04Apr 2016

Are Sash Windows Compatible with an Energy Efficient Home?

We love older properties for a reason: they offer a level of craftsmanship and quality that just isn’t found in new builds. However, they also come with a reputation for lacking the eco-credentials of a new build. If you’re one of those lucky people who have recently purchased a traditional property with timber sash windows, then you probably know through your research that there can be a trick or two to master when it comes to maintaining and making the most of them.

Unlike more modern properties, windows are a proud centerpiece of more traditional builds, and with good reason. The amount of craftsmanship that goes into making the perfect sash window can vary, but when it’s done right it really shows. So, how do you look after your sash windows? And how can you make them work for modern, energy efficient way of living?

Timber sash windows
have a pretty negative reputation when it comes to energy efficiency. They look fantastic and function brilliantly, but they’re often associated with howling draughts and winter mould. The truth is, a few simple repairs and some light maintenance can restore even the oldest timber sash window into an energy efficient one, reducing heat loss and sealing out cold draughts. Just by fixing cracks in the wood and eliminating gaps in the window can immediately reduce heat loss by a third, and draft proofing can all but eliminate any threat of a cold draught.

It’s something that people who are purchasing older properties should consider before they simply throw out their characteristic sash windows in exchange for something double glazed, plastic and modern. There are solutions out there that will let you have the best of both worlds; it’s just about talking to the right people and finding the right service.

There are other ways of insulating a traditional property that can act as a ‘back up’ for your sash windows too. Not many people realise, but just installing thick curtains can make the world of difference when it comes to keeping heat inside your home on an evening. Research carried out by Heritage in 2014 claimed that just having thick curtains can reduce heat loss by up to 42% – so before you throw your sash windows on the scrap heap for being inefficient, remember that there are more things you can do to combat those chilly winter nights!