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Cheddar A-Rated Windows
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A rated windows against C rated windows.

We often get asked about the benefits of installing different windows in properties and how it will affect the overall performance of a house. This is a fine balance with regard to energy performance when building a new house. Most developers just want to achieve a pass within building regulations and a few want to have an really energy efficient house and spend lots of money on insulation and special new technologies like heat pumps, but forget that windows let more heat out than a wall. More insulation is really good, but so is a good window.

When it is your house it is different. When we were in a position to replace our windows at home we considered the cost of the extra performance against the running costs of the house. To be honest the saving in money was less than we thought, but when we looked a little deeper the main saving was in the amount of CO2 that would be produced.

Just like in a car the cost of the petrol is important, but stays the same for everyone. When the cost goes up it goes up for all of us. If your car does more miles per gallon you can just go further, fill up less often and save more than the next person. How you drive that car can also affect the MPG.

Running your house is just the same. How hot you have it, how many windows you leave open will all affect the running costs. Your house looses heat because colder air temperature pulls the warmer temperature out. So if it is cold outside and warmer inside the more layers and distance you can put between the two the better. Think about what you wear when it is cold. Do you wear one really thick heavy jumper, or lots of thin layers, each holding a little bit of warmth in?

So, back to our house. The cost of A rated to C rated was about £400 more, the results were

AS was £1211 per year running cost CO2 3314 kg/yr
C Rated £1183 per year CO2 3135 kg/yr
A rated £1163 per year CO2 2994 kg/yr
 

The amount of money and CO2 will vary by living habits, location and many other factors. We felt that the £20 per year saving between C and A rated was one issue, the CO2 saving was more important. Do I think I could tell the difference between the two in the winter, I doubt it, but at least I will know that the A is performing better than the C.

You can fit the best windows, but if you have no loft insulation you have defeated the point and vice versa. If you have a draughty house any heat you create gets cooled by the draught. One element only is not a cure all, it is a balance between lots of elements.

Finally, am I happy with our windows, Yes. Did we make the right decision, Yes. Would I recommend A rated, Yes.

Stuart Milne
Mendip Energy ltd

w: www.mendipenergy.com

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Unit 2, Becks Business Park
Warne Road
Weston Super Mare
Somerset
BS23 3TJ
Telephone. 01934 808 586

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