How to beat the energy bill crisis
If you’ve been impacted by escalating energy rates, you’re not alone. Energy rates have increased by 20% in some states causing consumers to rethink their energy usage. Within the average home heating and cooling makes up 40% of our energy use. Think about it, in summer your home is boiling hot and you rely on air conditioning to cool it down. In winter, it’s the opposite, your home is freezing cold and you rely on air conditioning or other heating methods to warm it up.
For your home to be comfortable to live in you will need insulation. Most homes in Australia these days have ceiling and wall insulation, however, they don’t have insulated windows.
Why are windows important?
Windows are the soul to a home, even though you look straight through them they provide so many benefits. They open up your home and make it feel spacious, they let in an abundance of natural light, giving it a feel-good vibe and they give you a connection to the outdoors.
However, most windows contain glass that is only 3mm or 4mm in thickness. That’s not a lot separating you from the great outdoors and the earth’s elements. In fact, this type of glass will let in up to 87% of heat in summer and let out up to 40% of heat during winter. Now you can see why window insulation is so important!
What you can do to insulate your windows
You have three main options.
Curtains or Blinds
The first is to install heavy blackout curtains or blinds. This will keep some of that heat at bay during summer and hold most of the heat in during winter. However, this will also keep your home in constant darkness, which isn’t a great way to live. Research shows that natural light is actually fundamental to our wellbeing, so you don’t want to reduce that.
The second option is to have a tinted film applied to your glass windows and doors retrospectively. This will reduce some heat and glare coming into your home which will also reduce natural light. It’s important to note that tinted film is only going to help you in summer though. In winter your windows are still going to let heat out, thus making your home cold.
Another thing to be aware of too is that tinted films have size limitations so you may have joint seams in your window which will impact the view.
Energy efficient glass
The third option is to replace the glass you currently have with an insulated energy efficient glass type. Energy efficient glass is made with a low e coating. This coating improves insulation by up to 39% over ordinary glass.
The other benefit to completely replacing your glass is you can increase the thickness and make sure it complies with current Australian safety standards.
Replacing your windows and doors with an energy efficient glass is a great way to improve insulation in your home and reduce your reliance on cooling and heating appliances. It’s also relatively easy to do and can be completed in a timely manner.
What’s your hottest room in the house in summer? What’s your coldest room in the house in winter? Would you install energy efficient glass in these rooms if it reduced your energy bills and made your home more comfortable? Tell us in the comments below.
Divisional General Manager – Jim’s Glass (Australia)
Board Member – Australian Glass & Windows Association