Did you know that the windows you choose for your home could have an impact on the environment, as well as your utility bills? That’s right – windows have a part to play in the energy efficiency of your home, so apart from the dilemma of selecting between the endless design choices of French windows, picture windows, prairie windows, fan windows and tilt windows, you also need to think about how energy efficient you want them to be.
If you’re a thrifty eco warrior, these are the important things to know when installing windows into your property. To help you with designing your home, we look at every aspect of window design that could affect how much energy you lose or keep within your home. Let this guide shed a little light on the subject of window design…
And if you’re in need of some serious window design inspiration, don’t forget to check out this fantastic Pinterest board by interior design blog, The Contemporist.
Understanding Solar Gain
The sun’s heating effect in a building is known as ‘solar gain’. Many different things can affect the solar gain in your home including the sun’s positioning, its strength, and the ability of the window glazing to either transmit or reflect sunlight. Always look for an energy efficient window design – read on to find out what to look for.
Window Glazing and Coatings
Triple glazing is the best you can get in terms of energy efficiency. It’s a costly investment but it can help you save energy and money over time. You can also try and look for windows with inert gases between the panes such as argon, xenon or kypton as these gases help to minimise the conduction of heat on the exterior of your home.
Low E coating on windows can help to reflect infrared radiation or it can be used to coat the inside of your glass which deflects any heat back into the room so you don’t experience as much heat loss through the glass.
There are other coatings available such as heat absorbing tints or spectrally selective coatings which can filter up to 70% of heat whilst allowing maximum light transmission. For more advice on choosing the right window glazing for your home, visit Energy.gov for their latest article on energy efficient windows.
Energy Efficiency Ratings Matter
Energy labels are important if you are looking for an energy efficient solution. The minimum level of an eco-home should be a C rating. To see any example of a C rated uPVC window, visit the Dunster House website. The highest rating is A – this rating is given to triple glazed windows.
For more information on glazing in your home, visit the Energy Saving Trust. (With whom this post is proudly in association with.)