Whether you believe in climate change or not, it’s clear that we must be mindful of the methods and materials that we use to build and improve our homes. Everything has a cost, not just in monetary terms, but in how it’s made, the energy used to make it, and its lasting effect on the property in which it’s installed.

Windows, luckily, are a great example of this. In this article we’re going to explore the two key areas in which bifold doors and windows affect the environment. Firstly, the manufacturing process, and secondly, the implications of installing them in your home. We’ll also talk about why sustainability is important when it comes to domestic house building and home improvements.

What does sustainability look like in the property sector?

This is a fairly broad topic, so we’re going to touch on the basics, otherwise we’ll be here all day. If you’ve bought or sold a house at any point in your life then you’ll be aware of EPC ratings. These are an energy rating applied to your home, and they’re typically based on the construction of your house, the age of the property and how it’s heated, cooled and insulated.

You’ll hear mixed opinions on the quality of UK housebuilding, but for the most part, our homes are insulated using traditional methods such as cavity insulation or double-glazed windows. Homes without these additions, or older homes where things like solid walls and single glazed windows may be present, won’t be as energy efficient as newer homes. In short, they’re losing heat, which means your heating has to work harder to keep your rooms at an ideal temperature, and therefore you’re using more energy to do so.

Sustainability is also a factor when it comes to the materials used to build or improve a home. For instance, concrete, which is used to form foundations, uses a great deal of water and energy. The same can be said for other materials such as timber or brick.

How can we make homes more efficient and therefore, more sustainable?

Again, there are many ways to improve the efficiency of a home, and probably too many to cover off here. So let’s stick to what’s relevant. Leaky windows are one of the largest contributing factors to heat loss. Damaged frames not only let heat out, but can let moisture in, which can lead to a whole host of problems such as leaks and dampness.

Single glazed windows are also one of the largest culprits in older properties. Their poor thermal properties mean that heat can easily be lost, and cold is more easily introduced to the home. Condensation can also build up a lot more freely on single glazed panes, which once again can introduce mould and ultimately harmful spores.

Can bifold doors and windows improve efficiency?

Yes, yes they can! First and foremost, every door and window that we offer meets current UK building regulations. This means they’ve been rated and approved for energy efficiency. Combined with our expert installers (which is now a requirement for regulatory approval), they’re guaranteed to perform better than older windows, particularly draughty, single-glazed windows or doors.

Now for the science bit. Many of our products come with ‘E coatings’ and thermal breaks. These both work together to reduce thermal bridging through the door or window. In simple terms, heat is not carried indoors during the warmer months, and heat is not lost to the outdoors in colder months.

Beading strips and seals elsewhere on the door or window ensure a tight seal in all directions, which will completely stop cold air creeping into your home, or warm air escaping.

All of these factors combined make a bifold door or window an excellent choice when it comes to improving the efficiency of your home. Say goodbye to draughts and moisture ingress. Say hello to properly sealed doors and windows that are thermally efficient and long-lasting.

So what about sustainability? How do I know I’m doing the right thing?

Once again, let’s break this down into simpler terms rather than just expecting you to take our word for it, as there are several factors that make bifold doors and windows a smart choice when it comes to sustainability.

The secret sauce? Aluminium

That’s right. Aside from the glass itself, aluminium is the primary component of a bifold door or window, and there are numerous benefits to using this over another material such as timber, steel or plastic.

  • Aluminium is low maintenance: It won’t rust, it doesn’t need polishing or buffing, and it won’t react with other materials.

  • It’s a great insulator. Aluminium has great thermal properties, keeping you cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter – by up to 10ºC!

  • It’s lightweight and durable: This means it’s easily castable into something like a window and a door, and requires less energy in manufacturing and transportation.

  • It’s 4x more effective than other materials. That’s right, aluminium absolutely wipes the floor with brick, masonry, timber or cladding.

  • Aluminium is recyclable. This is where aluminium really comes out on top – it’s 100% recyclable, and that’s using just 5% of the energy it took during its original manufacturing.

That said, our products come with a 20 year manufacturing warranty, so it’s unlikely that you’ll even need to think about recycling during your time of ownership.

Aluminium sounds too good to be true

Yes, we have to pinch ourselves sometimes too. Aluminium really is a marvel of modern engineering, and that’s why we’re so confident in offering bifold doors and windows as a truly sustainable product when it comes to building and improving homes.

Not only do our products improve the thermal performance of your property, but they also do so in a way that is less disruptive and more sustainable than many other products on the market.

That, and they look great too.

We love you, aluminium.