Five of the major Energy providers have so far announced higher than inflation price rises, which will have an impact on almost every household in Britain

The vast majority of homeowners already know about the money- saving benefits of insulating their houses. But how many realise that they can upgrade the glass in their existing double glazed windows without changing the actual window frames?

At the best of times, glass is an extremely poor insulator. In fact, of all the components in your home, it is through the windows that most heat is lost. For example given a wall and a window the same size, the window will allow up to 8 times more heat to escape. If you need further proof, pressing the palm of your hand against the inside of a window on a cold winter’s night should be more than enough to convince you. Thermally inefficient windows not only reduce the warmth and comfort of your home, they greatly increase your energy bills, too. Thankfully, there is now a way to stay warm and cosy all winter long, while at the same time future-proofing your home against rising energy costs, as well as improving your home’s energy rating.

Recent advances in glass technology have resulted in glass that is up to 70% more efficient than the standard double-glazing of old. The inner pane features a special low-emissivity (low-e) invisible coating that reflects the heat from your central heating system, wood-burning stove or open fire back into the room. On top of that, heat is prevented from escaping as the cavity between the two panes of glass is filled with argon gas. Thermal efficiency is further enhanced by an outer pane – with a lower iron content – that enables more of the sun’s heat to get into the house. This is known as ‘solar gain’ and it produces a kind of greenhouse effect.

In these straitened times, some homeowners might feel they’re not in a position to invest in new windows – despite the obvious money- saving advantages. However, there is now a highly attractive alternative to a full window replacement – one that costs up to 50% less! Employing the latest glass technology from Pilkington’s, new heat-retaining glass panes can be retrofitted into existing uPVC window frames.

One of the companies offering this breakthrough service is EnerGlaze, whose managing director, Peter Campbell, believes wholeheartedly that retrofitting is the way forward for UK homes. “For less than half the cost of a complete window replacement, homeowners can enjoy a warmer home, virtually eliminate internal condensation and save up to £350 on their annual energy bills. What’s more, as we retain the existing window frames, work can normally be completed within a single working day. Another huge benefit is there is no redecoration required. Our new double-glazing glass units offer thermal efficiencies which up to a couple of months ago could only be achieved with triple-glazing. The majority of homes in the UK have perfectly good window frames and therefore upgrading the glass in them really does make perfect sense,” Campbell adds.