How energy efficient windows could help you

Saving on your energy bill is good for both your bank account and the environment. You may know how energy efficient white goods can help lower your house’s energy consumption. But did you know that improving your windows can help too?

The WER (window energy rating) rates windows from A+ to E, similar to the system used for white goods. It’s important to remember that the WER covers the entire construction of the window, not just the glass.

It can definitely pay to get a higher WER rating. The savings varies depending on the type and size of house you have and what your current windows are. But homeowners can generally expect a savings of hundreds of pounds in annual energy bills by switching to high-WER windows. The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) have an online calculator that can help you determine the benefits of high-WER windows.

WER windows

There are many factors that go into determining WER. A high-WER window will have at least some of these features:

– Double or triple glazing as opposed to a single pane. Multiple glazing traps heat in the air pockets between panes instead of letting it flow in and out. More advanced windows may include an inert gas such as argon between panes. This resists heat flow better than ordinary air.

– Vinyl or plastic frames. Aluminium transmits heat too easily, and wood can warp and wear, allowing air and heat to leak out.

You should also pay attention to your window’s U value. This measures how quickly heat is gained and lost through through it. A window with a high U value may help the room feel nice and warm when the sun is high. But it will be a major heat sink on cold winter days.

A window’s U value is affected by low-emissivity coatings, which reflect infrared or heat rays. These coatings are very thin and transparent. The coatings aredivided into two classes. “Hard” coatings allow some heat through and are better for cold areas where you want some of the sun’s warmth to come in. “Soft” coatings reflect infrared much more strongly and are better for hot climates where you want to keep the heat out.

Consider replacing your windows if your heating and cooling costs are unusually high or your windows have visible wear, leaks, or draughts. It’s generally easiest to replace your windows in spring or summer, when there’s less risk of bad weather. But keep in mind that those are the busy seasons for window installers.