How to choose and look after your double glazing?

If you’ve just had new double-glazed windows installed, you will undoubtedly want to keep them looking fabulous for as long as possible. When the windows are exposed to rain, pollution and wind, they can easily become dirty. Living near the coast means that you have to clean your windows every quarter, but for inland areas it should be sufficient to clean them approximately twice per year.

Use a soft cloth and a mixture of soap or washing up liquid and water. If you want to use specialist glass cleaner, make sure you do not use it on the window frame. Never use kitchen or bathroom cleaners because they are too abrasive. If it has been a long time since the last clean, you might want to tackle stubborn stains with a special cleaner for uPVC. Aluminium frames can be washed with a micro fibre cloth and a little water with only washing liquid.

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Never use cleaning products that are not designed for windows or any caustic substances or those containing ammonia. Steel wool and scouring pads always tend to damage uPVC. For Double Glazing Swindon, visit a site like Kingfisher Windows, a leading supplier of Double Glazing Swindon.

For squeaky or sticky hinges, use a light oil to lubricate the top catches, hinges and restrictors. Do not be tempted to use any type of heavy oil or grease and avoid putting oil on the mechanisms as they have self-lubricating hinges. The same thing applies to the window lock, which should only be lubricated using light machine oil.

Double glazed windows are available in a variety of materials, so how do you know which one is right for you? In the past, the frame was always made of wood, steel and aluminium was introduced in the first half of the 20th century. However, they still allowed heat to escape from the house.

In the 1980s, uPVC was introduced as an energy-saving option much more and it remains by far the most popular choice today. uPVC windows have come a long way in the last 40 years, offering the best in environmental, safety and energy performance.

Wood is the priciest choice and also offers decreased thermal conductivity compared to other materials. It is, however, good at insulating, retains heat well and is naturally absorbent, as well as looking classic. On the downside, wood is high maintenance even though research is being carried out to make it more durable. With wood, there is also the option for staining or painting.

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Aluminium is very strong so it is found in most commercial construction. Thin frames, let in tons of natural light and as a material, it is a good conductor of heat. Aluminium now reaches almost the same energy ratings as uPVC. It offers great weather protection and as well as UPVC, very low maintenance.

A good rule when deciding which material to choose is as follows:

Properties constructed before the 20th century benefit from retaining their timber windows. Sometimes uPVC does a great job of replicating this style but for the originality and style of the period, a wooden frame is still the best choice.

Houses built from the mid 20th century onwards are perfect for the installation of uPVC. For a contemporary, architectural design, aluminium frames look incredibly stylish. Aluminium frames are a great look when used alongside ample glass in order to truly maximise on natural light.