At a time when it is more important than ever to reduce our carbon footprint and save on energy bills, installing double or triple glazing could be a wise idea. Last week we looked at the considerable pros of double glazing, versus the limited cons. This week, we look at what you need to consider when choosing double or triple glazing for your property.
Like most domestic installations, double glazing is subject to an efficiency rating, known as Window Energy Ratings. This label looks the same as the ones you get on household appliances and has the title “Energy Window” at the top. Window Energy Ratings (WER) range from A – G, with A++ being the highest. As of 2010, a minimum rating of “C” is required in order to meet building regulations, except for exceptional circumstances. As may be expected, A rated windows tend to cost more than B or C rated ones.
When it comes to double and triple glazing, not all window frames (profiles) are the same. The profiles will not only impact the efficiency of your glazing, but it could influence its security, too. Ask your glazing specialist about the type of seals they offer (rubber or brush), whether they use welded or mechanical joints – welded are less likely to result in gaps- and how many chambers their glazing has – the more chambers, the better the insulation.
The window furniture – i.e. handles, hinges and locks, that you choose will depend on a range of factors including necessity, convenience, location of the window, budget and of course, personal preference. The furniture is usually covered by a separate warranty, usually for around two years as they are more likely to go wrong. Choose carefully, get the best quality you can, and check when they are installed that everything works as it should; this is not a time to let an unsatisfactory installation job go unmentioned as it is only likely to get worse.
The guarantee doesn’t just give you peace of mind, it gives you an idea of how confident the window supplier is in their own product. The guarantee will not only cover the windows’ functionality, but aesthetics too, such as discolouration. When securing a window installer check that the entire units, including the sealed units, frames and all mechanisms, are covered by the warranty, or if they are subject to a different one. Also ensure that the installation process itself comes with some assurance.
There are plenty of different types and styles of double and triple glazing to choose from. Although it can be a little bit daunting finding the right window specialist, it can help to get quotes from a couple of window installers, and to use word of mouth to help you find someone that you can trust. Check out our directory of trusted local window specialists on Trust A Trader or, for more advice, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.