Monday, 17 December 2018

Upgrading Windows to version 3 (Continuing to insulate our home with triple glazing)

Our windows were fitted by Van Dijk Services
Assen. They did a good job so deserve a link.
We knew we'd have to do something about the insulation of our home in Assen before we even moved in and every year we've made some change to improve the energy efficiency of our home. One of the oddities of 1970s Dutch homes is that while they had double glazing on the main rooms on the ground floor, it was quite common to have single glazing in places like the hall and all of the bedrooms upstairs. We fixed that problem eight years ago by installing HR++ double glazing to replace all the single glass and this was very effective. But we kept the same older windows downstairs.

It took a while for us to get around to considering the downstairs windows because we were busy with insulating the floor, the roof, the walls, installing solar panels on the roof, our bicycle parts business, and generally getting on with life, but we've now begun. In fact, we did one of the smaller panes last year because the old double glazing had developed a leak and we took this as an opportunity to experiment with triple glazing. We made measurements and found that it was effective. When the outside temperature was -2 C and the inside temperature 17.5 C the temperature of the inside of a double glazed pane was measured as 9 C while the inside of the triple glazed window alongside it measured 14 C. Clearly we could stay warmer with less heating if we replaced more of the old double glazing downstairs in our home with triple glazing.

Thus far we've replaced the glass only on the front of our home. We're still not entirely sure what we'll do on the back of house, but there is less than half the area of double glazing in the living room on the back compared with the front.

One of the old panes being removed

The replacement coming into place. It took some lifting because it weighed 127 kg.

Fixing into place

Just fitted, not made neat and tidy yet.

A tidy job completed. We now have to wait a couple of days before we can clean the glass because the sealant has to dry first.
Travel less, nor more, insulate your home
and don't eat meat
We hope this will reduce our gas consumption and our heating bill. We already have a very low energy bill because we generate more electricity than we use. The gas bill, which covers cooking and water heating as well as heating, is also low and has reduced each year. Dutch bills are increasing quite sharply this year due to increased tax on gas, but our estimate for next year is the same as this year, and the energy company doesn't know that we've taken measures which hopefully will reduce our usage further.

It's becoming more and more obvious to us that we can't continue to increase our energy usage but must decrease it. We must decrease our burning of fossil fuels. There is little time left to do this. The IPCC report from the 8th of October told us that emissions need to be reduced to zero in 12 years time. Who is doing enough to make that happen ?

Because of our concerns we are not only continuing to make our home more efficient but have also got rid of our car and stopped our business of offering holidays and study tours. Encouraging people to make international journeys to cycle is just not of this time. We must all stop behaving as if we can do whatever we like without consequences. Our children and our grandchildren, not to mention millions of people in poorer countries, are being made to pay for our own selfishness.

Yesterday afternoon. Four identical houses, ours is on the left. We're winning the race to keep ice on the roof from melting. Luckily it was somewhat warmer today.