Buying windows has become a little complicated! Should you opt for double, secondary or triple glazing and what do these terms mean? Do you know about low-E coating and would a PVC or wooden frame be best?
If you need some help in getting to grips with window terminology and in choosing the best windows for your eco-home, this guide will help.
The right glazing option for you
According to the Energy Saving Trust, the correct windows will not only cut down on heat loss. They will also cut out noise and reduce condensation.
So which type of glazing do you need? Triple glazing is the most expensive but it offers the best long-term savings on your energy bills. There are three layers of glass and therefore two insulating layers of gas.
When you are researching Dublin windows and doors from suppliers such as http://www.keanewindows.ie/, you could also choose windows with xenon, argon or krypton sealed within the unit. These gases are very poor at conducting heat and cut down on the heat that is lost from your home. If the gap between the panes is 16mm or more you can get away without any gas in the unit. But remember that the seals have to be perfect. For a true eco glazed unit, insist that it is partially manufactured from recycled glass.
A low emissivity coating (usually abbreviated to low-E coating) is a special material that reflects infrared radiation back into the house. It is also possible to get a self-cleaning coating which can go on the exterior of the window and uses ultraviolet light to break down organic debris which is then just washed off in the rain.
For an eco-home, the preferable material for a window frame would be sustainably sourced timber. You may want to avoid PVC because of its association with dioxin pollution. Metal frames are not at all acceptable because they will conduct heat.
Make sure that insulation is inserted between that inner and outer frames to prevent thermal bridging where heat is conducted to the outside of the building and make the frame as small as possible to maximise the entry of natural light and cut down on bills for artificial lighting.