Reduce Heat Loss from Your Home

Written by The Plastic People
19/02/2018 11:11:54

How To Keep Your Home Warm and Lower Your Energy Bill

Would you like to reduce draughts and heat loss from your home ?  You may be looking for ways to keep your home warm at less expense or for ideas to retain heat and reduce your energy bills. If so, read on to discover more about how you can limit the amount of heat lost from your home by focussing on the key area where heat escapes – your windows.

There are a few choices to help reduce heat loss from around your windows: double glazing, secondary glazing and shutters, blinds and curtains. The choices vary widely in cost and ease of installation - here's more detail to help you decide which option might be best for you.

Double Glazing – an effective, familiar and popular choice.  Already in place in most new homes, double glazing is a permanent solution.  It is effective when the gap between the panes of glass is airtight and filled with an inert gas (or a vacuum) creating a thermal seal.  As it sounds, installation is not an easy DIY task. A company will need to come around to your house and measure up and produce the windows specifically for you which can be messy and disruptive. Which have a helpful guide to choosing a double glazing provider. The associated cost of double glazing also may mean you wish to consider other options before deciding.   For some homeowners in conservation areas and in listed buildings, double glazing may not even be an option because of planning requirements.   If you decided to swap all your single glazed windows in an average three-bed home, you could expect to save about £150 a year on your heating. UPVC double-glazing units should last around for 20 years or more, so your payback is relatively slow, but eventual!

 Secondary glazing stops draughts 
Reduce draughts and heating bills - Secondary Glazing

Secondary Glazing – not as well known as double glazing is secondary glazing. In summary, secondary glazing is the addition of another 'second' window pane to your existing window.  It works along the same lines as double glazing in that the secondary glazing panel provides an immediate insulating barrier, blocking draughts and preventing heat from escaping. It also helps to reduce noise intruding into your home at the same time. One of the benefits of secondary glazing over double glazing is that it is reversible - secondary glazing can be easy to remove during warmer months, depending on how it is installed.  You can choose an organisation that will send a sales representative to advise you or you can choose to fit secondary glazing yourself.  It can be a simple process - watch our video demonstration here.

Choosing to fit secondary glazing yourself makes it a very low cost choice - a fraction of the cost of double glazing.  Yet despite its low-price tag, a discreet, unobtrusive secondary glazing system will not look cheap and competently installed neither will it detract from your window features which may be a special concern for those with sash windows, stained glass and leaded windows.   Secondary glazing window panes can easily be lifted out as and when necessary, especially if a magnetic fixing system is used rather than screws or adhesive systems. For those renting a cold property, secondary glazing can be an ideal option.  Secondary glazing is also an ideal solution for those in listed buildings or living in conservation areas facing planning restrictions which prevent double glazing.  However, with uneven window surrounds, partial / slanted window cavities and any fittings which project or overhang a secondary glazing system is unlikely to install well and be effective.   Accurate installation is key to secondary glazing success.  Adding secondary glazing to existing single glazed windows would save you about £75 a year on energy bills. So, around half that you would expect with double glazing but overall a quicker payback since the secondary glazing system will be considerably cheaper.

Secondary glazing panels are often made from acrylic - here's what you need to know:

  1. An acrylic window pane will typically be cheaper in comparison to the same size glass counterpart.
  2. Acrylic panes can do the same job as glass but at a thinner gauge
  3.  Acrylic is lighter and easier to deliver to your home. Meaning you can simply order acrylic online and have it safely delivered.  It won't break or shatter like glass.
  4. You can install acrylic windows easily yourself because they are so light and safe to handle - saving on installation costs.  Read more about that here. Glass installation is time consuming and because it is heavier in weight needs extra and careful handling.
  5. Acrylic is 3 to 8 times more thermally insulating than regular glass windows.  Meaning, your room will stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer
  6. Acrylic can filter out 99.1% of Ultra Violet rays when passing through the acrylic sheet. At the same time acrylic still allows 92 percent of light through.  In comparison, glass surfaces reflect light more readily which can create unwanted glare or reflections.
  7. Acrylic panes will also help with sound control.  Testing has shown that adding acrylic window panes are especially effective n 1000 Hz range which are the lower frequencies associated with vehicles driving by.  The STC rating improves from 18 to 28 when an acrylic sheet is added to a single window. The decibel reduction is around 19.2, that is an effective reduction of over 70%!
  8. Acrylic windows can be ordered easily.  You will need to measure up the window panes that you want to secondary glaze. Read more about how to do this below.

Fitting Secondary Glazing Yourself

If you'd like to fit secondary glazing yourself here's an easy to install magnetic secondary glazing system.
Here's how you can fix this system yourself:

First check
You will need 25mm surface on each side of your window – this is to mount the frame

Fitting Magnetglaze 
Acrylic Secondary Glazing

Next Measure Up
Measure the length and width of the glass window pane that you want to secondary glaze. Measure the visible glass then add at least 25mm to the length and width measurements in order to have space to attach the magnetic tape and fix to your window frame. 

Order Your Glazing
Enter the measurements of your desired window pane size  - this will be supplied along with the magnetic tape ready to fix to your window.

Fit your glazing – all you’ll need is a pair of scissors, a pen and a tape measure.

  1. Cut and stick the black magnetic strip to the edges of your new acrylic window pane.

  2. Hold the acrylic window pane to the existing window frame so that it overlaps equally on each edge

  3. Draw a pencil line around your acrylic window pane onto your frame

  4. Cut and stick the white metal strip to your window frame – place it just inside the pencil marks

  5. Finally, lift your acrylic glazing pane to the window and click into place

  6. If your new glazing pane is bigger than 1200mm x 1200mm we recommend you place a couple of screws under the glazing pane for extra support

Shutters, blinds, thermal curtains and thick curtains – can help prevent anywhere from 50% to 20% loss of heat.  But, given they block out light and views we think they make a better night time option!

A combination of the above may be your answer.  If you would like more details about a lift out magnetic secondary glazing system, the friendly team at The Plastic People are happy to help. Contact them here

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