How Important are Energy Efficiency Ratings for Windows?
If you’re considering updating your windows, most likely you’ve come across the term energy efficiency rating in your research. As the name suggests, an energy efficiency rating lets customers compare the energy efficiency of different products and find the best option for them. When it comes to windows here in the UK, we use a Window Energy Rating. Also known as the WER scale, the Window Energy Rating will allow you to compare different windows across the market and purchase the best, most energy-efficient option for your property.
When it comes to choosing new windows, energy efficiency is one of the most vital factors to consider. This is especially relevant here in the UK, as temperatures continue to drop and energy bills continue to rise. Understanding the WER scale can help you make an informed decision when choosing your new windows, which can save you the hassle of costly utility bills in future as well as ensure you and your family benefit from a warmer, more comfortable home.
So, what is the WER scale? And how important is it when choosing new windows?
What is the WER scale?
Here in the UK, there are several popular energy rating schemes for windows, including the British Standards Institute and CERTASS (above right). The most well-known scheme is the WER scale, also known as The Window Energy Rating scale, which is run by The British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC), as a part of the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF). As the name suggests, the scale highlights the energy efficiency rating of windows available on the market by grading each product on a scale from A+ (the most energy efficient) to G (the least energy efficient).
Windows are independently tested and measured on:
- Heat retention capacity
- Air leakage through the windows’ perimeter
- Sunlight transmission
- Glazing thickness
- The constitution of the frame
All windows tested using the WER scale are given a certificate with a rainbow sticker which shows the grade the window has received. At Majestic Designs, our windows boast an A+14 energy efficiency rating across our range of uPVC products one of the highest ratings a product can receive on the WER scale.
As well as the WER scale, it’s also important to consider the U-Value of your new windows. U-Value measures the insulating ability of a window and how quickly heat is transferred through it.
A lower rating is indicative of better insulation. Legally, replacement windows and new build installations must achieve a U-value of 1.6 W/m²K or a WER of at least a C to comply with Building Regulations requirements. However, if a window has been poorly fitted, it may have a negative impact on your U-Value. This is why it’s important to choose an experienced, professional installer over a cowboy.
Why are energy efficiency ratings important for windows?
For obvious reasons, energy efficiency ratings are hugely important when it comes to choosing new windows. Windows that offer little to no insulation cannot protect your home sufficiently from the onset of adverse weather and damp, which can result in a multitude of issues for yourself, your family and any other occupants at your property.
This is particularly relevant for more traditional properties that may still have older-style windows. Over time, older-style windows can warp, flex and even rot away, leaving your home susceptible to the elements with poor insulation and thermal retention, and a significant increase in your energy bill. Poor insulation can also cause a multitude of serious issues for you and your family. This is because, without adequate insulation, mould and condensation can come creeping into your internal living spaces at an alarming rate which on top of the health issues they can cause, can also result in permanent and expensive damage to the structural integrity of your home.
That’s why, when choosing new windows, it’s important to pick a product with the highest possible energy efficiency rating – doing so will boost the energy efficiency of your home, minimise heat loss and save yourself the hassle of costly utility bills. You and your family will also benefit from a warmer, more comfortable home throughout the year as well as a smaller carbon footprint.
Energy efficiency and the environment
Another advantage of choosing more energy-efficient windows for your home is the impact your property’s insulation can have on your carbon footprint. If your home is not properly insulated, you may be experiencing draughts, cold spots and heat loss, which can drive up your energy bill. This is because you will be more inclined to reach for the thermostat in a chillier home – but as your property will lack basic insulation, you’ll most likely lose all your heat through your windows which can drive up your energy use. As a result, investing in more energy-efficient windows can keep your utility bills low which in turn, will have a positive impact on your carbon footprint.
Energy efficiency at Majestic Designs
For more than 21 years, the team at Majestic Designs have been engineering our range of resilient, energy-efficient uPVC and aluminium windows for clients across the South West region. Our range of windows is manufactured in our state-of-the-art factories right here in Cheddar, in the heart of Somerset, and fitted by our professional, fully-employed teams of FENSA-accredited and MTC-registered lead installers.
At Majestic Designs, our team take energy efficiency seriously. All our windows are manufactured with energy efficiency in mind, and as a result, we boast an A+14 Window Energy Rating across our range. As a FENSA-registered company, we also offer all our customers BFRC certification with every window installation, which details the recorded thermal performance of our windows.
If you would like any more information about our range of energy-efficient windows or are ready to book an at-home consultation, get in touch with Majestic Designs today.