Enhance Your Home with Energy Efficient Windows and Doors
Lower Your Utility Bills with Energy Efficient Doors, Frames and More
Reducing energy consumption to save on utility bills is one of the main reasons to install energy-efficient windows and doors, or care for and maintain your existing ones. These help to keep your house well insulated so it remains at a comfortable temperature all year round. Over time, you will use less energy for heating and cooling which not only saves you money, but is also better for the environment.
In this article, we’ll show you some different door and window options, and how they can affect the energy efficiency of your home.
Types of windows and doors
There are many types of windows and doors designed for different uses and building structures. Here we show you some of the most common styles of windows and doors used in houses, along with their main features:
- Awning windows: Open outward from the bottom.
- Casement windows: Open outward from the left or right.
- Double-hung windows: Have two sashes and slide up and down.
- Bifold windows: Fold back on themselves and slide open.
- Sashless windows: Double-hung windows without the bulk of sash frames.
- Louvre windows: Horizontal slats that open and close like shutters.
- Fixed windows: Stationary windows that do not open or close.
The three most common styles of doors for a house are:
- Sliding doors: Open horizontally by sliding along a track.
- Bifold doors: Series of panels that fold back on themselves and slide open.
- Hinged doors: The most widely used, these doors swing open either inward or outward.
Three factors that affect the energy efficiency of windows and doors
Are wood doors energy efficient? Do aluminium window frames offer better insulation than timber frames? Or are steel doors energy efficient? These are some of the most common questions about the best products for saving energy and how they can help lower your heating and cooling bills. There are three factors to consider:
- Glazing: The glass panes in windows and doors, such as sliding doors, can be single- or double-glazed.
- Insulation and energy ratings: Insulation prevents heat from flowing into or out of your home. Energy ratings can help you make informed choices about different products and their energy efficiency.
- Frame material: This is what the window and door frames are made of—usually timber, aluminium or uPVC – which determines its ability to insulate.
Let’s look into each of these factors to better understand how they relate to energy efficiency.
Glazing allows light in and offers an outside view. Good-quality glazing reduces the amount of energy filtering in or out without affecting the amount of light that comes in. Poor-quality glazing allows too much heat to enter in summer and lets out too much heat in winter, which means increased use of cooling and heating to maintain the right temperature.
Windows can account for about 40% of heat loss and more than 80% of heat gain, which makes glazing important to your home’s overall energy efficiency. Ensuring that windows, skylights and doors are properly glazed will keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer, which helps lower the cost of maintaining a comfortable temperature inside your home throughout the year.
Single glazed windows and doors have a single pane of glass. Single glazing with a clear pane of glass isn’t energy efficient and performs poorly in terms of heat loss and gain.
A single-glazed pane can be made from low emissivity glass—also known as low-e glass—which has a coating to improve energy efficiency. However, even if single-glazed low-e glass is used, double glazing is still much more effective.
How are double-glazed windows energy efficient? Double glazed windows and doors have two layers of glass with a sealed cavity—or space—between them. This helps reduce the amount of energy entering or leaving your home.
Double glazed units are also known as insulated glass units (IGUs). How effective an IGU is at lessening heat flow in or out of the house is determined by:
- Type of glass: Whether it’s clear, toned, reflective, low-e glass or a combination of two or more.
- Sealed spaces: Whether there is air or gas sealed between each pane of glass, how wide the spaces are between them, and how well they are sealed to prevent moisture from getting in.
Although insulated glazing works well in all types of climates, in colder climates such as Victoria, double glazing is certainly worth the investment.
Low emissivity glass
Glass that is coated with a film to help lessen the amount of heat flowing through it is known as low-e glass. It is available in two types:
- High transmission low-e glass: Sunlight enters your home and warms it up while retaining infrared light for comfort during colder weather.
- Low transmission low-e glass: Sunlight enters your home while keeping out as much infrared light as possible and is suitable for warmer weather.
Low-e glass can be combined with clear, toned or reflective glass for use in your home.
Insulation can reduce the effect that climate has on the temperature of your home. Ideally, we want to prevent heat from escaping in winter and entering the house in summer. When your house is well insulated, you don’t need to use heaters, fans and air conditioning as often—meaning you use less energy and you can start saving on your utility bills over time. Different types of windows and doors offer various levels of insulation.
Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS)
A reliable way to check how efficient your windows are is through the Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS). This system rates the annual energy impact of windows, skylights and glazed doors in Australia.
WERS has a long list of windows from most manufacturers. A simple star rating is used—the more stars a product has, the better its energy efficiency level. Homeowners can easily compare different products to see which ones offer the best energy savings.
Timber is an organic material and is therefore a natural insulator. At Aspect Windows, we manufacture using timber frames. They are available in Paint Grade, Stain Grade and Primed Victorian Ash/Hardwood. Get the most use from all our timber products by following our simple guide to timber window and door care and maintenance.
Frames made from quality aluminium sections are lightweight, yet strong and durable. However, aluminium also conducts heat and can be a poor insulator. The only workaround is to have your aluminium frames manufactured using a thermal break to improve their performance, but this can be very costly.
Unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC)
uPVC, sometimes referred to as rigid PVC, is a form of plastic and it can be a good insulator when used as a door or window frame, however, this material isn’t commonly used in Australian homes. It is long-lasting, doesn’t need much maintenance and is ideal for airtight seals. The downside is that uPVC is restrictive to work with, particularly when it comes to ornate design requirements. When used for sashes and doors, uPVC can be quite a bulky product and achieving the same look as timber is often unachievable.
Aspect Windows offers you smart choices for your home
Timber is a trusted, energy-efficient material to use for your home’s doors and window frames. Using timber can help reduce your energy consumption as it’s a great natural insulator, which helps lower your utility bills over time. Aspect Windows produces high-quality, hand-made timber window frames and doors for Australian weather conditions in Australian homes. Whether you’re building your dream home or upgrading your current one, contact us today on 03 9768 3944 for a quote.