Harry works for a FENSA Approved installation company. He's on a mission to help professionalise installers and protect homeowners across the UK, so he started this advice column.
In the summer it was so nice, ahhh the summer, you know that period of the year where we can wear shorts. Oh it seems so long ago&But we did have a great summer, the sun shone, the air temperature was reaching some record highs in certain places, and we all got a little burnt. Oh didn't we? Well some of us may have done. But it all seems so long ago now doesnt it?
I remember some friends inviting us over, and when we arrived I noticed just how nice it was to have their rather classic looking old French doors wide open at the back of the house, how refreshing it was to let the air in (an older saying, but its great) and then to be able to walk out into the garden from their lounge. Ahh the summer. I know not all of us are that lucky to have French doors opening into a lovely garden, but you get the picture I am trying to paint here. Well back in those summer days, it really wasnt a concern to my friends that those ageing French doors were getting rather old, that they were single glazed doors, and that, to top it off, were starting to let a draft in once closed. To be honest, in the summer I think the draft was a welcome feature of the old doors. But like many of us, they just wanted to enjoy the summer and put off replacing the old doors and windows with new double glazed ones.
However, the summer has come and well and truly gone, and all of a sudden we find ourselves in a real cold snap. Usually this means a bit of frost and most of us moaning about the cold and how it may have an impact on the garden. How many times do you hear its all a bit sudden, the plants will be in shock and will probably die off. But, this time I mean a real cold snap, after all, my phone informed me this morning that outside my lovely bedroom, it was actually -10c. Thats cold for just outside London! Anyway, I digress; the point is that those lovely old French doors my friends have, are now a real pain in the bottom shall we say. My friends really do have something to moan about now. It seems any sort of heat they generate in their lounge is lost through the windows and doors, that their old French doors now allow what feels like an arctic gale to blow through the room, and that they now find themselves not using the lounge at all (though they have the largest heating bill you can imagine).
To be honest, I dont feel sorry for them though. I did tell them to get those doors and windows replaced. Well ok, I do a little. But, I didnt want to say &I told you so&.
What they should have done is replaced those French doors in the summer when it was quite easy to do so. Ideally they should have had all the single pane doors and windows replaced with double glazing. FENSA fitters make all this easy for you; the FENSA certificate means you dont have to go through local building control either. If they had only contacted a fitter sooner, then they wouldnt be so cold right now, and wouldnt be paying the earth to try and heat certain rooms.
So what have we learnt from todays tale? Well a number of things:
To finish off this post, all I can say is, dont make the same mistakes as my friends have. If you have a cold draft in your room (even if you find it in the summer), or think your windows let out too much heat, then do something about it quickly. Find a FENSA registered fitter and get them to come and have a look at your windows and doors. Potentially, windows and doors can be the biggest heat losers in your home, and in cold snaps like the one, thats uncomfortable to say the least, and makes it rather expensive to keep your home warm.
Check that you use a FENSA Approved Installer but also check the following: