Renovations or New Construction; The Ins And Outs of Windows
Gone are the days when your big, beautiful windows meant harsh glare and rising indoor temperatures. Whether it’s summer or winter, it is possible stay cool or warm inside while still enjoying gorgeous views and natural light. Your best defence weapon? Your windows.
The Challenge: Big Window Views Brings Sweltering Heat
Advanced techniques allow architects and designers to transform houses with small, thin windows into modern homes with large with panoramic windows. However, most standard windows make it impossible to have control over the temperature in the room, making it too hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter, which could affect the health of the building’s residents.
How Do You Stop Windows from Heating Up a Home?
There are several ways to prevent windows from heating up a home. The first is to keep the building open enough to encourage air circulation. You’ll find greater success with this method if the building is equipped with a fireplace that allows air to pass through. It is also recommended to separate the inside from the outside by keeping the windows closed when the temperature is warm outside. The windows can also be equipped with triple vents to help promote ventilation. Closing any curtains or blinds can also help. But what is the use of having windows if it’s to hide them? Fortunately, there are some alternative options.
Low-E Glass and High-Efficiency Windows
Low-E or low emissivity glass reduces heat transmission and stabilizes indoor temperature. It minimizes the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light without reducing the amount of light entering the room. Low-E glass has a thin transparent coating that reflects heat. The window is energy efficient in its ability to maintain internal temperatures while promoting the infiltration of natural light.
Window Films and Treatment
Window films are an alternative solution to your heating and cooling problems. This works well if your windows already have a solid structure and you are only wanting an application on some of them. The film is a thin polyester product that is applied to existing windows to enhance their performance by blocking UV light, heat and air.
Before applying the film, the glass surface of your window must be cleaned. The application of the film is usually done on the inside of the window. The product previously used for cleaning the glass will serve to fix and activate the film. Window films are made-to-measure and therefore can be applied to windows of any shape and size. Window films generally save 5 to 10 percent of energy.
Smart Design and Structure
Modern residential architecture swaps single-pane windows for double-glazed Low-E windows with insolation in between the pane for maximum energy efficiency. This new type of construction structure promotes natural light while remaining aesthetically appealing. However, even the double-glazed windows do not match the performance of the exterior of a wall.
What Are the Most Efficient Windows?
Several pieces of criteria must be taken into consideration in order to measure the effectiveness of a window. To be Energy Star rated, window manufacturers must meet two main parameters:
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), which measures the effectiveness of a window in preventing solar heat from entering the room.
- U-Value, which measures the effectiveness of a window in preventing solar heat from entering the room.
For these two parameters, the smaller the amount, the better the window will perform. The choice of the frame is also significant as some are less subject to heat and cold transmission while still having certain pros and cons. You can have the choice of aluminium, vinyl, wood, or wood-clad window frames. Your selection will also depend on your style and budget.
What About Window Glazing?
There are several different glazing options for windows, each with its own pros and cons:
- Single-glazed windows are weather resistant but do not prevent energy transfer or the transmission of daylight.
- Double-glazed windows with or without Low-E coating are effective against heat loss and heat gain and stabilizes indoor temperatures.
- Triple-glazed windows with Low-E are highly effective for very cold climates.
Are Triple Pane Windows Worth It?
Triple pane windows are part of a new generation of products called ultra-high efficiency. They are twice as efficient as double-glazed windows in terms of energy transfer but can reduce the visibility and transmission of daylight. Its triple-glazed construction weighs down and thickens the window, requiring a rigorous installation. Since its components are more expensive to produce, triple pane windows are more costly.
Single, double or triple glazed, or even window film, the options are vast. It’s up to you to make the smartest and most convenient choice. But armed with the proper knowledge, you should be able to consider yourself a window expert when it comes to all your future construction projects. However, if you’re still having doubts, contact a supplier for more information.