A couple who complained of draughts from their new double glazing were told about the benefits of wearing hats in cold weather. Kenneth and Joy Kemp asked the Glass and Glazing Federation for help after claiming they could feel a breeze through their windows. But a letter from the organisation, which represents window suppliers and fitters, made them even more angry. It blamed a phenomenon called cold transfer when heat from a warm body is said to radiate towards a chilly surface. And the letter went on to say wearing a hat was advisable in cold weather because more heat is lost from the head than anywhere else on the body. Kenneth, 65, said: “I could not believe what I was reading.
“We went to the Glass and Glazing Federation for help and did not expect them to tell us to wear a hat.
If you hold a candle to the windows the flame will go sideways.”
Joy, 63, said the couple asked the Federation for help after the installer, Safestyle UK, said there was nothing they could do.
She said: “It’s been a nightmare. The window we have most bother with is our living room.
You can feel the cold rolling over the window sill.
The comment from the Glass and Glazing Federation did not exactly help.”
The letter said the couple, of Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear, were experiencing cold transfer where a warm body was in close proximity to a glazed surface and the outside temperature was lower than the inside temperature.
It went on to say the term cold transfer was technically incorrect as cold does not transmit.
It said: “What is actually happening is that heat from a warm body radiates towards the cold surface giving an impression of cold.
This is why during cold weather it is advisable to wear a hat as the head is the area which loses heat from the body to a greater extent than other areas of the body.”GGF spokesman James Lee said their letter had been misinterpreted.
He said: “I have investigated this issue and it appears the letter has unfortunately been misinterpreted by Mr and Mrs Kemp.
Stephen Lipscombe, GGF Conciliation and Technical Officer, used the example of wearing a hat in cold weather to explain how the term “cold transfer” is not technically correct as cold does not actually transfer.
Stephen’s analogy was not advice on how to help Mr and Mrs Kemp deal with draughty windows but merely a simplified way of explaining why and how heat can be lost.
“We will be writing to Mr and Mrs Kemp, offering an apology if there has been a misunderstanding in this case.” A spokeswoman for Safestyle UK said they would send a senior inspector to take another look at the windows.
She said: “The customer contacted the company to advise of a cold draught. An inspection was arranged and it was determined by the service engineer in attendance that the installation was correctly foamed and trimmed.
The customer was advised of this and that the issue is one of natural air circulation and proximity to the glass. The customer elected to contact the Glass and Glazing Federation who wrote to the customer, correspondence to which Safestyle UK was not privy.
Safestyle UK would be willing to send a Senior Inspector to visit the customer to give a second opinion should the customer wish.”