Windows

Is your home freezing in winter and sweltering in summer?

If your home is well insulated and sealed – the culprit might just be your windows.

Why’s that?

Well, a lot of heat transfer occurs through windows, so if they’re left uncovered or don’t have an appropriate window treatment – chances are they’re the reason why your home is hot in summer and freezing in winter.

If your windows are:

  • Single glazed
  • Don’t have an effective window covering (such as a thick curtain or energy-efficient blinds)
  • Or if you feel the cold or heat when you sit near them in winter and summer

You’ll be able to make your home much more comfortable year round, just by putting in place a few simple measures.

But I thought double glazing was the only way to make my windows more energy-efficient?

As you may know, double glazing can be very effective, but it’s also very expensive…Think thousands of dollars to upgrade your entire home. Ouch.

And though it’s effective, did you know there are lots of other affordable solutions you can use – which actually have comparable results? Yes, really.

Just check out this graph from Sustainability Victoria.

You see, heavy line drapes and pelmets can be even more effective than double glazing. Pretty good, right?

So what are these affordable solutions?

Let’s get started.

Curtains

Thick lined curtains can be excellent insulators and can do wonders to protect your home from the elements. It’s important to make sure your curtain touches the floor and has no gaps around the edges. Remember, a curtain will only be effective, if a layer of insulated air is trapped between the glass and the curtain, so make sure it’s well fitted.

Pair your curtain with a pelmet

Your curtains will also be much more effective if they’re paired with a pelmet. Why’s that? Without a pelmet, hot air rises to the top of the curtain and falls into the air around the window which cools it down. This cold air then drops to the bottom of the room, making your room colder. Pelmets break this cycle, making your curtains much more effective.

Source: Sustainability Victoria

Don’t like the look of pelmets? Check out this invisible pelmet.

Blinds

Ever heard of honeycomb or cellular blinds? Well, these nifty little blinds are the most energy-efficient options out there.

Cellular or Honeycomb blinds

Why are they so effective?

Well each ‘honeycomb’ in the blind is able to trap still air, and because air is such a great insulator – it’s able to greatly reduce the amount of heat flow through a window. You can get these blinds in all sorts of different materials and colours, suiting all styles.

Again, make sure these blinds are well fitted to make them more effective.

Window films

If you want to keep your views uninterrupted, window films are the perfect solution. Depending on the film you choose, window films can be designed for year-round use (retaining heat in winter and blocking heat in summer) OR just summer time use – blocking up to 84% of the sun’s heat.

And one of the best things about window films is their cost! For the typical home with 10-15m2 of windows, upgrading all the windows in your home with an “all year round” window film can cost just $1900-$3000. This is about a quarter of the cost of double glazing and half the cost of secondary glazing – yet they still provide comparable results. Pretty good, right?

 Your home unbearably hot in summer?

If you find your home overheats in summer – your north and west facing windows are most likely the culprits. The heat comes from sunlight hitting the window, so if you can shade the window from the outside you can keep the house much cooler. External blinds, awnings and deciduous plants are good, so that you can still let the light in during winter, when you need it.

There are also simple DIY foil products that can be applied from the inside, to reflect the light off a window that might be too difficult to shade from the outside. This is also a good option if you’re renting. But if you prefer not to interrupt your views, window films are one of the best performing retrofit options to keep your home cool in summer- blocking up to 84% of the sun’s heat.

Renting?

Here are some great, impermanent solutions you can use.

  • To retrofit existing windows, plastic film is an affordable do-it-yourself option, which gives the double glazed effect. It’s available in hardware stores; and some brands are also available online.
  • And bubble wrap!  Yes, bubble wrap…We have spoken to people that swear by simply sticking bubble wrap on the glass (with sticky dots), as a great way of improving your window’s performance in winter.

Got more questions about windows?

Give us a call on 1300 339 915, get in touch via email. at hello@positivecharge.com.au