A Window of Opportunity to (E)nhance Energy Efficiency.

We have in the past produced articles on Why Overhaul and Upgrade Windows Installed Before 2010? which highlighted how since 2010, glass specifications have noticeably improved.  Modern options present vastly superior energy efficiency. They also provide enhanced comfort for residents by keeping homes warmer and reducing energy bills.  We have also looked at Why Upgrade From 1st Generation To 2nd Generation UPVC Windows? and why Landlords may need to consider upgrading single glazed windows to continue renting out their properties.  Both articles again investigated the energy efficiency benefits of upgrading to modern glass standards.

The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) has produced some new infographics based on research into Heat Loss through windows.  They show the impact of different glass types in your property.  Also the UK performs compared to the rest of Europe and how this may hinder our march to Net Zero by 2050.

Beyond Repairs in Window Survey

Our SAFEKEEP service delves deeper than the average window survey.  Many (s)urveys will only identify where glass is broken and quote to repair it. Or if they are looking in more detail they may include in their (s)urvey misted or failed double glazed units and (fix) them by replacing them. Mila go a step further.

Safety First

Safety glass is designed to break safely, without producing sharp edges that can cause serious injury. There are two common types: toughened and laminated. Toughened glass shatters into small granules, while laminated glass holds together, bonded by an interlayer, even when broken.

UK regulations specify where safety glass must be installed, including areas such as doors, side panels, bathrooms, and low windows. Compliance isn’t optional; it’s a legal necessity for homeowners and landlords alike.  If your survey reveals windows that don’t meet the safety glass regulations, an upgrade is crucial for both compliance and the well-being of the occupants.

The Cold Facts: UK’s Heat Loss Crisis

The UK stands as a cautionary tale in energy efficiency, with its buildings hemorrhaging heat at an alarming rate — thrice as inefficient as those in Germany. The glaring reality is that the majority of UK homes are energy sieves, contributing significantly to residential carbon emissions.

The Slow March to Carbon Reduction

Despite three decades of environmental initiatives, the residential sector’s carbon footprint reduction has been sluggish. The uncomfortable truth is that an overwhelming 98% of windows fall short of current energy efficiency standards, undermining efforts to curb emissions.

Net Zero by 2050: A Window of Opportunity

Achieving Net Zero emissions by the mid-century is an ambitious goal that hinges heavily on reducing household emissions. With most existing windows being energy efficiency underperformers, the scope for improvement is vast and urgent.

U-Values: The Thermometer for Window Efficiency

The U-value is the measure of a material’s insulation effectiveness — the lower, the better. While the current Building Regulations stipulate a minimum U-value of 1.4, there are already products on the market targeting the Future Homes Standard with U-values dipping below 1.0, signaling a new era of ultra-efficient glazing.

The Evolution of Glazing:

  • Triple Glazing: Boasting a U-value of 1.0, triple glazing stands at the forefront of thermal efficiency.
  • Post-2022 Double Glazing: With a minimum U-value of 1.4, it meets the latest standards set in mid-2022.
  • Early 2000s Double Glazing: Ranges from 2.0 to 2.4, showing a marked improvement over its predecessors.
  • Pre-2002 Double Glazing: Exhibits U-values between 2.8 and 3.2, revealing the inadequacy of older installations.
  • Single Glazing: With a U-value between 4.8 and 5.8, it’s the least efficient, offering minimal insulation.

Retrofit for Efficiency

By retrofitting properties with high-performance glazing, heat loss can be slashed by 22%, translating to substantial energy savings and reduced carbon emissions. For homeowners, this could mean not just lower energy bills but also a step forward in the collective march towards a more sustainable future.

The Financial and Environmental Rewards of Glazing Upgrades

Carbon Savings: A Clear Vision for the Future

The environmental impact of retrofitting pre-2002 double glazing with the latest standards is nothing short of transformative. A nationwide upgrade could cut carbon emissions by 3.16 million tonnes annually. This is the environmental equivalent of removing 1.88 million cars from the roads, driving us closer to the coveted Net Zero target.

Household Economics: The Personal Gain

For the individual homeowner, upgrading outdated glazing is not just an act of environmental responsibility but also a smart financial decision. The average household stands to save approximately £395 per year by making the switch. This isn’t mere pocket change — it’s a significant cost reduction that can free up funds for other household expenses or savings.

A Boost for the Economy: The Ripple Effect of Energy Savings

The cumulative effect of these household savings has the potential to invigorate the economy. If all pre-2002 glazing were to be updated, there would be a staggering £3.54 billion redirection of funds. Money currently evaporating through inefficient windows could flow into other sectors, multiplying economic activity and employment opportunities.

Beyond the Glass: The Additional Benefits

The advantages of modern windows extend far beyond their thermal performance. Upgraded windows act as a barrier to noise pollution, creating quieter, more peaceful living environments. Furthermore, advancements in window design and materials also offer superior security features, contributing to safer homes and peace of mind for residents.

Diving into the SAFEKEEP Model

Survey (S): Detailed Checks with Tailored Reporting

Our engineers conduct meticulous checks on your windows and doors.  Firstly for correct operation. Then for compliance with health and safety regulations.  Thirdly, signs of water and air ingress. We also consider any additional factors requested by our clients to furnish landlords with a detailed report. Not only does this report spotlight areas that need fixing. It also serves as a tangible audit trail, showcasing safety precautions undertaken. Finally, the report proposes potential enhancements for the windows.

Adjust (A): Preventing Small Issues from Becoming Major Ones

The emphasis here is on proactive care. Windows require continual small adjustments to windows and regular lubrication.  This prevents minor issues from spiraling into bigger, costlier problems. Guarding against more significant repairs and, worst case, complete window replacements.

Fix (F): Swift and Uncomplicated Solutions

Our approach to fixing is straightforward and effective. Once a problem is identified, our team ensures it’s repaired efficiently.  We prioritise the safety and functionality of the windows and doors to uphold the comfort and security of our residents.

Enhance (E): Advancing Beyond the Basic Functions

Enhancements go beyond mere fixes. It could involve elevating ventilation to combat issues like mould or damp. Or escalating the energy efficiency of windows. Or upgrading security features. In every enhancement action, the objective is to boost the existing functionality. Enhancements may also prolong the lifespan of your installations.

KEEP: Keep your Windows and Residents SAFE

By engaging in long-term contracts, landlords can spread repair costs over an extended period. They gain preferential access to Mila’s responsive repair services. The ‘KEEP’ phase protects your window and door investment.  It is the scheduled programme of future safety audits.  This provides a steadfast availability of a repairs service when it’s needed.  It’s how you KEEP your resident’s windows operational over the long-term with all safety measures functional.  It’s how you prevent small problems becoming large expensive ones.

Partner with Mila to SAFEKEEP Your Residents

When you partner with Mila, you don’t just get a service provider; you get a team that truly cares about your property as much as you do. We ensure all your window and door care needs are managed effectively under one comprehensive, expertly executed model – SAFEKEEP.

Learn more about how SAFEKEEP can benefit your properties. Contact Mila today. Let’s work together to SAFEKEEP your property.  Ensuring optimal functionality, longevity, and resident satisfaction in your buildings.

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