Double glazing definitely improves a home’s insulation and saves money on heating, but whether the saving is enough to make it worth it has been the subject of a lot of argument. Those arguments leave out a host of other factors.
Every Home is Different
Estimates of fuel savings always talk about “the typical house”, but houses are never typical – some are cold and drafty because they’re closer to a river or catch less sun, or because of their internal layout. The real benefit is therefore something every home owner must decide for themselves – if you live in a warm terrace on the south coast you may care less than if you’re in a detached house facing winter gales.
Types of Window
The financial value of double glazing is also affected if you need to incorporate special features into it. For example, some home owners want to combine the benefits of double glazing into existing sash window designs or preserve leading or coloured glass designs. Such hybrid solutions often cost more for benefits that may be less – financially at least.
Sadly the reason many homes in Dublin are having doors and windows replaced has nothing to do with heat insulation. Ireland’s crime levels are significantly higher than most parts of Europe, and in Dublin they are 50% above our national average – in fact, we are in a burglary epidemic.
Double glazing with heavier glass, sealed frames and modern locks is a significant impediment to burglars. Having modern doors and windows may reduce your home insurance premiums.
Another factor often forgotten is that the cost of double glazing is usually recouped with interest in the increased property value. 80% of prospective house buyers ask about double glazing. You can make other home improvements at the same time, such as installing French doors to enclose a porch or replace a dark rear window (for French doors in Dublin try http://www.keanewindows.ie/french-doors.html).
Remember, if you are paying for your double glazing with a loan then the real cost is higher. On the other hand, if you qualify for tax relief under the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme it’s cheaper. HRI was originally scheduled to stop at the end of 2016 but has just been extended, so make hay while the sun shines!