Double Glazing Effectiveness and Alternatives

We all know that double glazing is more efficient at keeping the heat in your home and the cold out than single glazing can ever be.  It is also completely obvious that triple glazing is more energy efficient than double glazing.  But did you know not all double glazing is created equal?  EPC Bromley advises the very basic differences between double glazing and what alternatives there are.

Double Glazing Types

The types of double glazing and their rating on an energy performance certificate are broken down into two basic types.  Double glazing installed at any time up to 2001 and double glazing installed in 2002 and after.

The latter is considered the most energy efficient as regulations surrounding the manufacture of double glazing changed at this time.

If your double glazing was fitted in 2001 or earlier then we need to ask a couple of questions before establishing how efficient it is.  The first question is ‘Is it a PVC frame?’.

If it isn’t a PVC frame and is made from wood or metal then it is considered the least energy efficient. 

If it is PVC then we need to establish how big the gap is between the pieces of glass.  Is it 6 mm, 12 mm or more than 16 mm?  The bigger the gap the more energy efficient the glazing is considered.

Double Glazing Alternatives

EPC Bromley realises that double glazing is not always affordable, appropriate or even allowed on certain properties.

Depending on the size of the property, double glazing can cost anything between £3,000 and £10,000, with costs for ultra efficient triple glazing even higher.  This is beyond a lot of people’s means, though EPC Bromley does recommend considering how much you will save on your heating bills each year if you were to have it installed.

There are other reasons for not getting double glazing.  The house might be in a conservation area, it might be a listed or period building, or in some cases it might just be opposite or near a listed or period building.  In these cases you’ll need to look for alternatives.

Secondary Glazing

This is a secondary pane of glass, which is fitted in the window reveal behind the existing pane of glass.  It’s not as well sealed as a fitted double glazing unit but it is a huge amount cheaper and will save you money.  It is even more cost effective if you fit it yourself, it’s an easy job that is achievable by even the least confident DIYers.

EPC Bromley can also reveal that secondary glazing is considered just as effective as pre 2002 double glazing on an energy assessment.

Curtains, Blinds, Shutters

Heavy curtains can be a very cheap and effective way to reduce your heating bills.  Heat loss will be reduced and draughts can be blocked out enabling you to feel the benefit immediately.  Purchasing draught excluders for draughty doors is a must too.

Blinds fitted in a frame can provide a complete seal, as can shutters, these have the added advantage in that they look attractive and take up less space than curtains.  They are also easier and cheaper to keep clean.