Are your windows ready for winter? Five tips for maintaining your sealed units from the local glass and glazing experts!
Avoiding condensation in your windows and around the unit seems like a struggle in winter months - there becomes a battle of cold air vs warm air, and their reaction to cold surfaces. There are ways to ensure your windows can survive the winter, and maintain their quality over time, or you'll find that they become misted sooner than expected!
Why is double glazing at risk over winter?
Throughout the colder months, it's very easy to abuse your double glazing, and many of us don't even realise how we do it, or that it's happening. We're no stranger to turning up the heating, and even having longer, hotter showers to combat the cold.
While we're all trying to fight the frost on our car windows, moisture within the home and condensation levels tend to become raised in winter, and our double glazing ends up fighting a battle of its own! Especially when the natural reaction is to try and trap the warm air in the house - we forget about all the mist and moisture that we're trapping in too!
In summer there's not a crazy difference in the number of hot showers we take or the amount of hot air or steam from cooking in the kitchen; however, the risk is far less, and we don't notice condensation as much of a problem in warmer months - this is because we might open the window a little to allow the warm air to escape, and there are less cold surfaces that allow the humidity to gather.
In the winter, however, the cool air carries less vapour than humid air, allowing it to linger and eventually gather, making the chance of condensation much higher within the home, introducing the risk of a failed, misted window unit - as well as the damp and mould that gathers on your walls. Mould caused by dampness on surfaces can be harmful to your health, and ignoring excess condensation around the home is not worth the risk.
How to maintain your double glazing over the wintertime!
You'll find the actions required to maintain your windows, and keep them efficient in winter doesn't take much time, knowledge, money or effort, and can be spread out over the whole year - not just when you're doing spring cleaning.
Despite being such a simple set of requirements, many people don't consider the damage caused by not maintaining their double glazing, and eventually, they miss out on the many possible benefits gained by having invested in the first place!
1. Ask yourself: Is it time to get new ones?
Do you know how old your windows are? This is a good question to ask because otherwise you may end up replacing one unit in the Spring, only to get another misted window in the Autumn of the same year! This isn’t economical, and you could be reducing your energy efficiency without even having knowledge of it.
2. Use a registered installer
It’s recommended that you do your research and choose a registered installer, like our team here at Window SOS. Firstly you can see in the footer of our website that we’re registered with FENSA, who ensure that all their registered installers are complying to building regulations, and are keeping up to date with any changes. A certificate is also provided so you can keep aware of the age of the unit, and who installed it for you and future owners of the property. You’ll be glad to know that were also rated 9.9 on Checkatrade, an excellent source of customer reviews to help you separate the wheat from the chaff.
3. Consider A rated energy glass
Getting your windows upgraded to A rated energy saving glass helps by reducing the amount of heat loss by up to 75% when compared to standard units. This has a knock-on effect to the actual temperature of the glass surface, avoiding dramatic thermal bridging, and helps to maintain a more balanced, more manageable ratio of heat between the various sheets of glass. This process reduced the chance of condensation getting trapped within your double glazing.
4. Install some ventilation
Simply by installing ventilation in your home helps to regulate the movement of warm air in each specific area of a room. A trickle vent is ideal, as this can sit nicely on the wall above the window unit (where the humidity and condensation is often drawn to), providing a discrete, but effective solution that helps maintain warm airflow and reduces the amount of vapour landing of your windows and damaging the airtight seal.
5. Keep them clean
This sounds like an obvious one, however if your windows are hard to reach or even notice on a regular basis (maybe due to their location within the home or how mobile the homeowner is around the property), you could easily be missing areas where dust, mould, or dampness has built up. You should regularly check their condition and clean with care where it’s necessary - and that means looking after the exterior seal too. Overtime double glazing units are victim to the elements indoors and out if they’re not maintained to a healthy state, and ensuring they are clean will help the seal to keep its strength and stay airtight for much longer.
What about condensation gathering inside the actual window unit?
This is the main reason we get called to replace windows, and is not just limited to the winter time! Annoyingly, when the condensation is actually gathering inside the window there's no quick fix, you’ll need to get a professional in to get your misted window free from condensation.
The reason this happens is very simple, and is most of the time down to installer error, double glazing becomes misted.
“Misted Double Glazed Failed Units are double or triple glazed sealed window units that have excess moisture trapped in the cavity between the panes of glass. This is caused where there is a breach in the hermetic seal (airtight seal) around the edge of the sealed unit allowing moist air to enter the cavity of the unit over a period of days, weeks or months.”
Learn more about the cause of misted windows here.
On top of that, it's often windows that are more south-east and south-west facing that become misted on the inside due to the fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, therefore the largest range of daily temperature being focused on the same window units, day-in, day-out. This actually contributes to around 90% of window replacements that are required.
During the winter months this risk of mist gathering inside the double glazing unit is amplified due to the sun being lower this time of year, the length of time that the warm rays are there sitting on your cold window is much longer during the frosty mornings.
Why go with UPVC double glazed windows?
Take it from us, the double glazing experts, that UVPC is the best type of window unit in terms of maintaining your home, and your energy efficiency throughout the winter months. We’ve been in the business for over 30 years and are committed to providing an affordable service that stands the test of time. Despite being 3x cheaper than say, wooden window frames UPVC is also:
- Durable: UPVC does not rot the same as wood, maintaining its strength for decades longer, no exaggeration.
- Energy efficient technology: retaining heat while avoiding thermal bridging better than other frames, and improving the overall efficiency of your home.
- Recyclable: Helping you to do your part for the environment, before and after its product life cycle.
- Easy to maintain: simply use some warm water and washing up liquid to keep the white surface clean, convenient and less damaging to the unit than if it was wooden.
Have we convinced you to double-check your double glazing?
We hope so! We’re writing this blog post in the lead up to Winter, so if you’ve come across this just by chance, count yourself lucky! Across the UK many homeowners will be turning a blind eye to their windows and remain complacent, only to be surprised in the summertime when they find themselves gazing down to the garden through a misted window - don’t be one of these people!
Remember, efficient windows will keep your home energy bills down, and help to regulate the room temperature all year round, even in the hot summer months they are useful in keeping the heat out - learn more on our FAQ page.
Take our advice this winter, and ensure you choose a highly recommended, experienced company to install your windows, and only go with a company like Window SOS, a FENSA registered installer of quality products that come with a 10 year manufacturer's guarantee.
Why Choose Window S.O.S
We specialise in all types of window repairs, from double glazed units with condensation or misted on the inside, to faulty locks handles or hinges. We pride ourselves on our excellent service and customer feedback score.
Over 30 Years of Glazing Industry Experience
Window S.O.S are fully experienced in all aspects of glass & glazing repairs and maintenance.
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Compared to standard glass units, our energy-efficient, Insulating, double glazed units can reduce heat loss by up to 75%.
10 Year Guarantee
Our double glazed units are covered by a 10 year manufacturers guarantee for peace of mind.
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