New windows – Why an upgrade is always worthwhile

Windows are an important part of every house. But we often underestimate just how important choosing the right window can be, and how much energy it can save. They don’t just bring light and heat into the home, they also play a major role in energy consumption, soundproofing as well as security. While old plastic windows normally have a long service life, they often fall well short of modern models in the area of insulation. This means that the building loses a great deal of energy, which is also reflected in higher heating costs. For example, old PVC windows that were installed before 1995 have much poorer thermal insulation (www.gealan.de/en/private/windows-heat-insulation) than comparable products today. This means that purchasing new windows can quickly pay off, as you save on energy costs.

Choosing a window for a new building or refurbishment

Regardless of whether you are building a new house or looking at renovating an existing building, the choice of window makes a huge difference. When building a house, you should find out about the different types of windows beforehand and preferably consult a specialist. Different versions and models need to be considered for an optimal window installation depending on the size, location and layout of the building. Just like the front door, choosing the right window can have a big influence on factors such as energy consumption, soundproofing and burglary protection. Old or poorly insulated models lose a relatively large amount of heat meaning that the heating costs with these kinds of windows are higher than with new and high-quality models. Besides this, soundproofing (www.gealan.de/en/products/Hafen-City-Fenster) also plays an important role: a high level of noise pollution can quickly lead to stress and other health problems. This often also results in sleep disorders. The right window with appropriate sound insulation can be particularly beneficial to your general wellbeing and health in buildings near busy roads or in inner cities. In addition, old windows are generally much less secure, as they are easier to open by potential burglars. This security aspect should therefore also be considered in the planning when choosing the window. When renovating a house, it is often makes sense to replace old windows. Besides the financial aspect, health and safety also play an important role.

What does the EnEV (Energy Saving Ordinance) say?

The Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV 2014) defines maximum values for the entire window of 1.3 watts per square metre and kelvin when you are modernising your home. This value can be achieved with modern double glazing. Triple glazing allows U values of 0.9 to 0.5 W/(m2K) to be achieved. The KfW development bank defines a U value of 1.1 W/(M2K) as a minimum requirement for funding for windows.

Special versions: Colour windows and windows with integrated ventilation

Besides conventional models, windows whose specific design or functions distinguish them from normal plastic versions are also available. Colour windows (www.gealan.de/en/private/window-colors), i.e. windows with a frame in a customised colour give the house an entirely new look. It lets you add your own personal touch and adapt the colour of the windows to the front door or façade for example. Different variations are possible in this respect. And a colour window will also completely change the appearance of the interior design. Another practical version is a window with integrated ventilation. The special technology in these windows allows an individually adapted exchange between the room air and the exterior air without requiring manual ventilation. This air exchange takes place with small, self-regulating gaps in the frame. Optimised ventilation improves the room climate and is beneficial for your health. The right ventilation is also a critical factor in the fight against mould in the building.
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When do I need to replace my old windows?

It is usually always worthwhile replacing windows that are more than 20 years old. The age of the window is engraved on most models: it can be found in the area between the double glazing. If you are unsure whether a replacement is worthwhile, consult a specialist. The summer months or the warmer spring or autumn months are the perfect time for replacing windows.

Renovate rather than replace windows?

There is also the option of renovating an old window to improve the thermal insulation and soundproofing. But this does not make sense for all models and depends on the type and age of the window as well as the building. You can find more on the topic of renovating windows here (www.gealan.de/en/private/window-renevation).
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