Want to stop heat from escaping through your windows? About 10% of a home’s heat can be lost through the windows. Here are five different ways in which you can insulate your windows to keep your home warmer.
Double glazing is one of the most popular and effective ways of insulating windows. It involves installing two panes of glass into a window, separated by a vacuum or gas-filled space. While expensive to install, such windows can be a good investment – almost halving your home’s heat loss. Heat loss is measured as a ‘u-value’: to give you a good idea of how effective double-glazing is, single-glazed windows have a u-value of about 5.8, while double-glazed windows have a u-value of about 2.8. Triple glazing is even more effective and involves using three panes of glass. These windows typically have a u-value of about 0.6, almost completely eliminating heat loss.
Heat isn’t just lost through the glass of a window – it can also be lost through the frame. One of the best window frame materials for offering insulation is fiberglass. Aluminum is a close second, while wood and vinyl offer some of the least insulation. It makes sense to upgrade your window frames while upgrading your panes – if you’re getting double-glazing, you may as well upgrade to aluminum or fiberglass frames if you haven’t already got them. The downside of installing new window frames is that it can be expensive and such frames may not always be as aesthetically pleasing as materials like timber.
Window film could be a more affordable option than investing in double-glazing. This is a transparent film that is placed over the windowpane to reduce glare and limit heat loss. Some window films can be almost as effective as double glazing. You can also install insulation film as a temporary option, making it more suitable for rented accommodation.
You can also reduce heat loss by hanging up a pair of thick winter curtains. Some curtains are specifically designed to reduce heat loss – these are known as thermal curtains and can sometimes be as effective as double-glazing. These can be a fairly affordable window insulation option that is similarly suitable for rented accommodation. Of course, the curtains need to be shut to prevent heat loss – if you want to reduce heat loss and let the sun in, it may not be the best option.
Another option could be shutters. These are a bit like blinds but they are fixed to the window frame, effectively creating a barrier that stops light coming in and heats from coming out. Shutters tend to be made from wood but can be made from other materials such as aluminum and fiberglass for added insulation. You can even buy shutters that incorporate smart technology.
This is something which I will be looking to do when we end up getting our new windows in the next couple of months?