“Double glazed windows” image via http://www.elitedoubleglazing.com.au/
With a variety of do-it-yourself window insulation strategies advertised on the market, how are you able to make the decision between giving it a go yourself, or replacing your windows altogether? The alternative of DIY insulation can be off-putting; replacing single-glazed windows with double ones can be costly and inconvenient. But is replacement the best, and only, long term option, or can the temporary measures offer a better way through the cold, winter months?
Methods of DIY
There are lots of options out there, so it can prove difficult to work your way through the choices to find one that will actually be of use. One of the most divisive ones out there is to create your own double glazing.
This can be done by wrapping cling film over the whole of your window, then heating it with a hairdryer. This may sound cheap, easy and quick, but there are of course downsides. You won’t be able to open the windows whilst you have the cling film on there, and it’s obviously bound to be a little messy. Various companies have developed sheets that you can buy that essentially do the same job, that look a bit cleaner and stick better, but they tend to leave a sticky residue on the windows when they’re removed. Although many people are understandably skeptical about this method, it has been proven to help reduce heat-loss through windows by up to 40%.
This method can help with drafts too, but there will still be areas in your house that will let drafts in, particularly if the building is old. There are ways to solve this problem, however, either with special strips bought from various high street hardware stores or by using cloth draft excluders – either old clothes or fabric tubes filled with rice. Though they can be effective, they don’t solve the problem of heat-loss through your windows.
It can be hard to provide percentages on how much heat you lose when there’s a draft as it becomes a matter of wind entering your home, not just inefficient window insulation. It is vital to fix this problem if you want to optimise the temperature in your home as the degrees drop this winter.
The professional solution
The other option is to turn to the professionals, and to upgrade your windows to new, UPVC double glazed ones. Looking at the prices and sale guides from Anglian Home, modern UPVC windows cost no more than a couple hundred pounds, depending on the size and shape you go for. This may seem like a large upfront payment, especially when the alternative could be a roll of cling film, but do they save enough money on energy bills to justify the big change?
The short answer is yes. Getting fully insulated windows have been proven to actually save you over £100 over a year in heating bills, so they are definitely the only option to consider if you’re going to be living in a place for more than a couple of years. The idea of changing all of your windows can be a daunting prospect, but it actually usually on takes a couple of days and comes with a 10-15 year guarantee if purchased with the right provider.