One of the questions we get asked frequently here at BetaView is: “are aluminium windows and doors energy efficient?” The answer is a little bit of a complex one, as there are many factors that determine just how well a window or door will perform in terms of reducing the energy that it takes to heat and cool your home. In today’s post, we’ve taken you through some of the things to think about when you’re trying to choose the most energy efficient doors and windows for your home or investment property.
Excerpt of an infographic from Green Home Gnome
What is energy efficiency?
When we’re talking about homes, energy efficiency refers essentially to how much electrical power is required to carry out the everyday processes of lighting, heating and cooling the home, as well as running all electrical appliances. According to the Australian Government, heating a cooling accounts for a whopping 40-45% of all energy consumption in an average home. Energy-efficient homes use minimal power to remain at an optimal temperature – so, the more easily an indoor space can be heated to a comfortable temperature in winter time, and cooled to a comfortable temperature in summer time, the less energy it will consume, and the less your energy bills will be! Many things contribute to how energy efficient a home will be, including whether or not the walls have insulation, what materials the house is constructed from, which direction the house faces, the age and efficiency of your appliances, and of course, your windows and doors.
Energy efficiency in the aluminium manufacturing process
In terms of manufacturing products out of aluminium, many people are surprised to find out that aluminium is actually one of the most environmentally friendly materials out there. It’s easily recycled, meaning that the energy and raw materials required to produce new products out of aluminium are normally less than with products made of other materials such as timber (which requires tree logging) or uPVC.
Energy efficient homes – the role of windows and doors
So, we’ve determined that aluminium is a good choice if you consider yourself to be a bit environmentally conscious and concerned about the planet – But what about the energy efficiency considerations for your home? Well, whether or not windows and doors are going to help or hinder the energy efficiency of your home is going to depend on a few different considerations (and this applies for windows and doors made out of any material – not just aluminium):
- How old your windows are – 9 times out of 10, older windows = less energy efficiency. While it may be tempting to keep your home’s original windows as long as possible, either it’s for design reasons or budget constraints, those older windows could be costing you more money in the long run, due to the fact that they tend not to be as airtight (and watertight) as they once were. This can be caused by the seals around the windows becoming worn and loose over time with repeated opening and closing. To find out more, read our guide on what to look for when you’re determining whether or not to replace your windows.
- How well the seals around your windows and doors are working – As mentioned above, doors and windows that aren’t sealed properly when they’re closed aren’t going to do a whole lot in the way of keeping the cool air inside during summer, and the warm air in during winter. This means that your heater or air conditioner will have to work overtime to replace the lost cooled air, or you may have to run it for more hours. But many windows and doors, even when new, don’t seal completely, meaning that they’re still reducing the effectiveness of your air conditioner and/or heating units. BetaView manufacture windows and doors with superior sealing technology, meaning that when they’re closed, they’re sealed completely.
- The type of glass your windows and doors are fitted with – Next to how good the seals around your windows and doors are, the type of glass you select will have probably the biggest effect on how energy efficient your windows and doors are going to be. Keep in mind that while the more energy-efficient glass types are more expensive at the time of purchase, the long term savings in your energy and heating bills could be even greater, so it’s important to weigh up the features and benefits against the outright and ongoing costs. For more information, check out our window and door glass guide, or for a visual representation of glass types and their uses and benefits, check out our glass infographic.
- The actual design and configuration of the windows and doors – When the weather is warm, one of the biggest mistakes people often make is leaving their windows and doors wide open during the day to try and let some fresh air in. But this is simply letting warm air into the home, and trapping it inside when you close your windows at night. But one of the best ways to help naturally cool your home in the summertime is actually by doing the opposite of this – by leaving your windows open during the evening when it’s cooler, and keeping windows and doors closed during the day. Certain window and door configurations allow you to create more airflow in and out of your home, so if you are installing new windows and doors (no matter what material they’re made from), opt for designs that make the most of a wall opening. For example, a small sliding window with one fixed panel and one moving panel won’t give you the same airflow as a row of louvre windows, which can all be opened at the same time to let the maximum amount of air in, since there are no fixed panels. For doors, opting for sliding or stacking doors that open all the way to allow for maximum airflow into your home when the temperature is cooler. Check out more of our top 10 energy efficient tips to stay cool in summer.
So as we can see, the energy efficiency of windows and doors usually has more to do with the way that they have been constructed, the quality of the workmanship, and the type of glass that has been fitted. BetaView manufactures windows and doors that apply to stringent Australian quality standards, and our qualified installers always check to ensure your windows are completely watertight and airtight. They’re also manufactured to be durable, meaning that you can ensure your windows and doors will continue performing at their best for years to come.
For more information on our products, or if you need a hand selecting the best type of glass for your needs, simply call us at, 1300 938 758, or visit our contact us page.