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Frequently Asked Questions
What does ’U’ value mean ?
Also known as the K-value, the U-value is a measure of a window's ability to transfer heat (usually given in W/m2K). Windows with a low U-value, like Low Emissivity windows, are efficient insulators against heat loss & have a better level of performance. Scotland got its own new Building Standards on the 1st March 2003 with the full implementation of Part J. The current U-value is 1.6, for windows made of plastic or wood.
What is Low ‘E’ Glass ?
Technically known as a low Emissivity, or Low E glass. This glass varies from normal clear glass in that one side it has a microscopically-thin coating of metal oxide. Low-E glass is a type of insulating glass, which increases the energy efficiency of windows by reducing the transfer of heat or cold through glass. The coating reflects radiant infrared energy, thus tending to keep radiant heat on the same side of the glass from which it originated. This often results in more efficient windows because: radiant heat originating from indoors is reflected back inside, thus keeping heat inside in the winter, and infrared radiation from the sun is reflected away, keeping it cooler inside in the summer.
What is self-cleaning glass ?
Self-Cleaning Glass is effectively a conventional glass with a special microscopic coating added during manufacture. It uses the forces of nature to maintain its clear appearance without leaving unsightly streaks. In a dual-action process organic dirt is broken down by daylight and is then washed away by rain, thus making it environmentally friendly and very easy to maintain. The self cleaning process works in 2 stages. Firstly the coating reacts with daylight to break down organic dirt, The second stage is instead of forming droplets, rainwater hits the glass and spreads evenly, running off in a "sheet" and taking the loosened dirt with it, also drying quickly without leaving streaks. The coating on self-cleaning glass will eventually break down even the heaviest deposits of organic dirt & should last as long as the glass itself. Tests have shown that the special coating on the self-cleaning glass will not flake off or discolour.
What is condensation ?
There are three different types of condensation a homeowner may experience, they are:
1) Internal Condensation :- This is when moisture appears on the face of the glass inside the home. Condensation is water vapour suspended in the air, the most common sources of water vapour around the home are cooking, drying clothes on radiators, running showers or baths, and also from the breath we exhale. The water vapour will naturally settle on the coolest surfaces. A common assumption by homeowners is that by fitting new double glazing, the condensation problem they are experiencing will be eradicated. This is not always the case. Similarly, on very rare occasions, condensation can appear on new double glazed windows despite not having experienced it on the old windows that were replaced. Windows cannot and will not produce any water, this "water" is produced by our normal living activities, therefore it is the homeowner who has created the problem. Condensation can be controlled by providing natural ventilation to change air on a regular basis and by maintaining an even temperature. In cases where condensation is severe it may be an idea to install a dehumidifier.
2) External Condensation :- A small number of homeowners may experience “external condensation” on the outside of their new double glazed windows and doors. This is often after the homeowner has installed low emissivity glass (Low E Glass), which reflects heat back into the room. This can be quite confusing for the small number of home owners who experience external condensation as in the main, people are expecting reduced or no condensation once they have fitted double glazing. In short the “problem” is caused by the fact that the Low E Glass is doing its job so well and reflecting heat back into the room, thus reducing the cost of heating your home.The following is an explanation by Pilkington of the phenomenon of External Condensation.
Condensation on external glass surfaces : External condensation (dew) can occasionally occur on highly insulating glass units in temperate climates. Such occurrences will only happen on cloud-free nights when there is little or no wind and usually when a warm front follows a dry spell. The combination of several factors, namely external air temperature, localised microclimate and the thermal transmittance of the glazing itself may all contribute to the formation of external condensation. As a consequence of variable temperatures and localised conditions, it is possible to experience a situation whereby both clear and ‘misted’ windows exist at the same time in the same development. This phenomenon is influenced by the thermal insulation of the glazing. Single glazing offers poor thermal insulation therefore heat escaping from inside a room readily passes through the glass to the outside environment. Consequently, the external surface temperature of single glazing is generally higher than the‘ dew-point’ temperature of the outside air, thus prohibiting the formation of condensation on that surface. With conventional double glazing the thermal insulation is improved, but sufficient heat still escapes through the glass so as to warm the external surface of the outermost glass, thereby precluding the formation of condensation in most circumstances. In common with other low emissivity glasses, Pilkington K Glass reflects heat back into the room and as such the quantity of heat passing through the glazing is reduced. Consequently the external pane of low emissivity double glazing is not warmed by escaping heat (which instead is retained within the room) and therefore presents a colder surface to the outside environment. In such cases, and in situations where the external glass surface temperature is lower than the ‘dew-point’ of the air, (and when weather conditions are comparable to those mentioned previously) condensation can form on the external glass surface. However, the combination of these contributing factors is largely unpredictable and therefore it is not possible to quantify the number of occasions when external condensation will occur.
3) Condensation inside the sealed glass unit :- This can also be referred to as the “glass unit breaking down” This is when condensation appears within the double glazed unit itself. It is different from internal and external condensation as it cannot be wiped away and is an actual fault with the unit. The condensation may appear and disappear, over time, it will appear more frequent until it is there permanently. When this happens, the only way to get rid of the problem is for the complete double glazed unit to be replaced.
Do you offer an insurance backed guarantee?
No. Generally we find that the companies who provide the insurance, cover very little in a situation where a claim is required. As we do not take any deposits, you do not part with any money until the product is installed in your home. We would also like to think, having been in business since 1986, we have and will continue to fulfill our own guarantee several times over.
Sales Terms and Warranties
1) The full price of the goods (including the V.A.T) as shown on the contract shall be paid in full upon satisfactory completion of the work.
2) All goods will remain the property of Fife Windows & Doors Ltd until paid in full.
3) Our company undertakes to repair any defect in workmanship within 10 years from the date of invoice.
4) Any manufacturers warranties in respect of the materials used in the installation will be assigned to the purchaser.
5) If the customer is in breach of contract, the company shall be entitled to recover any reasonable loss sustained, thereby, from the customer.
If you have a complaint against us for any work carried out or goods supplied, then put this in writing to us at our main address as soon as possible. We will aim to resolve the matter quickly. As a member of the Fife Council Trusted Trader scheme we are bound by their consumer dispute resolution process, if we are unable to reach agreement then Trading Standards will provide an informal conciliation service, you can contact them on 01592 583141 or at email@example.com. Should this process fail to conclude the matter, then a referral can be made to Ombudsman Services, www.ombudsman-services.org who provide an independent, expert dispute resolution service to the Fife Council Trusted Trader scheme. We will abide by their decision.
Registered Office : Unit 12, Eastfield Business Park, Newark Road South, Glenrothes, Fife, KY7 4NS
V.A.T Reg No : 400 8960 68
Reg No :255595 SCO