uPVC Replacement Windows
Installing double glazed windows for home in the UK has become virtually a ‘must have’, not only because replacing old windows dramatically improves the appearance and value of a property, but also because of the need to address energy efficiency levels.
With the cost of heating (Gas & Electricity) constantly increasing by far more than the cost of living any homeowner who wants to have a chance of managing their energy costs is going to need the benefits of modern uPVC double glazed windows.
- Reduced noise levels from outside the home
- Reduced heat loss via energy efficient double glazed sealed glass windows
- Exceptionally low maintenance requirements – no painting
- Improved levels of security with windows featuring multi-point locks
- Improved life span, no warping, distorting & cracking of frames
- Improved strength – steel reinforced frames
- Wider choice of styles with many colours & wood grain effect finishes available
Types of uPVC Double Glazed Windows
Coming in all shapes & sizes uPVC windows can adapt to any architectural requirement, even where the property has special requirements, such as in a ‘listed’ building or where a particular appearance of a property has to be maintained.
In general terms, windows can be seen to fit into a few easily recognised categories related to their appearance & functionality:
Colours & Finishes for Window Frames
Although white is still probably the most popular colour chosen by homeowners, there are options for coloured frames. The colours can now be bonded during manufacture by ‘foiling’ which means that the original colour does not fade, peel or crack over the lifetime of the frames.
Within the range of colours there is also an option to have the surface of the uPVC manufactured with a wood-grain effect – again, this is created during manufacture and is integral to the frame so it does not peel, fade or crack.
Sealed Double Glazed uPVC Window Units
Almost everybody will know that the sealed units are made from 2 panes of glass held apart by spacers, but the energy efficiency can be further improved by using non-metallic ‘warm edge’ spacers and replacing the ‘partial vacuum’ that is between the panes of glass with an inert gas such as Argon.
Not only can you use gas filled units, but the glass itself can have a metal oxide coating, referred to as low-e glass, which can reflect heat back into the room adding another level of energy efficiency.
In 2004 the UK introduced Window Energy Ratings (WER’s) so that consumers can more easily identify how energy efficient the proposed replacement windows are. The rating applies to the complete unit, not just the glass.
The current rating ranking is by giving a value of A to G, with G being the lowest level of thermal efficiency for a window. Building regulations would require any replacement window to meet the requirements of at least category C – unless there was an overriding special architectural reason such as in a listed building or somewhere that is of great historical interest.
The thermal efficiency of your windows can seriously affect you property Energy Performance Certificate as a whole – every property in the UK must now have an EPC
The ratings are awarded by the British Fenestration Rating Council (BRFC) and you can find out more about that here: BRFC.org