The term U-Value is commonly used in the UK construction industry, and is considered a crucial indicator of how thermally efficient a building is. But what is a good U-Value? And how can this affect your new home improvement choices? Equipping yourself with this knowledge will help you insulate your home with the most appropriate materials.
In short, U-Values measure how effective a material is as an insulator. – the lower the U-Value, the less heat escapes and the more insulation the material provides, which in the case of replacement windows and doors, is the combined U-Value of how well the window frame or door frame and the double or triple glazing work in combination with the frames, beading and gasketts.
U-Values allow for the comparison of different materials for your new living space, so the insulating properties of a polycarbonate roof could be compared to that of a solid roof for example.
It is the most accurate way of measuring the insulating properties of the application or material and the current England and Wales Building Regulations standards specifies U-Values which must be achieved when building or refurbishing a structure. Without knowing the U-Value of a wall, floor or roof, you won’t know how energy efficient the whole building will be.
But what difference will this make to your particular property? As well as being more energy efficient, choosing materials with a lower U-Value will ensure your home is more comfortable, with fewer hot spots and fewer cold spots.
You’ll also save money too! The more thermally efficient your home improvements, the less money you will spend on heating your home.
Any honest home improvement installer will be able to tell you the U-Value of each product they offer, and will be able to advise what combination of products are going to deliver you the lowest possible U-Value if you’re considering a new living space, orangery or conservatory.
You can find further information about product U-Values or get in contact with a member of Hazlemere’s friendly team of experienced experts who will be happy to offer you free advice. For example, as standard their double glazed sealed units have a centre-pane U-Value of 1.2 W/m2K, which is a really decent starting point, and their double glazed UPVC casement windows have a combined U-Value of 1.3 W/m2K and their triple glazed UPVC casement windows have an excelllent combined U-Value of 0.99 W/m2K.
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