Windows have been using glass to fill holes in the walls of buildings since Roman times. Other materials such as flattened animal horn and greased paper have been used but glass has stuck. Windows with glass may be strong and may be nice to look at but in the vast majority of homes, they contribute little to energy saving. To save energy and save money on your heating (and cooling) bills one needs to reduce heat flow through windows.
Reduce Heat Flow Through Windows
Reduce heat flow through windows? Widows are a weak point in the home and building insulation. They have been installed as they always have been and yet they can be improved.
Energy saving has never been more import and there are some cost-effective and easy to install ideas. And they do not require structural changes. Cost-effective and easy are two words that every property owner loves to hear.
And here are 6 ideas that will reduce heat flow through windows and lower the energy bills at the same time:
1: Awnings will Reduce Heat Entering Through Windows
In the harsh South African summers, nothing beats an awning over a window. Campers and caravanners have understood the benefits of an awning for decades. As awnings can make an instant difference inside the temperature of any building. In the days before air conditioning awnings kept shop fronts cool and kept food items fresher for longer.
Even today many shops still have awnings some to look good, others to keep customers dry but in many cases to keep things cool. For an awning on a building to be most effective, it should be made of the right colour.
Light colours reflect sunlight and heat better and are made from a material with a light weave also assists. Retractable awnings make sense as in winter they fold away to allow sunshine to heat the room or the building. A good awning can reduce heat gain in windows by almost 80% keeping the room behind the glass substantially cooler.
With a cooler room air conditioning and other cooling systems work more efficiently and energy bills drop.
2: External Shutters Will Reduce Heat Flow Through Windows
Once seen on houses all over the world and then seeming to fall out of fashion. External shutters are extremely effective devices for reducing heat flow through windows. Most shutters provide protection from the elements cooling in summer and keeping warm in winter as well as improving security.
Louvred shutters allow for controlled ventilation and allow natural light to enter the property. Louvred shutters are excellent at keeping things cool but not as effective at keeping things warm. Solid shutters, on the other hand, have been proven to work effectively all year round. And the shutters can now even have solar power generation fitted as an extra green touch.
3: Reduce Heat With Blinds
Blinds are not just a thing for the office. Today homes all over the world are benefiting from their practicality outstanding insulation capabilities. Blinds are cost-effect to install and can be custom made in a variety of materials to suit any room bringing style and energy savings together as one.
The effect of having an insulating wall of air between the pain of glass and the blind has been proven to be one of the most efficient forms of insulation available. This should be combined with roof, wall and other insulation to ensure optimal and significant energy and cost savings.
3: Mesh Screens
Mesh screens are highly effective forms of heat reduction for the long, hot summers that South Africa experiences. These simple devices are excellent at diffusing solar heat and lowering the temperature of the room behind the window.
Barely effective at all in retaining heat in winter mesh screens are made to measure from a variety of materials. Mesh screens work best in warm climates and have little effect in cooler or more moderate climates.
4: One Of The Best Ways of Reducing Heat Flow Through Windows is a Reflective or solar film
Fitted to the outside of windows and seen all over South Africa. The reflective or solar film reflects up to 80% of all solar energy that beats down onto the window or surface it is covering. In the direct sun, the reduction in heat flow through the windows makes this treatment one of the most effective available.
In summer the cooling properties are terrific but this leads to an adverse cooling in winter. Where the suns heat it required to warm a room. The reflective film requires careful consideration and before installing it is worthwhile seeking professional advice. Enquire if it is the right solution for a particular room or building.
5: Heavy Curtains Will Reduce Heat Flow Through Windows Substantially
In fact, it is a fact that homes that have been insulated with roof insulation products like Isotherm or Aerolite will be significantly cooler inside with heavy curtaining closed. When you go to work in the morning close all curtains and they will act as an insulation during the day reducing the heat flow into the home.
The most obvious, simple and common window insulator is a curtain. And it is worthwhile knowing that curtains are not just curtains. Understanding how curtains work to keep hot sunshine out or keep warm air in is the secret to making curtains work.
As with awnings the colour and weave of the curtain make a significant difference and it, therefore, makes sense to have different curtains at different times of the year or for different rooms. The layering of curtains adds to the effectiveness of the curtain and instead of just hanging a curtain the use of a pelmet can improve the energy savings by as much as 25%.
Curtains are not just pretty things that make a room look nice; curtains can cleverly hide energy savings with style and bring happiness in more ways than one.
6: Make Your Home More Energy Efficient with Insulation
Insulating windows is as important as using ISOTHERM or Aerolite throughout a property and should be seen as part of a wider insulation project. Insulation of windows can bring massive savings with the careful and intentional use of the ideas mentioned above but there are ways that a home or property can be constructed with window insulation in mind.
A simple overhang built over windows can reduce glare and direct sunshine warming a room by a number of degrees; it only takes a little thinking and planning. Installing double glazing as a new build or as replacement windows can also make a big difference and the investment will pay off.
For those who are on a tight budget or who are not building from new these 6 ideas will pay off handsomely and any building will see a reduction in their energy bills almost guaranteed. Insulation is often simple and these ideas just prove a point.
Remember when looking to make your home more energy efficient make sure you choose your products wisely. With Curtaining you would like to have heavy curtaining with blackout fitted. When it comes to the insulation be sure to install the correct roof insulation to give you the best result with the curtains.
In fact, the 145mm ISOTHERM INSULATION or the 135mm AEROLITE INSULATION is the best choices. These insulation products have the correct R-value 3.70 for the Western Cape and are SANS compliant. Read the Insulation Specifications.