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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Solar Energy

Solar panels are ever-growing in popularity, though not many people really understand the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy.

Many more people are making the switch over to solar energy, which is good. As a clean, green, renewable source of energy, solar panels are much more beneficial for the planet than fossil fuels. It is important, however, to understand both the advantages and disadvantages of harnessing solar energy.

In this article, we will go over both the advantages and disadvantages to give you a clearer picture of what solar panels will do for your home.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy

The Advantages Of Solar Energy

  • Solar panels can help to dramatically lower your energy bills. This means that, although the Feed-In-Tariffs and green energy incentives have changed quite a bit, they are still a fantastic investment for your home.
  • Solar PV systems harness energy from daylight, meaning that they work even when the sun isn’t shining bright. While they are more powerful when it is sunny, they will still produce energy when it is cloudy or overcast.
  • You can do your bit to help the environment. Solar panels are much better for the environment than burning fossil fuels – and they are even the most efficient form of green energy!
  • Solar PV systems require very little maintenance, especially in the UK. Just make sure that you get your panels from a reputable provider.

The Disadvantages Of Solar Energy

  • Solar PV systems can be more expensive than systems designed to harness solar thermal energy. PV is a lot more beneficial for your home, however, than solar thermal systems.
  • You need to make sure that you have enough roof space to hold your solar panel system. To ensure that you get the most out of your system, you are going to want to have as much solar panel span as possible. This will enable you to harness the most energy.
  • These systems may not be ideal for your home or property if your roof does not face in a good direction. If you have a north or east facing roof, or one that is shaded by other buildings or tall trees, then it might not be worth getting a solar PV system.

Get A Quote!

Give us a call or get in touch today, and we will arrange for a fast, free, no-obligation quote to be sent over to you as soon as possible.

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Cross section of Triple Glazing

Triple vs. double glazing: Which is better for your home?

Whether you are wanting to replace your windows, install a new front door, or even build a brand new conservatory, you will need to decide about what type of glazing you want to use.

No longer can you simply choose double glazing and be done with it, now you have the alternative option of triple glazing. Leaving you with the decision on whether to install Double or Triple glazed windows.

However, the question is – “Do you really need triple glazing, and is it worth the extra cost?”

What is triple glazing?

As its name suggests, triple glazing contains three, instead of two, panels of glass within a sealed frame. In between these panels, air will circulate, or insulating gases such as argon, which help to keep the cold weather out of your property and ensure any heat is retained.

Popular in cold climates, such as in Sweden and Canada, in the last decade or two, this type of glazing has started to increase in popularity in the UK. This is due to its many additional benefits.

Which type of glazing is better for my home?

Unfortunately, it is not as easy as simply stating which type of glazing is best, as there are many individual factors and concerns that you need to take into consideration when choosing between double and triple glazing.

Heat retention

Of course, one of the most important factors when deciding which glazing to choose for your home is how well they are able to insulate your property and keep it warm.

As you might have already guessed, triple glazing is more effective at retaining heat than double glazing, although there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way in which double glazing insulates your home, it is just that triple glazing goes one step further.

Keeping cool

Nearly as important as keeping your home warm, you also want to be able to ensure that your house doesn’t turn into a sauna when the sun starts to shine. This is particularly pertinent for properties that are south-facing.

Therefore, you want to pick windows that are able to control temperature, with this ability determined by the g-value. The lower the g-value of your chosen windows, the more effective they are at controlling the temperature in your home.

Triple glazed windows have an average g-value of 35%-63%, whereas double glazed windows are around 73%.

Security

When installing any new windows or doors, it is vital that you remember that these are access points to your home; therefore, they need to be as safe and secure as possible.

Window Locking Key

Triple glazing is stronger than double glazing due to the extra panel of glass, however, if you have an older property, the weight of triple glazing may be too much for your home to handle and could lead to substantial damage to your walls.

Affordability

A determining factor in nearly everyone’s decision-making process, it is important to ensure that you can comfortably afford the type of glazing that you choose for your home.

As more materials are needed to create and install triple glazing, it is more expensive than double glazing, that being said, you will recoup a lot of your investment in your monthly household outgoings as triple glazing has the ability to cut your energy bills by up to 50%.

If you are still unsure about which type of glazing is best for you and your home, or if you would like further information about the exact cost of installing double or triple glazing in your property, please do not hesitate to get in touch here.

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Orangery

Average UK Conservatory costs

Knowing how much you will need to save every month will help you to reach your goal faster and ultimately lead you to having an exciting new addition to your home.

In order to know the rough price of your conservatory, it helps to know what style you want.

The styles of conservatory vary quite substantially, and some of this will be down to periodic differences and also how they make the use of space.

The best way to save for any kind of asset or extension is to know the price you can expect to pay beforehand.

Orangery (over £20,000)

Orangery

By far, the most expensive style of conservatory in the UK is an orangery. These are based on Renaissance greenhouses which would, as you might have guessed, grow oranges and fruit trees.

They are partly made from brickwork, which gives them a much more sturdy and grandiose appearance.

These are certainly more pricey, but they blur the line between conservatory and extension more than the other options, due to the amount of brickwork involved.

Lean-to (over £5,000)

Smaller properties will probably benefit the most from a lean-to conservatory, as it takes up comparatively little space in your garden.

Lean to conservatory

Lean-to conservatories are relatively self-explanatory in that they are composed of four glass walls and a roof that leans up against the main building.

They are ideal for a small reading room or maybe even a social space (dining room or lounge) if you have room to do so.

Victorian (just shy of £7,000)

These are some of the most commonly advertised styles of conservatory as their roof and curved walls are instantly recognisable.

These are ideal for those that are interested in getting as much light into the conservatory as possible. They are very spacious, and can easily be used to hold social gatherings or be used as a quasi-extension.

T/B and P shape (upwards of £15,000)

This style of conservatory is much like the Victorian model in terms of appearance. However, the reason that this type of conservatory is far more expensive is that it is an extended conservatory of sorts.

The letter names (T, B and P) refer to the resemblance of the conservatory’s shape. So, for example, a P-shape conservatory would take the shape of a P by having a longer oblong room with a round end to it, which would look like a ‘P’ from an arial view.

Edwardian (£8,500 and upwards)

Edwardian Conservatory

If you don’t quite fancy the traditional appearance of the Victorian conservatory, and you don’t have the budget for a full orangery, then an Edwardian conservatory could be the ideal compromise.

These are rectangular in shape and have a brickwork base. The pointed glass roof makes them perfect for an elegant social space.

Which conservatory you ultimately opt for will depend on how much money you are prepared to save or part with. If you love the idea of an orangery, but don’t quite have the budget for it, then an Edwardian conservatory could be a very pleasing compromise.

If you want a Victorian style but with more space, then you may want to put a little more money aside for a P or B shape conservatory. Whatever you choose ensure you opt for Double Glazing, understand more about the benefits of double glazing & how it works here.

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Double Glazed Windows

Single Glazing VS Double Glazed Windows

If you have an old house that currently has original windows, but it’s time for them to be replaced, then you’ll probably start debating whether the new ones you install should be single or double glazed. 

If you own an old property, then you might be concerned about the aesthetics of double glazing and whether it will ruin the external facade of your house. If you have doubts or are looking for answers, then continue to read over the following guide. 

Let’s take a look at the qualities of single, and double glazed glass, before coming to a conclusion of which option is best. 

Single Glazed Windows

Single Glazed Windows

As the name suggests, single glazed windows only consist of one pane of single glazed glass, which means it is the only layer between the inside of your home and the outdoors. Looking firstly at a security level, whilst modern technology and materials have made single glazing more robust, it will certainly be easier to break than double glazing. This may make you feel uneasy if you leave your house unattended while you’re away as burglars are, unfortunately, able to usually spot whether your windows are single or double glazed. 

The thickness of a single pane usually ranges from around 3mm to 10 mm, which can struggle to provide adequate insulation for your home. Single glazing will also not add as much value to your home, so bear this in mind if you’re looking to sell in the future. 

Double Glazed Windows

Double glazing provides much better security to your home as two sturdy panes would need to be breached for anyone to access inside. When looking at the insulation benefits of double glazing, it helps to understand how the technology actually works. Having two panes of glass with a tight air pocket in between is essential for stopping heat escaping from your home; as the air cannot circulate within this space, it makes it a poor conductor of heat which massively reduces the rate of hot air leaving your home. 

Double Glazed Windows

Once double glazing has been installed, you should see a reduction in your heating bills very soon afterwards – something that is extremely valuable over the winter months. It is also one of the many areas buyers look at when considering purchasing a home. Installing double glazing now will add value when you decide to sell. City dwellers can also rejoice in the technology that double glazing uses, as it provides a tremendous amount of noise reduction inside your home – perfect if you live on a busy street with traffic regularly passing by. 

When looking at the argument of double glazing vs single glazing, it’s clear to see the overall winner long-term. Whilst double glazing will be undoubtedly more expensive to instal,l it will have much more significant financial benefits for years to come. Consider this when looking to have your windows replaced, and perhaps wait a little longer and save up for new double glazing to be installed. Contact Us

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Inside of Double Glazing

How Does Double Glazing Work?

Having your home or property fitted with double glazing windows and doors is high on the priority list when it comes to home improvement. While some may consider this improvement costly, the expenses pay for themselves in the long run due to the money saved on energy bills and the amount of value these upgrades will add to your property. Furthermore, with the many design options and additional features such as handles, decorative glass and wood variations, there’s no doubt that double glazing is a stylish and practical addition to any home.

Inside of Double Glazing

Your home will also be more secure when fitted with updated windows and doors. When considering double glazing for your home, you may be curious about how double glazing successfully achieves what it is designed for. Double Glazing Vs Triple Glazing is a debate that has lasted for a while and will continue for a lot longer. If you want to find out if Double or Triple Glazing is best then check out that super handy blog.

So, the question is, how does double glazing actually work?

Double Glazing Utilises the Power of an Air Gap or Gas Combined with Glass to Work Efficiently for Your Home

As the name suggests, double glazing is fitted using two detached panes of glass. These two glass panes are separated by an air gap or gas between the two. This air gap functions as insulation. The second layer of glass acts as a barrier to noise pollution and sound from outside your property. Therefore together, vacuum gas or an air gap combined with double-paned glass provides an efficient solution to reducing heat loss and noise pollution in your home.

The second layer of glass also serves to strengthen your windows (or doors) and improves the overall security of your home, as double glazing is much sturdier and more difficult to break than a single-paned window.

Your windows and doors will also be sufficiently strengthened against outside forces such as damaging weather and storm occurrences, meaning they’re less likely to break.

Double glazing works using the same logic as cavity wall or loft insulation, in order to better maintain the heat in your home.

The air gap maintained between the two panes of glass is much too small to allow air to properly circulate. This means that heat transfer via convection is prevented. Convection is when heat is transferred due to a large number of molecules moving within a gas or a liquid. In this case, the molecules do not have enough room to move within the air gap. This forces the air to become trapped and therefore reduces heat loss through the window – which is great news for your home.

How is Double Glazing Made?

A double glazing window is fitted using the two panes of glass, a spacer bar and the relevant seals to form a fully functioning airtight environment. A space bar – or profile – is a hollow aluminium framing tool which serves to separate the two glass panes which make up a double glazing window. This spacer bar needs to be bonded to the glass using the relevant seals mentioned and ensuring that the cavity is airtight. Therefore, every tool involved in the making of a double glazed window is crucial in the overall success of the product, and each one relies on the other.

What determines the product’s final level of ability in terms of energy saving, heat insulation and noise prevention, is the width between the two panes of glass, which filling has been used for the space (dehydrated air or gas) and the type of spacer bar used.

How is the Cavity Space Filled?

This is done under vacuum conditions. The space is filled with air or inert gas to complete the double glazing window’s ability to improve insulation. The filling of this cavity also helps to prevent condensation within the panes of glass.

The size of this cavity can be anything from 4 to 20 mm, but is dependant on the filling used for the cavity (air or gas) and the type of window being made. There is a recommended cavity size for both dehydrated air options and argon gas options to achieve a Low E energy rating. This is 16mm for dehydrated air, and 14mm for the argon gas option.

window being manufactured

In terms of the recommended cavity width to best reduce noise disturbance, this is dependent on the specific property and its requirements and can be analysed during a survey of your home to find the best option for this.

Inert Gas or Dehydrated Air Can Be Used for the Space Between Glass Panes

When dehydrated air is used in the space or cavity, the physical properties of the air allow it to lose less heat via convection and conduction than a normal, non-dehydrated air would. This is why normal air is not an option for the space between the two panes of glass. This is due to the molecules of dehydrated air being less mobile and active, resulting in a lower thermal conductivity rate. Furthermore, the physical properties mean it also conducts less noise due to the low mobility of the molecules, resulting in a great option for sound insulation as well as heat.

These benefits can be improved by opting for inert gas instead of dehydrated air. Inert means that the gas is chemically inactive. The most popular choices of inert case in regards to double glazing production are argon, xenon or krypton.

Argon gas is one of the most popular vacuum gas options to fill the space between double glazed windows. Argon gas is a very poor conductor of heat, which means it’s the perfect option for insulating your home. The layer of argon gas means that any heat produced in your home will stay put rather than escaping through the windows. The reason argon gas is such a poor conductor of heat is because it has 34% lower thermal conductivity than normal air.

Inside of a Double Glazed Window

Argon-filled double glazing units, as you would expect, cost more than air-filled options. This increased cost is around 5% more than air. The increased cost is due to the higher quality and the improvement argon offers in terms of a double glazing window’s energy efficiency.

Furthermore, the lifespan of argon gas should match the life of the double glazing window itself. Over a period of 25 years, argon gas should not lose more than 5% of its capabilities.

Despite the fact that krypton and xenon are more energy efficient than argon, it is rare to have these particular gases used due to the fact that they are more expensive compared to argon. Argon is therefore the most cost-effective gas which works efficiently with double glazing units.

However, in some cases, krypton and xenon may be required instead of argon. This could be due to a very specific or bespoke job, or when a limited width is available. An example of this could also be the use of windows in very old buildings. Yet, wherever possible, argon is the first choice.

What About Noise Reduction?

Double glazing won’t completely block all noise from outside, but it will significantly reduce it. If you live in a relatively quiet area anyway, then you may feel as though all noise has been completely blocked, leaving you with relaxing silence and tranquillity in your home.

However, if you live in an area where you are subject to a lot of outside disturbance such as traffic, then you may need to consider alternative routes of noise reduction. You can opt for a higher standard of double-glazed windows which may improve the problem better than regular double-glazing.

The amount of noise which double glazing can successfully block is dependent on the vent size and age of the windows in your property.

To Conclude

The entire process of double glazing, from production to fitting, is designed with your home efficiency in mind. Double glazing’s technical features mean that the benefits for your home include heat insulation, reduction of noise pollution and extra security for your property. The way this is done is through choosing the correct size and width of glass panes for your windows, and an option of dehydrated air or inert gas – most popularly, argon gas.

A lot of homeowners and property developers may choose to install their double glazing in stages. Some homeowners, for example, may choose to install double glazing in the bottom half of their house before the top, due to budget restrictions and the need to save. Naturally, any steps you make to ensure your home is more energy efficient will be a plus, so even if you cannot afford a full refit of double glazing in one go, even just one level of your house will make a significant difference.

If you require more information regarding how double glazing works when professionals come to install it in your home, you can ask them to explain specifically how the windows you have chosen will help your home’s efficiency and how precisely they function. You can also ask for advice on how to get the best out of your double glazed windows and doors, and enquire regarding warranty and aftercare options to make sure that the lifespan of your double glazing is at its optimum.

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