Tired of draughts and cold spots in your home? Upset by regular oil deliveries and the increasing costs to you and the planet? Typically an older home with a BER rating G will feel cold the moment the central heating turns off. This is due to poor insulation, single glazed windows, and open fireplaces.
In addition to your pocket, this cost is being worn by global climate change and peak oil occurring around the year 2020 (source: Wikipedia).
However, the joy of owning a period property lies in the beauty of the architecture, the high ceilings, ornate cornices, bay windows, beautiful tiles and stained glass to name just a few features. Period properties additionally form part of the heritage of the towns and cities in Ireland. The Irish government is protecting these properties under legislation by listing protected areas and structures within each county.
So what do you need to do to live with modern levels of comfort and perhaps improve your BER rating?
In a very inefficient home the best place to start is insulating the attic. Then you can look at the walls and insulate externally, or internally if you have cavity walls.
If your house is a protected structure or listed building in a zone of conservation, you must remember to get planning permission for any changes that you make. The first port of call is to consult your local council authority.
If it is the case that you can install slim double glazing to the sash windows in your period home, you will benefit from a lower U-value which means that your home feels warmer. Ultimately you will feel more comfortable in your home. The U-value measures the heat retention through a window or a door. It is a complex calculation as it considers the material and construction of the frame, the glazing bars, the glass and the seals. The result is the Uw value, measured in watts per square metre Kelvin. In effect, a lower U-value means more heat is kept inside a house on a cold day.
Note that the U-value of a 4mm single pane of glass is 5.7 whereas the U-value of a 12mm double glazed Slimline unit is 1.9.
Particularly in period properties, the original window and door designs should be faithfully copied. The windows and doors are an integral part of the design of a building. If you decide to change them retrospectively it is important that what you choose suits the look of the property.
If double glazing is not possible, it is a great option to refurbish the original windows. We can remove the sashes to our factory for timber repairs and fresh paint. It is often straightforward to repair the frames in situ, even splicing in timber sections to remove rot. Remember that we will add double draught seals to your period windows to stop rattles and improve insulation. We also offer a huge range of traditional hardware to complete your window refreshment.
A further solution is secondary glazing. We can create a hinged or sliding internal window made from timber (in a variety of formats) to sit sympathetically behind the original window and improve performance. Often undertaken with our draught sealing or restoration services for the original windows, the space between the two windows (and materials used) will offer significant noise reduction and improved thermal performance without the presence of inappropriate modern materials in the room.
By Jennie Richie, Timeless Sash Windows, 16th August 2019