Many UK homes are challenged to meet energy efficient insulation ratings. Windows and doors are common weaknesses in this area. In order to reduce your heating and cooling costs and to lower your fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions, the insulation rating of your home is the first challenge to correct. Even if you aspire to use solar panel heating, the insulation value of the home must be addressed.
You probably know the symptoms of air leakage but let’s see if we can explain why the floors are cold you suddenly feel drafts in certain areas. If your curtains are moving during the winter, you need a better insulation plan. Cold air is heavier than hot air, so when it enters the house it is forced to the bottom of the rooms creating cold floors.
Insulation is valued by an R-rating. If the walls are R-13 and the windows are R-2 or so, your walls are insulated adequately and your windows and doors are insulated well below recommended levels. The net effect is that your burner is working much harder than it should. You will realize tremendous annual savings by upgrading the R value of your windows and doors.
UK doors and windows are notoriously rated poorly for insulation value. Common areas of air leakage are the shim areas around the doors. The glazing around windows allows cold air to enter through eroded seals. Single pane windows are defenseless against the UK’s cold weather.
There are four troubling causes for air leakage around glass doors.
Cold Glass – Het from the house hits the cold glass and radiates to the outside and is lost. In effect, you are heating the outside.
Convective Loops – The cold glass panes cools the air inside and moves it so that colder air can work their way in and down to the floor.
Air Steams – Cold air can stream through the shim in the door and force hot air up and out.
Air Leaks Air leaks can also be cause by poor glazing. Air can work its way into the house through poor glazing.
To solve this problem, look into new doors with double or triple glazing. The outside pane turns away cold air. The inside pane seals in warm air. The air pocket between the panes ensures the integrity of the glaze and adds a further layer of protection.
Glass doors and windows can be your best defense against air leakage. Today’s windows have high insulating ratings, probably higher than many walls in the UK. If you want to reduce the carbon footprint of your home or business, look into the new-age doors and windows.