Could You Be Fined For Not Having Double Glazing?

Speeding, vandalism, intoxication – there are many reasons you might be fined if you are found to be in breach of the laws of the land. But could you imagine yourself being pulled up by the law for not having double glazed windows installed on your home? It sounds outrageous, but this is actually happening in a European city right now. And while it probably won’t come into place in the United Kingdom, it is undeniably an interesting development.

So what on earth is going on? Well, according to a local Genevan newspaper, homeowners in the Swiss city could face a fine if they have single glazing windows at their homes or business from January of next year. The reason this is being implemented is in attempt to improve the environment in the famous city.

In Geneva, housing makes up part of the city’s entire amount of energy consumption and accounts for two thirds of the carbon emissions there. However, homes with double glazing windows are better insulated and there is a much smaller need for energy consumption. Therefore, the Canton of Geneva decided back in 1989 to encourage residents that have not installed double glazing to improve. This has been successful to some degree, but with an even greater focus on the environment, efforts to get people to modernise are coming with a threat. If you don’t do it by the aforementioned date, you could risk getting fined.

The director general of the energy office put it bluntly, saying: “If they do not respect the deadline, in the absence of an extension, they are exposing themselves to fines.” But many people, as you might expect, aren’t best pleased about the proposed fines. Some have estimated that more than 20,000 properties in the city may not be up to scratch, and others say that these homes are generally owned by the poor and elderly who do not have the money required to install double glazing.

The president of the Federation Of Building Trades, Serge Hiltpold, is one of the many people who wants an extension on the potential fines that will be coming into effect in January 2016. He said: “The date imposed by the canton is unrealistic. We can not do all the work required because the capacity to produce new windows cannot be increased infinitely. It would make sense to extend the deadline so that we can spread the work. We are not going to replace windows during the winter.”

Ways to Prepare Your Home For Winter

It’s safe to say that winter iDeathtoStock_SlowDown5s well and truly upon us, and with Christmas fast approaching, it’s all the more crucial to ensure your home is all set for the months ahead.

Frost, ice, snow, bitter winds and rain can all cause havoc with your home and present problems when you least expect them. That’s why  it’s better to do a full check and take preventative action sooner rather than later.

1. Drains & Pipes

It’s essential that your house’s draining and plumbing system be working well, as this can lead to burst pipes, blocked drains and/or a loss of central heating and hot water.

Start by checking the condition of the ground level drains around your home. After fall these can often be clogged with leaves, dirt and weeds, which can lead to water blockages and even interior damp patches later down the line.

With your pipes, its important to keep them at a consistent temperature to avoid them freezing. You can do this by disconnecting and draining any outdoor hoses, so an overnight freeze doesn’t burst the pipe its connected to. Insulating your pipes with pipe wrapping materials is also a good idea – these are available from any hardware store.

If you’re going to be in the house over Christmas, then frozen pipes shouldn’t be too much of a worry. If you’re going away, however, it can be useful to have your central heating set to an automated schedule to keep pipes working.

2. Insulation

Your home should ideally already be insulated both in the walls and in the loft. This works miracles for retaining heat and can help your energy bills plummet.

If you’re earning less than £15,860 as of 2014 then you will be eligible for all kinds of deals on home insulation, including from your current supplier. The Money Saving Expert website has all kinds of info on this, such as how to get free insulation and which deals you may be eligible for.

3. Energy Tariff

Are you currently on the right energy tariff for your home? As our needs for gas and electricity change regularly, so do fuel prices. It’s important to review your usage regularly and see what new tariffs are out there to ensure you’re getting the best deal at any one time.

Try comparing the best deals for your postcode via the uSwitch Energy page. Remember it’s never too late to switch. The sooner you do it, the sooner you can start saving.

4. Windows & Doors

Keeping your doors and windows securely locked this winter probably sounds like a no-DeathtoStock_SlowDown10brainer; however, its the kind of doors and windows you have that matters too.

PVC doors and windows are often a preferable alternative to traditional wooden ones, as they cannot easily be kicked in or forced open. Thanks to their secure seal when shut tightly, they also provide very good insulation against the outdoors and help to keep out drafts.

Double glazing is a huge aspect of adding more warmth to your home, and also helps to keep out noise too. Because it involves two panes of glass either side a layer of air or Argon gas, double glazing Wirral prevents internal air from reaching its ‘dew point’ as quickly and thus keep damp patches from forming.

5. Roofing & Guttering

Check your roof for any loose tiles, cracked guttering, or any kind of frost or rain damage. Any damaged or loose tiles will need to be replaced immediately to avoid them causing damage to roof timbers or ceilings. It’s also worth looking out for debris on the ground around your home for signs of dislodged tiles.

It’s essential that your gutters and drainpipes are also in good working order, as a blockage can lead to trapped water freezing and causing the pipe to shatter. Signs of soil being washed away on the ground, or splashes/stains of soil on the walls at base level (visible when the weather is dry) might mean that your gutter is not catching water.

Can Double Glazing Prevent The Winter Sun Causing Damage?

window-sunlightIt’s one of the best things about winter. During those fleeting moments when Britain enjoys a day of winter with clear blue skies and sunshine, the sun sits so low on the horizon that it’s bright and crisp. This allows the sunshine to stream through the windows of your home or office in a unique way. However, there is an unfortunate downside to winter sun; the ultraviolet rays that come pouring through your window might cause damage to some of your furniture.

The sun’s rays can cause some furniture to fade if they are exposed to strong, direct sunlight. Elements like solar heat, visible light and UV light – which is also harmful to the skin – are part of what causes furniture to fade. You can sometimes tell if this has been the case by adjusting your furniture – moving a picture on the wall to see if the paint behind it is a stronger colour, for example, or adjusting a sofa to see if an area not exposed to light is in better condition.

Home and business owners can, of course, move these items out of the path of direct sunlight. However, this is not always the best option. It means reorganising your rooms – something that might be complicated and take a long time – so that sensitive items are not being hit with visible or UV light. In fact, the best option may be installing double glazing in your windows putting some good quality blinds up and installing high quality LED lights which give out a natural white light.

There are several major benefits of having it installed by businesses that cater to double glazing in Liverpool, Manchester, London and various other areas of the United Kingdom. Double glazing can ensure that sound is kept to a minimum, breaking in is much harder and your windows will not get as much condensation as normal. Furthermore, it can help prevent the amount of damage that sunlight is doing to your furniture.

The glass reduces the amount of visible light and UV light that is pouring into each room of your home or business. It means that valuable items within your home – sofas, rugs, carpets or paintings – do not fade over time. A double glazed window can sometimes act like a ozone layer or sunscreen, allowing the light to filter in to your home or business but without the harmful UV rays that predominantly cause damage.

So, yes, double glazing does have the potential to filter out the elements of sunlight that could cause damage to your furniture if you were using standard windows. It means that you can enjoy the low winter sun this season without fear of hurting your property – if the weather permits, of course!

An Energy Efficient Home? Start With Double Glazing

The benefits of double glazing are numerous, but it all comes dodouble-glazing-benefitswn to one thing: increased energy efficiency. With energy prices going up and the increased roll-out of the Government’s ‘Feed-In’ tariffs, it’s in your best interests to ensure that your home is as heat-retentive as it could be.

Double glazing is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get started.

1. Retain up to 18% more heat.

Did you know that approximately 18% of heat can be lost through single glazed windows? It may sounds like a tiny amount, but its a loss that can be felt through chilly rooms; needing more hours with the heating on and increased fuel costs as a result.

Double glazing can help eliminate this heat loss, leading to results that can be felt immediately.

2. Avoid damp from developing.

Damp occurs in when there is excessive condensation within the home; usually due to poor ventilation and internal air being ‘closer’ to the air outside when one has single glazed windows. It can create extensive ‘cold spots’ within the home and cause unsightly damage to paint and wall coverings.

Because double glazed windows contain an internal panel of glass that is a temperature closer to that of the room, the internal air does not reach its ‘dew point’ as quickly as it does with single glazed windows. This helps to prevent water droplets (condensation) from forming on the window and thus damp developing in the room.

3. Keep out unwanted noise.

A double glazed home can see a significant decrease in the volume of external noise from outside, purely because the two glass panes act as a soundproofing mechanism. The trapped air between the two panes – sometimes filled with Argon gas – absorbs noises from outside, giving you peace and quiet when you’re within the confines of your own home.

4. Reduced energy costs.

As mentioned before, double glazing is one of the biggest starting points for saving on heating. Or, if you’re not a big spender to start with, you’ll enjoy the added warmth that comes from that extra bit of insulation around your windows and doors Liverpool.

Double glazing might seem like a big investment, but the financial savings will soon start to pay off over over time.

5. Improve the worth of your home.

With double glazing now being recognised as a standard for most homes, it’s a worthy investment certainly if you’re planning on selling. Not only do they improve your home’s energy efficiency, comfort and warmth; they can also be an aesthetic enhancer. The added value to be found from introducing double glazing can sometimes be as much as the initial cost itself.

Secondary Double Glazing

If double glazing is too costly an investment, or you live in a listed building without planning permissions, then another option is secondary double glazing.

This is where a single panel of glass is simply applied over the top of your existing single glazed window, trapping air between the two panes and bringing extra insulation. Though the effects may not be as significantly felt, it nevertheless remains an effective way to preserve heat at a much lower cost.