This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Windows and Doors in Historic Buildings

This page provides advice on improving the thermal performance of both windows and doors, which can be upgraded relatively easily without detracting from their appearance.

Draught-proofing windows and doors

Older buildings are prone to lose heat through gaps, which develop as various building elements move and distort over a long period. This can often be the case with windows and doors so that draughts develop.

Draught-proofing is one of the most cost-effective and least intrusive ways of improving the comfort of occupants and reducing energy use with little or no change to a building’s appearance.

Make sure you repair windows and doors before embarking on any draught–proofing measures.

Image showing fitting of windows
A channel being inserted into a window sash to house a brush seal © Core Sash Windows
Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings: Draught-proofing windows and doors

Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings: Draught-proofing windows and doors

Published 29 April 2016

This guidance note provides advice on the principles, risks, materials and methods for improving the thermal performance of existing windows and doors by draught-proofing.

Secondary glazing for windows

Secondary glazing is a fully independent window system, installed on the room side of existing windows. The original windows remain in position in their unaltered form.

Research has shown that heat loss can be reduced by over 60% by using secondary glazing with a low emissivity hard coating facing the outside.

Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings: Secondary glazing for windows

Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings: Secondary glazing for windows

Published 29 April 2016

This guidance note provides advice on the principles, risks, materials and methods for upgrading the thermal performance of windows by the addition of secondary glazing.

Dormer windows

Older buildings often have dormer windows which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. If the main roof is being insulated then we would advise you to insulate any dormer window which is a part of that roof.

Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings: Insulating dormer windows

Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings: Insulating dormer windows

Published 29 April 2016

This guidance note provides advice on the principles, risks, materials and methods for insulating dormer windows. Dormers come in a large variety of shapes, sizes and materials and can be a particularly difficult element to insulate.

How to make sash windows energy efficient

The video below shows the practical steps that you can take to make your sash windows more energy efficient, from having them repaired to installing secondary glazing.

 

Was this page helpful?

Related publications

Next steps