Batten Down the Hatches: How to Find the Right Windows and Doors for an Energy Efficient Home


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Written by Guest | Last Updated February 24th, 2020
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Guest post submitted by Joshua Andrews

In this age of rising fuel costs and global warming, it has never been more important to make sure that your home is energy efficient. Your windows and doors play a huge role in helping to not only reduce your carbon footprint, but your bills as well.

Energy loss and drafts

Though ventilation in your home is important, nobody wants to be sat in a draft all the time. Older windows and doors are notoriously bad when it comes to letting blasts of cold air into your home, and even worse, the warm air out. Some energy loss through windows is inevitable, but due to improvements in technology over the last few years, energy efficient windows and doors can significantly reduce energy loss from your home while also increasing security.

Safe as houses

Windows and door are the portals between the inside and outside world, but they also can let unwanted elements into your home. Whether it is by breaking glass, picking locks, popping frames, or knocking down doors, your windows and doors can pose a security risk. Yes, there are a number of security systems that you can deploy, from contacts and sensors to passive infrared, perimeter detection to metal bars, but this may be going a little far in most cases.

Simply replacing your old windows and doors with some of the modern options below can make your home much more secure. Most of the locks on uPVC doors need a locksmith to open them if keys are lost or you get locked out. Security bolts and chains are much stronger too, and even the handles on new windows and doors are now designed to make it even harder for people to break into your home.

UPVC windows and doors

UPVC is a low conductivity material. It doesn’t conduct heat so it doesn’t transfer heat from your home to the outside. The uPVC units are also certified as energy efficient.

Most of the heat lost in your home is lost through the window panes, especially panes that are single glazed and only 3mm thick. But with the features below, not only can you help keep your home warm in the winter you can also help keep your home cool in the summer.

Check for these features when looking at uPVC window replacements:

  • Double, triple or quadruple glazing
  • Low-E or low-emissivity glass
  • Inert gas sealed in each window unit such as argon or krypton
  • Warm edge spacer bars (sometimes called low conductivity spacer bars)
  • Insulated sashes and frames
  • Air tight

These uPVC windows and doors have been shown to reduce energy consumption dramatically over their life span and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 48 percent and 61 percent when compared with aluminium frames.

Aluminium windows

Though uPVC has obvious advantages when it comes to energy efficiency, aluminium windows should not be discounted. They do have some of the advantages that uPVC windows have, including energy efficient glass, high security multipoint locking systems, slim line frames to increase glass area and guaranteed to last for ten years; however they also have an added benefit that uPVC doesn’t have.

Aluminium windows come in a variety of colours that can be matched to your building aesthetic or the neighbourhood. If you have a building with wooden frames that need to be replaced with more energy efficient frames that are the same colour as the original ones, then aluminium frames are the answer you are looking for.

Not only are they excellent replacements for wooden frames, but they do not require any maintenance to keep them in peak efficient condition.

Composite doors

Composite doors are exactly what they sound like, doors made from a variety of different materials instead of simply being made from wood or uPVC. They are the most recent development in terms of doors for your home. They have been designed to remove the common flaws of using a single material such as uPVC. Using PVC, wood, insulating foam, and glass reinforced plastic, the doors are strong and secure. They are highly resistant to wreathing and do not react to seasonal changes in the same way that wood and uPVC doors do.

Composite doors are also far more energy efficient than wooden doors, thanks to the insulating foam. The exterior of the doors is designed to look as though the composite doors are made from wood – complete with grain effect and in a number of different colours, but with the added bonus that the colour doesn’t fade, the paint doesn’t peel as it does with wooden doors, and only needs to be wiped down with a damp cloth when the composite door gets dirty.

Garage doors

One thing that you may not have considered in making your home more energy efficient, is replacing the garage door. Choosing an insulated garage door provides you with an energy efficient garage door that can reduce your heat loss and carbon footprint.

If you are looking for a long term solution to an insulated garage door, then you might want to consider investing in a garage door that is filled with polyurethane foam. This sticks to the walls of the door so that not only do you have a strong garage door, but also a garage door that will survive even the coldest winter without failing you.

Garage insulation

When it comes to reducing heat loss and increasing energy efficiency in your home, one thing that should not be overestimated is garage insulation. Not only will it make your garage warmer and help keep the room above the garage warmer, it will also help you to lose less heat and reduce your bills as well as your carbon footprint.

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