Buying

4 things you should know about windows before buying a house

The condition of window frames tells a story about the condition of a home. People who take care of windows are likely to take care of the rest of a house. Being able to push a finger into a wooden frame means the wood is probably rotten. Condensation between the panes of double glazed windows indicates that the windows are faulty.

Double Glazing

Double glazing is a process in which two panes of glass for a window have space between them. That space traps air between the panes and acts as an insulation layer. A drying agent that ensures no moisture is present is added before sealing the window. The windows must be airtight. Condensation between the panes indicates a leak. That problem cannot be repaired. The window must be replaced.

Nearly 60% of home heat loss occurs through single paned windows. Double glazing stops substantial heat loss. The cost of the double glazed windows often pays for itself in savings on heating and cooling bills. A ten to 12% savings is likely.

Double glazing is eco-friendly. Homes are responsible for almost 28% of carbon dioxide emissions. Replacing single pane windows reduces those emissions and combats energy loss. The windows also reduce internal condensation and noise pollution. This type of window provides added security to a home. Intruders enter through doors and windows. Double glazed windows are hard to break and have a locking system.

Window Orientation for Light and Heating/Cooling

Properly oriented windows increase a home’s energy efficiency. They make a home more comfortable and cheaper to run. The amount of sunlight a window receives varies with the time of year. In the southern hemisphere, the sun’s angle produces a low arc across the winter sky with the highest arc in the summer.

Windows that face north receive twice the amount of sunlight than windows facing east and west. North-facing windows allow warmth and light into a home. They can be shaded in the summer to aid in keeping a home cool. The ideal glazing area is between ten and 25% of the room’s floor area.

Windows facing east and west receive little sunlight in spring, autumn, and winter, but an excessive amount in the summer. These windows should be small and well-shaded, especially those that face the west, as long as ventilation is not compromised. Small well-shaded windows reduce heat gain. Using high-performance glazing such as toned glass or low-e is an alternative.

Windows that face south never receive direct sunlight in the winter and only the late afternoon or early morning sunlight in the summer. These windows should also be small. They are useful for passive cooling cross ventilation in the summer. Cooling breezes at that time of year usually come from the southern direction.

South facing windows that require no shades from direct sunlight and minimal shade above the Tropic of Capricorn are great for windows with a view. Windows, facing south, facilitate heat loss in the winter. Double glazing helps retain heat.

Window Materials for Maintenance and Longevity

Aluminium double glazed windows are famous for long lasting durability and exceptional structural integrity. They can be the right choice for homeowners who want a modern industrial look. You can counter the efficiency issues regarding the heat conductivity of metal by choosing aluminium windows with thermal breaks. The selection of available finishes and colours is nearly endless. Aluminium double glazed windows can be customised to suit the homeowners.

Some do think that timber double glazed windows are the most elegant available choice. The price of high-class windows is higher than other types, and they require more maintenance. When not properly cared for, wood will warp, rot, and chip. Fortunately, sanding and refinishing helps protect the windows from the elements and maintain the beauty of timber windows. Timber glazed windows increase the value of a home, have stunning curb appeal and excellent energy efficiency.

Vinyl is the most affordable window material on the market. Vinyl windows are low maintenance and require little effort to remain durable. The windows are energy efficient, especially when paired with high-quality glass. Consumers need to beware of voiding the warranty by repainting the windows. Choose a colour, knowing it will remain the same for years to come.

Fibreglass windows are more durable and energy efficient than vinyl. Fibreglass contracts and expands very little. Very little air can leak around the frame. Fibreglass windows have consistent colour throughout the frame. Scratches and nicks are virtually invisible and do not require repainting.

External Window Protection

Louver shutters serve as a protective cover for windows when the weather is inclement. They also provide privacy and security while allowing light and air to vent through. Raised panel shutters do not allow air and light ventilation.

Rolling shutters have many benefits for homes. They are an enhancement to home security and an excellent crime deterrent. They also provide significant fire protection. The aluminium construction makes them nearly fireproof. They prevent heat radiation form igniting objects like curtains inside the house and prevent burning objects such as branches or embers from entering the home or breaking windows.

Rolling shutters also keep intense solar radiation away from doors and windows. They stop heat energy before it has a chance to reach the windows and create an energy barrier  by the air space between the windows and shutters. The system produces an insulating effect that improves the ‘R’ value of windows by more than 50%.

The temperature of the window glass is reduced by more than 40ᵒ F. The insulating capacity reduces cooling costs. They are also effective in keeping the home warm in the winter. There can also be a saving of up to 40% on energy bills. Reduced energy consumption is also an environmental benefit.

Year-round protection from dangerous flying debris, hail, pounding rain and severe winds caused by storms is provided. The shutters eliminate annoying bright sunlight glare and protect the contents and interior of the home by blocking out UV rays.

Author Bio: Nathan Bishop is the owner Go Green Glazing. They are an Australian business in Geelong, specialising in retrofit double glazing. His team has over 100 years of combined experience in window repair, replacement & retrofitting.