservatories throughout Wales.
Our team has over 100 years of collective experience in our industry and our wealth of knowledge helps our customers to vastly improve their homes. We thought it was best to provide any new customers with a comprehensive guide as to why double glazed windows can really change their life, including the heating and the appearance of their home.
We sat down in Penrhyn Bay (Llandudno) offices as a team and decided that we wanted to put together a wholesome and informative guide to this subject; we always look to improve our relationships with our customers and offer a full services from advice through to installation, and so you should see this as an extension on this service!
We get many queries about double glazing, so this ultimate guide will weigh up the pros and cons of PVCu double glazed windows, looking at the benefits including energy saving and efficiency, sound insulation and maintenance as well as answering any installation questions.
It’s best to start off with how they actually work, so lets begin!
How do double glazed windows work?
Double glazed windows are designed to let in light (like most windows) whilst blocking the movement of heat – this is why they make fantastic insulators. They are structured with two panes of glass, which are separated by a layer of trapped air – the space between the gap is tiny so no air can leak out between the panes. Our double glazed window options have a layer of desiccant between the panes which aims to absorb any moisture and stop a fog forming, keeping the windows clear.
PVCu stands for ‘polyvinyl chloride unplasticised’. It is a modern material which is very secure and maintenance free. The material comes from the conversion of raw materials and can be recycled, even centuries down the line. At Conwy Valley Windows, we aim to make sure all replaced windows are recycled and are proud of our fantastic recycling record.
Double glazed windows insulate in many different ways, so less heat can escape due to the two panes of glass. The slowing in the movement of the air means that insulation is aided, the feature which is most important and that helps the insulation is the layer of trapped air.
The reason the layer of trapped air works as an insulator is due to the elimination of something called conduction, air molecules are usually spread out and when they bang into each other they pass on their heat (conduction). By trapping air molecules close to one another in between two layers of glass, double glazing then becomes an insulator. Heat cannot pass as effectively through slowly moving or trapped air, this is how they insulate a home or office space.
In a nutshell:
- A layer of trapper air helps insulate the home by stopping warm air from escaping
- Positive financial and environmental effects may take a while but the long term benefits are huge.
The benefits of double glazing
According the the Energy Saving Trust, up to 18% of heat is lost in homes through windows in uninsulated homes. Single glazed windows are incredibly bad at insulating, as warm air can pass very easily though a single pane of glass which reduces the overall temperature on the inside and in the home or office.
Through trapping air between two panes, the double glazing insulates and stops warm air from escaping. The benefits of replacing your single glazing windows with double glazing PVCu include:
Utility bill reduction:
It is a fact that energy bills have been rising very quickly over the past few years in the United Kingdom, but you can go some way to reducing them in the long run by opting to install double glazed windows. The initial price may be higher but the benefits will be clear after a number of years.
Energy saving and reducing heating bills is probably the most obvious advantage of having double glazing installed. With less heat escaping you will not need to have your thermostat or radiators turned up to a high heat, double glazing will start to pay for itself after a while!
The exact amount you can save will depend on a number of different factors, but at Conwy Valley we have successfully helped many customers to save hundreds and hundreds of pounds per year. We offer the most energy efficient windows on the market and the Energy Saving Trust truly recommends our window designs.
By reducing heat loss through drafts and ventilation, you can save tonnes of carbon dioxide, again the Energy Saving Trust (the experts) suggest that around three quarters of a tonne of C02 emissions can be cut per year.
Double glazed windows normally last for over twenty years. Before installation we can organise a energy ratings check from The British Federation Rating Council (BFRC) who run a scheme to assess how well the windows in your home will retain heat. They rate from A to E and also display other qualities such as the abilities of any new windows to keep out wind and reduce condensation.
Energy usage can be cut by around 18% by installing double glazed windows, this is equivalent to around 0.30 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The temperature in your house will be much more comfortable with the installation of double glazed windows, it will be easier to maintain a nice level of heat for the family if PVCu windows have been installed. It is not only the windows which lose heat, heat also escapes through gaps in the doors, and through the roof and even the floor. Double glazed windows are just one way to ensure your home is retaining heat effectively in order to lower your utility bills.
You will reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of heat which escapes from your home, fewer drafts and cold areas will improve the quality of time spent in and around the house.
Another great positive that you get by installing double glazing is the soundproofing and insulation of the home, our A rated PVCu windows drastically reduce noise pollution from outside to inside or visa versa. If you live by a noisy main road or near a school, the added insulation from double glazed windows will really keep the sounds out.
Double glazed windows are a great investment if you are planning to live in your home for a long period of time of if you are looking to sell up and move. Potential buyers will be more likely to part with their cash if there are precautions in place to stop the sounds of that busy railway line waking them up early every morning!
Double glazing will give any burglars a much harder time of getting into your home compared to any traditional single glazed installations. Double glazed windows are made of much tougher materials and with twice the amounts of glass to break through, any pesky thieves will think twice about targeting your family home!
Double glazed and PVCu windows are easier to maintain that traditional wooden window frames, they last for around twenty years and will also keep your home looking well maintained with minimum effort. Other materials can deteriorate and begin to look shabby over time while high quality double glazed PVCu windows are longer lasting and therefore a great long term investment.
Double glazing standards
All types of windows can be tested and awarded for their thermal efficiency, this rating system happens in a similar way to the way other domestic appliances are rated. Depending on the size of your home and the type of glazing you install could save lots of money.
The Energy Saving Trust have released this table which looks at savings for typical gas heated homes:
|Energy rating||Detached||Semi detached||Mid terrace||Bungalow||Flat|
|A rated||£130 – £175||£90 – £120||£80 – £105||£60 – £80||£50 – £65|
|B rated||£120 – £160||£80 – £110||£70 – £95||£50 – £70||£40 – £60|
|C rated||£120 – £150||£80 – £105||£70 – £90||£50 – £65||£45 – £55|
We are proud to have been awarded with our A rating for a our window installations, our range is available in a number of different colours, finishes, glazing and security options.
It is not just homes who can benefit!
As well as private homes, commercial properties and businesses can benefit hugely from the installation of double glazing. By installing double glazed windows at your company office, your company can gain a competitive edge against companies in your sector by re-investing any money which is usually spent on utilities on the business itself.
The Green Deal
The Green Deal is a scheme which helps people pay for energy-efficiency improvements through savings on energy bills. It was launched in early 2013 and it applies to the installation of any home improvement schemes which look to reduce carbon emissions.
The scheme aims to help 26 million homes in Britain as well as 2.8 million commercial properties improve their energy efficiency by 2030. Each property is assesses individually by an independent advisor whilst any installations must be carried out by government accredited advisors.
The Green Deal covers:
- Heating and hot water
The Green Deal process has four different stages:
- Assessment – Up front survey and advice
- Finance – No upfront cost
- Installation – Meeting all accreditation standards
- Repayment – Through energy bill savings
The government has established an independent advice service which is funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, it helps people get set up and offers more details on the scheme.
In England and Wales you call call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234
Triple glazing windows are another one of our types of insulating product, it differs to double glazing as it features three panes of glass instead of two and there are two insulation gaps in between.
The advantages to triple glazing include:
- Energy efficiency
- Decreased noise
- Improved aesthetics
- Added property value
Triple glazing is very attractive to any prospective buyer of a property, your home will stand out amongst others on the market.
The advantages triple glazing are much like double glazing, we offer free quotes on all of our projects so do not hesitate to get in contact with us today, one of our staff will be able to talk you through our triple glazing options.
PVCu and double glazed windows are a long term investment and it can take time for a return on any investment to been seen. They are not cheap at first and can be pricier for larger properties, but the benefits are very appealing once you look at all the facts, again the main benefits of double or triple glazing installation are:
- Less noise pollution
- Improved security
- Increased value of property
- Reduce C02 emissions and ultimately reduction in spending on utility bills
- Improved energy efficiency of both home and business
We are one of a few companies who can offer the most energy efficient windows on the market. Our high quality crafted glazing uses state of the art technologies which are available in the latest grain wood effects, all of our windows are available for period homes as well as contemporary builds.
To speak to one of the Conwy Valley Windows and Conservatories team please call our sales team on 01492 550 120 for an informal chat about how we can help you reduce your energy bills through PCVu or double glazing window installation.