Energy efficient glass is used in double glazing and triple glazing to help you reduce your heating bills – and improve your carbon footprint.
Most new builds will be fitted with energy efficient windows. And owners of older properties are advised to replace any single or old-style double-glazing with new, more efficient glass.
How does energy efficient glass work?
Unlike single glazing or older types of double glazing, new energy efficient glass includes coated (low-emissivity) glass to stop heat escaping through windows and doors. It offers highly beneficial thermally insulating properties to keep cold out and warmth in.
Usually, double glazed windows will have two sheets of glass with a gap in between of about 16mm. This gap forms an insulating barrier and is sometimes filled with gas. Triple-glazed windows will have three sheets of glass.
Older style double glazed units don’t contain low-emissivity glass and are not as energy-efficient.
The benefits of energy efficient glass
According to Energy.gov, heat gain and loss through windows are responsible for 25 to 30% of residential heating and cooling energy use.
By replacing your existing window glass with low-emissivity glazing, you can improve the energy efficiency of your home, cut your monthly bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
As well as making cost savings by installing energy efficient glass, you also make your home cosier with fewer drafts and chilly rooms. Another advantage is that it stops condensation from forming on the inside of your windows.
Plus, energy efficient glass has another key benefit. It cuts down on external noise, making your home a more peaceful place.
Understanding energy ratings
Many window manufacturers use an energy-rating scale from A++ to E to demonstrate the energy efficiency of their windows. Both the frame and glass are tested on their ability to retain heat.
British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) runs this scheme, and you should look for the BFRC rating when choosing energy efficient windows. Windows with an energy rating will have their u-value displayed on their energy label. Windows that let out more heat have higher u-values than ones that retain heat, which have lower values.
Typical savings from energy efficient windows
According to the Energy Savings Trust, by installing double glazing to windows in an entirely single-glazed property, you could save the following each year:
- £115 savings by installing AA+ glass in a detached house
- £105 to £110 savings if you use A+ glass in a semi-detached property
- £105 savings on installing A rated glass in a mid-terrace house
If you’re planning to replace existing windows, it’s worth investing in the most energy efficient windows that you can afford. You will soon recoup your investment by cutting the cost of your fuel bills.
Another advantage of installing energy efficient glass is that it will be reflected on the energy performance certificate that’s required when you sell your home. A property that’s fully fitted with energy efficient glass has added appeal to potential buyers.