Owning a home is more than just picking the right paint for the living room. And it’s more than decorating the interior of the home to harmonise its functionality. Homeowner-ship is about providing a warm, safe space for your family.
As a homeowner, it is paramount to implement efficient usage of energy in order to get the most out of your home. Not only is energy efficiency beneficial in reducing bills, it also improves comfort levels, and lessens your home’s carbon footprint.
Today’s advances in technology allow certain aspects of the home to offer greater savings than ever before. As such, there are plenty of home upgrades that combine high-performance and energy-saving designs. One important aspect is your windows.
Windows are focal points in your home, both inside and out. They provide space heating and natural lighting to any living space. They also improve ventilation, reduce outside noise levels, and are a great source for potential savings.
As most homeowners will only update their windows once or twice in the home’s lifespan, it’s important to choose energy-efficient solutions. Windows account for nearly a quarter of household energy usage. This makes them a priority for homeowners aiming to make their home more energy-efficient.
Benefits of Energy-efficient windows
Energy-efficient windows are a cost-effective, lasting investment. Technological advancements in home design have created improved components that deliver exceptional performance and energy saving benefits.
Numerous studies have shown that replacing outdated windows with energy-efficient window systems can reduce wasted home energy by 15-20 percent. Lower energy consumption reduces energy bills and shrinks a household’s carbon footprint.
Energy-efficient windows, such as double and triple-glazed windows, feature improved frame materials, special glass coatings, and inert gas application. This reduces heat transfer and provides better insulation. Energy-efficient window systems can also reduce condensation, which in time, can cause valuable interiors to fade.
Most importantly, homeowners that invest in energy-efficient windows can save incremental costs in heating and cooling while updating and increasing the property value of their home.
Types of energy-efficient window systems
While every country will have a specific governing body to regulate guidelines for measuring a home’s energy-efficiency, many rating systems are comparative. Most will be assessed and graded with an overall alphabetical energy rating.
In the UK, the British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) is the regulatory body that rates and measures window energy-efficiency. There is a combination of factors that determine the overall energy rating.
- Thermal conductivity
- Energy loss management
- Natural solar heat gain
To be compliant with current building regulations, replacement windows must achieve a “C” BFRC rating. Double glazed and triple glazed windows installed with energy-efficient frame materials and glass typically achieve a BFRC rating of “A” or higher.
While there are various energy-efficient window systems, from single and double-hung, tilt and turn, vertical and horizontal sliders, bow and bay windows, and casement, each will provide environmental, energy, and cost-effective savings. Proper installation is key to ensure energy efficiency.
Therefore, it is advisable to hire a licensed professional when installing your new energy-efficient windows.
When should you replace your windows?
When trying to determine the right time to replace your windows for an energy-efficient system, your house will give your clear communicative signs. While it is possible to repair minor problems, when your windows show clear signs of fatigue, caulking and weather stripping can only do so much. Replacement may be the best option.
If your windows become drafty or your window sash becomes warped and damaged, replacement is recommended.
Other clear signs that your windows require replacement will be:
- Abnormally high energy bills
- You’re in the process of selling your home and want to increase its property value
- You’re restoring a historic home
Switching your home to an energy-efficient window system is a major decision. But a decision that provides added energy and cost-saving opportunities. Your home is a long-term investment. Investing in an energy-efficient window system guarantees that your investment pays dividends.
Carmen Vellila is an experienced Brand Manager currently overseeing the strategic development of multiple brands as part of the Epwin Group. She is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (ACIM), specialising in Corporate Communication and Digital Marketing.
She works with directors and managers at companies across Europe, utilising her ability to speak four languages, and works extensively with professionals across a range of industries to drive and deliver leading-edge strategies