By definition, that term refers to the rational and efficient consumption of energy produced by the exploitation of natural resources such as oil, coal, electricity, etc. In some broader theory, there are three factors that affect efficiency, namely: reducing energy loss, efficiency in the use and transportation of it, and, finally, efficient energy production. In this text, we will only be interested in the first factor – the reduction of energy losses, especially in residential buildings, which are large consumers anyway and which use most of it mainly for heating and cooling the premises.
A window is a necessary opening in a home with the basic function of letting in daylight inside the building and allowing natural ventilation of the rooms. The total losses through them are 50% of the heat losses of the building. This is usually ten times greater than heat losses through the walls, so it is clear how important the efficiency of windows plays in the overall needs of a building.
Energy-efficient ones will, in addition to reducing heating costs, also increase residential and work comfort.
Also check for cracks between the windows and the wall through which air is flowing and heat is lost from the house.
What exactly is the term energy efficiency?
The basic concept for understanding efficiency is the transfer of heat, that is, the transfer of thermal energy from one place to another. It is also important to keep in mind that thermal energy always changes from a warmer environment to a cooler one. That’s why in our homes, the heat doesn’t just disappear in winter, it actually goes away. A similar thing happens in the summer – the heat is transferred to the interior. That amount of heat loss in the winter and the increase in heat in the summer, along with the efficiency of the heating and cooling devices used, also plays a key role in the financial cost.
On the other hand, an energy-efficient residential building is not only one that is efficient in terms of consumption, but it must also be effective in reducing pollution, as well as in protecting the health and comfort of tenants. Therefore, planning the thermal status of a particular facility is very important, as it is directly linked consumption and pollution, and aims to improve the overall design of the facility, and in particular, the system for heating, cooling and ventilating the facility. This practice can, in the long run, eliminate so-called “sick buildings”. Such buildings can, in addition to thermal discomfort, also cause various ailments, ranging from allergies to severe chronic illnesses.
The role of windows in saving energy
The main function of them is to transmit daylight and allow ventilation, but also to allow visual contact with the outside world. According to some studies, the weakest point of any residential building when it comes to heat is the windows. For this reason, they can significantly reduce the energy efficiency of a space; Depending on the number and size of it on the object, they can affect losses of up to 40-50% of energy. However, installing quality PVC or ALU material with good thermal conductivity ratios can solve a huge part of the heat loss problem in your facility and, at the same time, save a not-insignificant amount of money, at least during the winter.
From the point of view of energy efficiency, the frame and material of which the windows are made should be as thermally conductive as possible. The coefficient of thermal conductivity is measured by the rate at which heat moves through an object from the high-temperature range to the lower temperature range. Materials containing highly compacted molecules allow for faster heat permeability. For this reason, wood and PVC have better thermal conductivity than aluminum, which is a metal with densely packed molecules and therefore conducts heat faster.
PVC frames as the best choice for energy saving
PVC frames are, in this case, the recommended choice for many reasons; the first reason is that this type comes with double glazing, and there is an option with triple glazing. With double glazing, much less heat is lost through windows, so you can significantly reduce the consumption of your home. For this reason, this solution reduces both the amount of electricity bills and emissions, and PVC frames also provide excellent sound insulation, which is very important in cities where noise is high.
Another reason why PVC models are the best choice for efficiency is the frame that plays a key role in thermal insulation. PVC window profiles are the best rated compared to aluminum and wooden frames. They have better insulation properties and therefore can significantly reduce heating costs. Insulation abilities are especially pronounced when used in combination with triple glazing. A special way of producing and assembling frame parts, which are glued to one another by special techniques, contributes to energy efficiency so that there are no small openings through which air can circulate.
Last but not least, the reason for PVC dominance is that they bring great savings in purchase and lifetime. Wood frames are about 30-40% more expensive than PVC profiles, and also aluminum profiles, which are probably the most expensive solution. Also, the financial costs are significantly reduced if the high saving potential and longevity of the PVC model are taken into account. This is not to say that wood and aluminum are bad choices, on the contrary, PVC is just the best value for money. But if you have a big budget, then consider all the options. On the Dempsey Dyer website, you can get informed about all the types and materials available.
Improvements to existing windows
The biggest heat losses are through poor insulation of the window sash and window glass that can be solved by inserting different gaskets. Do you feel cold air coming in through the joints around windows or doors in the winter?
Windows or doors that are poorly insulated are a major cause of heat loss. If you are unable to buy new windows, gluing the insulation tape around the windows and doors will reduce heat loss.
If the material of the window structure conducts heat well, energy losses also result in condensation damage, as well as losses by transferring heat from a warmer room to a cooler space.
After reading this, you understand how important this is to you and your home for many reasons. If you don’t have money for new ones, then at least upgrade your existing ones.