Government Offers Free Double Glazing
The scheme has now stopped and this article is for information only.
The government are offering free double glazing to homes near motorways or major A roads in an effort to reduce noise levels.
The £39million fund is being used by Highways England to enable over 3,000 homes to install double glazed windows, patio doors and bifold doors by 2020. Alongside the free double glazing they are also offering ventilation units which would enable homeowners to ventilate rooms without needing to open their windows, further reducing the impact of the vehicle noise from the roads.
Highways England have selected homes in their ‘Noise Important Areas’ which is the 1% of the population who experience the highest levels of noise from roads and traffic. Where appropriate they will also be resurfacing roads and introducing barriers to further reduce noise levels for residents, improving their quality of life and health.
What’s on offer?
For eligible homes the government will replace the windows and doors in the following rooms with double glazing:
- Living/reception rooms
- Dining rooms/areas
The replacements will be carried out on a like for like basis i.e. if you have uPVC framed windows this is what will be fitted but if you have timber framed stained glass windows, this is what will be fitted. The windows will be installed with energy efficient, acoustic ventilation units which will enable homeowners to ventilate their home without opening windows.
Once the work has been carried out the windows are guaranteed for 25 years while the wall vents and extraction units come with a 15 year guarantee. Seals are guaranteed for a least 10 years and fans for at least 5 years. Any faults developed within the guarantee period should be reported to the supplier for repair.
Are you eligible for free double glazing?
Homes which are eligible are sent a letter offering them the opportunity to take advantage of the scheme. The government do not send homeowners the funding directly; an assessment is carried out to decide what work is needed and this is then completed by contractors already approved / paid for by the government.
If you have not received a letter but think you may be eligible you can contact Highways England at NoiseInsulation@highwaysengland.co.uk. Only homeowners who are not restricted by terms of their mortgage (such as some shared ownership schemes) can make an application for the scheme i.e. not tenants. Work on listed buildings may need to be authorised by the local authority. Applications can be made until 31st March 2019.
Benefits of Double Glazing
If your home is not in an eligible area for free double glazing from the government, you may still want to consider it as an investment because it can make a huge difference to both your quality of life and your energy costs. Here are some of the key benefits of installing double glazing:
A single pane of glass is perfect for conducting sound waves and is almost no barrier to noise pollution such as traffic entering your home. By adding a second pane of glass with a gap between the two panes you can reduce the level of noise you hear. Using thicker glass and laminated layers such as PVB or introducing a gas such as argon between the layers will also reduce noise levels.
Double glazing will prevent heat from escaping through your windows and stop cold draughts from creeping in from the outside. In the summer it will also reduce the amount of light coming in which will not only keep you cooler but will reduce the level of UV light which can fade furnishings over time.
Cheaper Energy Bills
By keeping more of your heat inside you should be able to use your heating less and lower your energy bills.
Double glazing is more difficult for intruders to break and can even act as a deterrent.
Higher Resale Value
Should you choose to sell your home in the future double glazing can be a real attraction for prospective buyers.
Double glazing can prevent excess moisture from building up on your windows which could lead to rot and mildew.
If you are not eligible for free double glazing, you can still save money on window replacements by comparing quotes from multiple fitters in your area or learn more in our guide to the best windows for noise reduction.