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Stop Throwing Money Out Your Windows

Some simple insulation can make a big difference, improving how well your windows retain heat inside your property, saving you energy and money on your heating bills.

When we think of insulation we think about cavity wall and loft insulation, but what about the windows on your property. Windows are responsible for the largest portion of heat loss from a building (as the above thermal image demonstrates), in fact, even the best quality glazing loses heat more quickly than an uninsulated cavity wall.

U-values, seen on all window manufacturers literature is a measure of the thermal transmittance of the window or any material. Standing for watts per metre squared celsius, the lower the u-value, the lower the heat loss, therefore meaning the material is a better insulator.

U-values of common style glazing:

As the illustration shows, standard double glazed units, common in much of the existing building stock lose heat almost twice as fast as modern double glazed units featured in new build properties. And a single glazed window loses heat more than twice as fast as a standard double glazed unit and almost four times as quick as a new more energy efficient double glazed unit.

External blinds can significantly improve (lower) the u-value of older style glazing. Air trapped between the glass and fabric on sealed external roller blinds (where the fabric is locked in the side guides) creates an additional layer of insulation to the glazing, helping to slow heat loss, keeping the room/area warmer for longer, reducing the need to switch the heating on, subsequently saving energy and money.

Laboratory tests show that an external roller blind can slow heat loss through a singled glazed window by more than 40%, improving the u-value from 5.8 to around 3.4, whilst an older double glazed window u-value will be lowered (improved) from 2.8 to around 2.1, which whilst is not quite as low as a modern double glazed unit, it is not far off.

So when considering ways to stay warm this winter, think about improving the insulation of your windows with the installation of external window blinds. One of our solar shading advisors is only a phone call away on 0844 800 1947 and will be happy to assist and provide you with expert advice on the correct insulation of the transparent parts of your building.