Monday, August 9, 2010

Window design and the environment

Windows placement and style can add so much to the house, they let in the light and as some say provide the soul of the house. So how do you decide on what windows to use? What is more important to you the style and size or how well they protect your home, by keeping heat inside during Winter and heat out in Summer - the energy effectiveness? Can the two go hand in hand?

These are all questions my hubby and I recently asked ourselves as going through our building contract we realised exactly what windows and glass sliding doors we were getting. We didn’t really think about it until we saw it in writing.

Initially we weren’t keen on getting the awning windows listed and wanted double hung ones but then we checked them out on the Trend website and discovered the star rating was quite high so decided to keep them. This is important to us, one because we want an energy efficient home but secondly because two of the bedrooms face West and so are heat boxes in Summer. With this in mind we are getting all new windows double glazed with PVC frames. Did you know that PVC frames transmit less heat then others? I certainly didn’t until I looked into it.

The other important thing with windows is placement and this can be looked at more easily when building from scratch but as we are extending an old house we unfortunately can’t change this as much. We are lucky however that our main living space faces North and this will be the area with the glass facing doors, good for the Winter sun but we need to make sure they are well shaded in the Summer and so are looking at our eaves and a pergola for this.

If you are interested in finding out all about windows and energy ratings – visit the Windows Energy Rating Scheme website.

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