A window on the environment

The science around climate change is often disputed, as are the possible effects. However, it does seem like we have been hearing a lot about – and experiencing – profound freak weather events that are attributed to global warming, e.g. hotter-than-ever-recorded summer days, freak flash floods and in some cases, more harsh winters.

At a local level, in a bid to curb our carbon emissions, local authorities have brought in environmental policies for the average homeowner. One of which is a more energy efficient home.

Even windows have environmental credentials
It seems that even the basic window now has environmental credentials. It’s obvious really. For example, where your glass has been produced and where it has to travel from – and how – to reach your home glass in Haslemere can greatly influence the carbon footprint of any renovations you make.

What’s more, one of the biggest factors determining the heat lost from your home is the quantity and quality of its windows and glass doors (many local authorities are now limiting the amount of glass that can be put into new-builds for this exact reason).

Energy efficiency – two things to think about
Houses are now required to be energy efficient under the 2002 Building Regulations. If you are replacing or installing glass in your home, make sure you consider these two points:

1. Windows and doors must comply with Building Regulations in the amount of heat that can pass through the glass and framework. This is what is known in the trade as the “U-value” and this value cannot be exceeded. For more information, visit website.

2. Some window producers can illustrate the energy efficiency of their products on a scale of A-G (A being the most efficient) in a similar way to the scales being used for cars and electrical appliances such as cookers and fridges. The government’s Planning Portal lists the minimum requirements for windows as a C. The British Fenestration Rating Council runs this scheme.

Energy rated windows – an aside
It is worth noting that Which? calculated the energy efficiency ratings of windows and concluded that there was not much of a difference in energy savings between an A, B or C-rated window. It found that going up one rating would cost 10% but only save 6.5% on energy bills (www.which.co.uk).

Allways Glazing Works Ltd based in Haslemere, is ideally placed to help advise clients on all aspects of glass in relation to environmental factors. Visit them online for more details.

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