In this day and age, energy efficiency is hugely important. That’s why it’s always shown-off front and centre with all our products, from our aluminium windows and composite front doors, to our uPVC bifold doors and conservatories. But for many of our clients in and around East Grinstead, energy efficiency is somewhat of an arcane subject. Sure, they know that double glazing is better than single glazing and energy efficiency is important due to the rising cost of energy, but beyond that is gets a bit murky.
So in this article, for the benefit of these clients, we’ve looked to de-mythicize the best way to figure out exactly how efficient a product or single / double glazing is – energy ratings. These are slightly different to Energy Performance Certificates, which allow East Grinstead consumers to identify exactly how efficient an entire property is. Product energy ratings instead tell you how efficient, for example, aluminium windows, composite front doors, bifold doors and conservatories are.
For the purpose of this article, we’re specifically going to look at Window Energy Ratings (which applies to products we sell including aluminium windows, double glazing and conservatories), but know that there’s a very similar system in place for products like uPVC bifold doors and composite doors. It’s a colour-coded system which can sometimes be a bit confusing, because there are actually three separate systems operated by the British Fenestration Rating Council, British Standards Institute and CERTASS respectively. Each sets out to do the same thing, but always check which you’re looking at if you’re judging by the colour alone (and not the accompanying alphabetical grade).
Prospective customers around East Grinstead should keep in mind that Window Energy Ratings take into account frame material, design, components and glazing. So it’s not enough for aluminium windows or conservatories merely to have a great quality of frame build to provide excellent energy efficiency. It’s important that properly fitted double glazing is also contributing to its overall effectiveness. A similar principle applies to the construction of bifold doors and composite doors, as they also feature spaces of glass (larger in the case of the former).
The rating is calculated by measuring the following factors: overall thermal efficiency, air leakage and solar gain (how much solar heat travels through your window). The rating usually spans A-E/G, but the best products will boast A+ or A++ ratings. So East Grinstead property owners looking to upgrade old and inefficient fixtures are encouraged to seek out these ratings.
This question essentially equates to “why is energy efficiency important?” The answer is two-pronged. Both involve heat loss. Firstly, heat loss can make a property much less comfortable during the winter months, as it becomes so difficult to keep warm. This is perhaps most pronounced in conservatories, which have a huge area of glass/fixtures to potentially lose heat from, and are supposed to be areas in which you relax. Hard when you’re freezing!
Secondly, heat loss leads to blasting the heating at higher temperatures and for longer periods of time. This can massively increase heating bills. In many cases, the increased initial investment of choosing high-rated double glazing and aluminium windows, bifold doors, conservatories and composite doors will quickly be recouped due to the significant savings you’ll make over the course of just a year or two.