In this article I’m going to go through practical steps you can take to make a sash windows extremely efficient without entirely replacing them. This is extremely useful in terms of keeping the original heritage and period features of your property.  It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got sash windows, or casements. You could even have crittall metal windows that are of age. All of these windows can be thermally efficient and upgraded without entire replacement or altering the aesthetic appearance of them.  I’ll make sure by the end of this article you know exactly what to do with your windows and how to make them the best they can be without altering their appearance.

The first steps to energy efficient windows is draught proofing.

Draught proofing can be installed on almost any window. It doesn’t matter if your windows are timber or metal. You can normally have a hidden rebated draught proofing system installed onto a window and that will incredibly improve things and the ambiance of your property. If you’ve got sash windows then the staff and parting bead have brushed rebated into them to improve the warmth of any room. This brush is made of nylon and last for at least 10 years. This means that every time you have a sash window draught proof you will get 10 years of energy efficiency from them. This also means that you won’t alter the look of them and this is actually satisfied by the grade 2 listing.

Draught Proofing
Draught Proofing

Secondary glazing can help with energy efficiency.

If you’re in a listed property or a property of historic value then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to have double glazed windows because it’s a change to the aesthetics of the external of the property. This generally would be totally unacceptable for any kind of listing or potentially could even be a problem in a conservation area and to get around this situation; use secondary glazing because this is an internal installation and results in no difference to the external of the property.

Regarding double glazing this isn’t strictly true. You could actually find yourself in a situation where you can actually have slimline glazing because this is becoming more and more common and technologically advanced and you can barely tell difference between this and single glazed glass. However, this is very rare that this is still accepted and it’s still in the test phase. There is hope that this will evolve into a usable product but as of the moment it’s very difficult to gain planning for this.

Old Glass Window
Old Glass Window

Shutters or curtains can help

One of the most common ways of solving and energy efficiency on a sash window or any other window that’s a period for that matter is shutters. Some of the original windows have shutters the simply fold open and they can really act as a double layer against the glass. This is really good for noise and heat. The other way that you can look at it is perhaps you could install some heavy curtains over the top as well. This will really reduce the amount of draughts and cold do you feel coming from any original window that’s gappy. In my opinion it’s better to have shutters cos they also act as a security addition as well.

curtains
curtains

Perhaps you can have double glazing to solve energy efficiency.

As we mentioned it’s sometimes possible to have double glazing into You original Windows. This is becoming more, but at the moment is very difficult to get this for listed buildings. Conservation areas are finally accepting this on average and everyday install. There are many sash window companies out there making incredible installs into these and they make them look almost like I like my single glazed glass. This is because the technology is advancing and they’re simply capable of hiding the actual outside of the double glazed unit itself.

Straight on this leaves you a traditional heritage window the looks exactly as it should. It looks single glazed but is operating in the way that would be considered thermally efficient of this modern era of the era we live in. Pilkington has recently releases the glass called Spacia. This glass is basically designed to look single glazed but has all of the efficiency of double glazing. This is almost certainly going to be the way forward in terms of gaining historical buildings the opportunity to have energy efficient windows.

Double Glazing
Double Glazing

Let’s not forget it’s really important to keep original windows in Heritage properties.

It’s always worth remembering that the effort we go to make our original heritage windows extremely energy efficient is worth it. This is because not only does it maintain the character of property but it as a result you are normally maintaining the value of a property too. So it’s totally in your interest because heritage traditional windows look great and gives an entirely comfortable look to your period properties. Original single glazed windows look stunning and they would totally look wrong replaced with thick ugly uPVC double glazing.

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