Priority for Completion: Medium
Recommendations to improve glazing are normally only shown on Domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) when the glazing currently in the home has very poor thermal efficiency. Commonly, this means single glazed windows are still present but some very old double glazing may also meet this specification.
Generally glazing only accounts for a relatively small part of the heat loss area of a home but this can differ considerably. Properties with a greater proportion of glazing will obviously benefit more from improvements.
Upgrading the glazing in a building is generally expensive and requires specialist contractors. In some cases, particularly in Listed Buildings, additional consents will also be required. However, the benefits often extend beyond energy efficiency to include improved comfort and property value. As such, we have rated this improvement as generally being a medium priority for completion.
What glazing should I choose?
Changing the windows and potentially doors in your home is no simple matter. There are many different types available and they all have benefits and drawbacks. There are also a wide range of factors which should be considered including energy efficiency, security, ventilation, means of escape, appearance, sound proofing, privacy and many others. We would always recommend finding a competent person to explain your options and help plan your project. It is always worth speaking to a number of different companies to obtain a range of quotes and options.
In general terms, the following are some key points for consideration:
- Glazing - Triple glazing provides good energy efficiency and sound proofing so is a good starting point for your considerations. However, it is typically thicker, heavier and more expensive than double glazing so may not always be suitable.
- Frames - A variety of frame colours, styles and materials are available to suit your property and tastes. Most of these can be insulated to a high degree. It is now possible to make high performance glazing that matches most historical styles and would only be identifiable close up. This has allowed upgrades to be carried out that are sympathetic to the character of most listed buildings so protected status should no longer be an arbitrary barrier to double and triple glazing.
- Ventilation - An assessment should be undertaken to ensure that ventilation of your home is maintained. This can include the use of trickle vents as part of your new window frames.
- Coatings - Modern glass is available with a variety of coatings to improve thermal efficiency and prevent unwanted solar gain. All new glazing should have coatings suitable to the property, low-e is the standard.
- Maintenance - Changing the windows in your property is a significant investment and you will want them to last. Well maintained doors and windows will last a long time. However, failure to maintain them properly will result in deteriorating performance. Some materials and windows styles require much more maintenance than others so this is worth considering at the outset.
Fitting new glazing
Fitting new glazing usually requires professional assistance from a competent person. The window units may need to custom made and will need to take the structure and construction of the building into account. Consideration must be given to maintaining a suitable means of escape from the property in the event of an emergency. The ventilation arrangements will also have to be taken into account to ensure problems are not created condensation and damp.