You can improve the energy efficiency of your home, reduce your carbon footprint and save money on bills, simply by replacing your windows.

Many homeowners are put off by the idea of replacing windows because of the expense and upheaval of the job, but in the long term, an investment and a little discomfort today will save you money in the future and in time, you will make a return, as well as having a warmer home.

Types of Window Frame – There are a huge range of frames available from traditional wooden sash windows to the more modern UPVC. In general materials like wood; UPVC and fibreglass provide better insulation than metal frames.

Metal or Aluminium Frames – Aluminium is light, strong and requires practically no maintenance, but it conducts heat much faster than other materials, which means its insulating properties are poor. To reduce the amount of heat being lost, insulating strips made from plastic are placed between each frame.

Composite Frames – These are constructed from wood products such as laminated strand lumber or particleboard. They can insulate equally well or better than wood and are more resistant to decay and moisture.

Fibreglass Frames – Fibreglass frames include air cavities which are filled with insulating materials making them a better insulator than vinyl or wood.

UPVC Frames – UPVC frames require very little maintenance and don’t need painting. They are filled with insulation making them a more effective insulator than wood or metal.

Wooden Frames – Wooden frames are relatively effective insulators but can contract and expand with changing weather conditions. Wooden frames require maintenance and can be varnished or painted.

Types of Glass – In addition to your frames, the glass you choose is also very important. You can even use different glass in different areas of your home to improve efficiency, for example on north facing windows.

Gas Fills – This is where the space between double glazing is filled with inert gas that is more thermally effective than normal air.

Heat Absorbing Tints – The glass is tinted to change the colour, which improves insulation which reduces the amount of heat lost through the windows in winter and helps keep rooms cool in summer.

Insulated Glass – This refers to windows that have more than one pane. Glass is spaced with a gap between it and hermetically sealed.

Reflective Coatings – Reflective coatings block both heat and light, so they improve efficiency and reduce glare which means they’re often used in offices, TV rooms and home cinemas.