When you’re thinking of replacing any glazing in your home, you may be wondering whether to go for UPVC frames, or timber windows in Dorset. One expert has recommended the latter due to the insulating properties of wood, which can make these kinds of windows a better option if you want to keep the heat in.
In an article for the Yorkshire Post, architect Sam Foster explained what you need to think about when you’re replacing windows and doors in your home.
One of the main things to consider is how insulating the window is. With double glazing, and even triple glazing if you want to splash out the extra, the glass panes are one of the most insulating elements of a window.
Triple glazing typically costs around 20 per cent more than double glazed alternatives, so you need to work out whether the money it will save you on your bills is enough to justify the extra expense.
Because the glass is one of the most insulating elements of a window, this means the more glass you have compared to the frame, the more insulating it’s likely to be.
Mr Foster also noted that timber window frames act as an insulator, which makes them better than their UPVC counterparts. To extend the life of the frames, choose ones that have an aluminium external cladding to protect the wood from dampness outside.
When you’re looking at different windows, make sure you check the ratings awarded to them by the British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC), which ranks windows based on their energy efficiency between A++ (the best you can get) and E (the least energy efficient).
As you can imagine, it’s well worth investing in those at the top end of that scale for the money they will save you on heating bills, not to mention the fact that they’ll make your home a much more comfortable space.
But it isn’t only the products you’re buying that can be assessed by the BFRC, the organisation also accredits manufacturers of windows and installers to ensure they meet its high standards.
Once you’ve decided what kind of timber windows you want in your property, Mr Foster explains that it’s vital to employ a reputable fitter to install them.
“There’s no point in getting fantastic windows if they’re poorly fitted,” he asserted. This means that you should ensure the gap between the window and the hole in your wall is “tightly packed with flexible insulation to stop draughts and heat loss”, he explained.
You also need to make sure your new windows are secure. This doesn’t necessarily mean investing in high-tech gadgets, Mr Foster points out, but simply making sure that any windows that open have good quality locks fitted on them – and that you use them when you leave your home.
One thing to look out for is Secure by Design status, which is a standard set by police in the UK and any windows that have this are considered to be very secure, making them a good choice for your home. Having windows with this status could also lower your home insurance premiums, so it’s worth looking for.