uPVC Double Glazed Windows

Windows are one of the main locations where heat is lost in a property. Energy-efficient double glazing helps keep your property warmer by reducing the amount of heat escaping from inside. This also means lower energy bills since you are helping to improve the efficiency of your heating system.

About uPVC Double Glazed Windows

Double glazed windows have two sheets of glass rather than a single pane. Between the two sheets is a gap that creates an insulating barrier. The gap is sometimes filled with a gas such as argon, krypton and xenon. The most energy efficient double glazed windows have low emissivity (Low-E) glass, which generally has an invisible coating of metal oxide on one of the internal panes. This type of glass allows light and heat to come into a property but reduces how much heat that can escape. Double glazing can be installed in virtually any building, although planning permission may be needed for listed buildings and properties in protected areas.

The efficiency of double glazed windows is measured according to a BFRC rating. The British Fenestration Rating Council or BFRC is the leading authority for independently verified ratings of energy efficient windows and doors in the UK. Windows carry a rainbow label similar to ones found on appliances such as fridges, washing machines and freezers. Ratings range from A+, which are the most energy efficient windows, to G, which are the least efficient. They are based on how well the windows stop heat from passing through as well as how much sunlight travels through the glass. Ratings are also based on the amount of air that leaks in or out around the window.

Various materials are used for the frames of double glazed windows, including wood, metal and composite materials. Un-plasticised polyvinyl chloride or uPVC is a synthetic plastic commonly used for window frames. This low-maintenance material is also known as vinyl in North America. It is highly resistant to wear and tear caused by sunlight, water and chemicals. Long lasting and recyclable, uPVC frames are available in a range of layouts, colours and finishes. Options include finishes that mimic wood and other materials.

Benefits of Double Glazing

One of the main benefits of double glazing is lower energy bills. Since they are more energy efficient than single glazing, these windows keeps properties warmer by reducing the amount of heat escaping from inside. Since double glazing reduces heat loss, your heating system becomes more efficient with less heat being wasted. Installing A-rated double glazing in a house with primarily single glazed windows can save up to £160 pounds each year according to the Energy Saving Trust. The amount of savings generally depends on the type of heating used in the property as well as the size and layout of the building.

There are a number of other benefits from double glazing in addition to lower energy bills. Since double glazed windows improve insulation and in turn boost energy efficiency and reduce heat loss, you are reducing your carbon footprint. By keeping heat inside a property, they also reduce draughts and cold spots. Double glazed windows also helps make your property quieter since they are better at muffling outside noises. With a quieter and warmer property, double glazing means a more comfortable place to live or do business.

Installing uPVC Double Glazed Windows

To ensure you are buying genuine energy efficient double glazed windows, buy from BFRC recognised manufacturers and retailers. The BFRC issues licences to manufacturers of energy efficient windows. These manufacturers are known as licence holders. An authorised retailer (AR) is an installer that buys BFRC rated windows from licence holders. Authorised installers and manufacturers are inspected by the BFRC to verify that they supply correctly rated products.

The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) is the main trade organisation for double glazing suppliers and installers. Looking for members of the GGF ensures that you are working with a contractor that abides by a consumer code. The organisation also provides a free reconciliation service if you have any issues with one of its members. To make sure that installations adhere to building regulations, look for installers that are certified or registered with a Competent Person scheme such as Fensa, a government recognised Competent Persons Scheme for window, door and roof light installers. Along with Fensa, Certass is one of the largest certification bodies for window installers. Other registration bodies include NAPIT, British Standards Institution (BSI), BM Trada, Benchmark, Blue Flame Certification, Certsure, Network VEKA and Stroma.