In an average British dwelling about 18%* of the heat is lost through windows. Replacing old windows with new higher performance models will substantially cut this heat loss, making the room more comfortable and easier to heat. It can also cut your heating bills by up to £100* if your current windows are single glazed. New windows may also help if your home regularly overheats in the summer months.
If a window is obviously damaged, or doesn’t fit properly, or if the glazing unit has misted up on the inside, then it could be time to replace it. You’ll need to replace it sometime soon anyway – if you replace it now then you’ll benefit from a warmer room sooner.
You don’t need planning permission to replace windows in most homes. If you live in a conservation area or a listed building, then there will be restrictions on what you can and can’t do. But if you already have double glazing then the restrictions may be less rigid, or may not apply. Check with your local planning office before making any decisions.
All window replacement has to comply with the Building Regulations. Windows are normally fitted by a member of a relevant competent person scheme to make sure they comply with Building Regulations. Your installer will usually provide the windows for you and offer you a choice of different styles and layouts of window. Make sure you ask them about the window’s energy rating which could be something between C and A++. Don’t buy a any windows without energy labels.
A++ is the highest rating currently available. If you want efficient windows then you should definitely ask for a better rating than C. Any double glazed window is likely to be more energy efficient than a single glazed window. But some double glazed windows are better than others, and triple glazed windows can be better still. The energy label is there to help you navigate and compare the performance of different models without having to worry about the details.
The Energy Saving Trust provides a good overview of energy efficient window solutions on their website.
Certain households might be entitled to support under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). Under this scheme medium and larger energy suppliers may fund the installation of certain energy efficiency measures. Find out more information about the scheme and if your eligible via Ofgem.
* Source: Everybody talks about Climate Change