There’s never a bargain-basement cheap way of investing in the sort of home improvement that could save you from crippling fuel bills in the future - but that doesn’t mean you automatically have to spend a fortune.
The whole “green agenda” is on the government radar as never before, and far from being little more than some earnest environmental exercise it’s an accelerating syndrome which is already affecting us all.
Put bluntly, homes which don’t meet energy-saving criteria in years to come are going to be third rate, never mind second rate - because the whole swing of modern housing policy is towards “smart” solutions aimed at conserving energy as efficiently as possible.
Until now, the obvious route for energy saving has been quality double glazing, but we’re now starting to see next-generation windows becoming available to the mainstream householder - and they have some very powerful advantages.
Beyond double glazing, it seems triple glazing is becoming the benchmark domestic energy solution in Scandinavian countries, where it has been pioneered.
As well as that extra pane of glass it may be treated with a coat of material capable of soaking up natural sunrays, and between the panes there’s a layer of inert gas argon which also helps retain heat.
The new windows aren’t necessarily fitted with aluminium frames, as it’s considered these can also contribute to heat loss, and that there are far better alternatives available.
If it all sounds a bit “technical”, it’s nevertheless worth considering how the homes of tomorrow are going to cope with energy bills - because any improvement likely to keep costs down has to be taken seriously.
It’s also a plain fact that in a tricky housing market the homes which are energy-efficient - meeting government standards or better - are going to be far more saleable than those lumbered with the below-spec insulation of past decades.
Market-leading firms such as Everest and other comparable brand-name glazers are worth checking out online, because of course they’ve a major stake in how customers will seek to answer the demands of energy conservation in the years ahead.
It’s also worthwhile looking at the energysavingtrust.org.uk website, which spells out in straightforward terms the key advantages of choosing energy-efficient windows.
Whereas once we might have been mainly concerned mainly with details like price, style and versatility the main criteria now must be centred on energy, as a glass structure losing unacceptable amounts of heat will be a liability rather than an asset.
Eco-measures are increasingly built directly into the design of new properties, but of course not every home is newbuild, and older properties - which in some areas can still command impressive values - are worthy of investment too.
In either case the logic appears to be the same. Study the options carefully, do some rough sums on the amount of money you could save on fuel bills, and it could be that a possibly long-postponed glazing home improvement may suddenly seem a very sound investment.
For more information visit: www.everest.co.uk – visit home improvement specialists Everest to see their range of leading triple glazing products http://www.shell.com/global/future-energy/innovation/inspiring-stories/energy-savings.html – see how one of the world’s largest energy companies is helping you to save on your bills http://www.gov.uk/green-deal-energy-saving-measures – see if you are eligible to take advantage of the government’s green deal