Energy Saving

With carbon emissions high on the global agenda and the current high cost of fuel, we are all looking for ways to make our homes more energy efficient.

In the past, selecting energy efficient windows has been difficult due to the lack of independent and validated information. There is a need for a method that is both easy to understand and independent. The British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC), in conjunction with the UK glazing industry and European partners has designed a window rating system to meet this need for simple and accurate information. The BFRC provides third party certification for the total thermal performance of windows using a 'fair, accurate and credible' assessment scheme.

Window Energy Ratings use a consumer friendly traffic light style A-E ratings guide similar to that used on 'white' goods (such as friges, freezers, washing machines etc...). These ratings labels can be used by you to make more informed choices about the energy efficiency of the windows you are looking to purchase.

Each window rated by the BFRC has a unique label, which displays the following information:

1. The rating level - A, B, C, etc....

2. The energy rating eg 8kWh/(m2K) in this example the product will gain 8 kilowatt hours per square metre per year

3. The window U value eg 1.4W/(m2K)

4. The effective heat loss due to air penetration as L eg 0.00 W/(m2K)

5. The solar heat gain eg g=0.47

Simply put this will determine how well a product will perform the functions of:

• Helping you contain and conserve heat within your home in the winter

• Keep out the wind

• Resist condensation

• Contribute to improved sound insulation

So what are Energy Efficient Windows - Use Solar Gain to Benefit the Home

So exactly what are Energy Efficient Windows? They are windows that help to contain and conserve heat within the home keeping out wind and rain, resisting condensation and yet allowing natural "free" energy - the warmth of the sun - to heat the home. They can be made using any frame material - aluminium, PVC-U, steel or timber or even a combination of materials. Energy Efficient Windows are easy to recognise - simply look for the BFRC label.

For further information visit www.bfrc.org