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Why is it that so many home owners don’t include double glazing in their eco-friendly renovation plans? In his second blog, our MD Craig Johnson explains why you should never settle for second best when it comes to windows and doors.
So you’ve decided to finally go ahead with that dream renovation and the architect has signed off the plans. For years you’ve conjured up a modern green eco-home that is, at least you think, as energy efficient as possible. Finally, it’s about to become a reality. So why is it that so many environment conscious renovators neglect the area of the house that can sabotage all of your eco-friendly intentions?
The Great Escape
We live in a sunburnt land and understandably eco-friendly renovators want to make the most of that. That’s why I moved here from the UK, I craved that extra sunshine! Generally solar panels are top of the list when it comes to creating green sustainable homes. And, so they should be.
However, what is the point of creating all of that energy and letting 30% of it escape out your windows and doors? That’s exactly what happens when you choose single glazed, aluminium or timber windows and doors. On hot summers days or cold winter evenings, you shouldn’t need to run your air conditioner or heater all day long. These are devices, now powered by solar energy, that should remain active until your house achieves the ideal temperature. Then they should be powered off! The problem is that a lot of green renovations don’t account for the huge energy losses from single glazed windows and doors and so all that work installing solar panels, well at least 30% off that goes to waste.
When it comes to popular eco-friendly renovation options, insulation usually comes second only to solar power, and why wouldn’t it! Without insulation, energy escapes from every crevasse in your renovation. So insulate to your hearts content, but don’t forget those big gaping holes in your house, the ones where you install windows and doors! Windows take up from 5% to 10% of your home’s total surface area so ignore the percentages at your peril. If that 5 – 10% isn’t perfectly insulated then all of your investment into insulation goes to waste.
Double Glazing Means Double Return on Investment
Government guidelines on sustainability advise that home owners should install windows with a low U-value. Windows consist of glass and frames, and both components contribute to the overall performance of the window. In window jargon this is known as the U-value. U-values measure the amount of heat passing through a glazed unit in watts, the lower the U-value, the more energy efficient your window is. Windows with low U-values are more effective at keeping out unwanted heat and cold. Government guidelines also suggest that Low U-values can improve your comfort levels and reduce your energy costs.
The government also prescribe double glazing for energy conscious home owners and renovators, as they can reduce heat loss or heat gain by almost 30% in comparison to single-glazed aluminium windows.
But despite this, so many renovators ignore government guidelines on energy efficiency when it comes to those big holes in your house, the windows and doors that is. They go the extra mile on solar and insulation initiatives but lose out on well-deserved savings and government rebates on utility bills because they don’t safeguard the extra energy they create. Don’t be that renovator, it’s all about the percentages.
Craig Johnson is a double glazing expert and MD of Ecostar. He was a blogging virgin until a blackout in his Melbourne home inspired him to spread the word about the energy saving benefits of double glazing, via this humble blog.