Glass half full: How energy efficient are your windows?

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Coming into the colder months it‘s a good time to start thinking about how energy efficient your windows are. Both windows and doors are crucial when it comes to lowering the cost of energy bills, especially when it’s extremely hot or cold outside.

As the key means of ventilation and warmth in our homes, doors and windows need to be maintained to the highest standards. But this also means that when they’re not up to scratch you could literally be throwing money out the window.

What is an energy rating?

Firstly let’s get the basic stuff out the way and look into what energy rated windows are. In Australia, windows can be rated for energy efficiency under the Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS), which is an independent body that tests manufacturer’s performance claims.

WERS rated windows must meet all relevant national standards and are graded with a consumer friendly star rating system, much like what you see with energy rated electronic appliances.

Star ratings are granted for both heat and cold resistance and are determined based on predicted energy consumption of a house using the product. The results are then compared with other products on the market to reach a number of stars.

So in short, the star rating isn’t an absolute score on efficiency, but a relative grading system for comparing similar products. The higher the star rating a window has, the lower your energy bills will be.

How windows impact on energy cost

To understand how high efficiency rated windows can lower your energy costs it’s probably best to look at how old or damaged windows can take a chunk out of your budget.

In the same way you’d feel chilly if there’s a hole in your jumper, your home’s windows can let cold or hot air in. And just as with clothes, when this happens you should think about patching them up or replacing them entirely.

By lowering the effectiveness of your heating or cooling system the cost to create a comfortable environment within the house requires a higher energy output, which over the course of months and years starts to add serious dollars to your energy bills.

According to a study from the Australian Government, up to 87% of your home’s heat gain in summer can come from windows and skylights, with increases of up to 25% in heating and cooling bills coming from draughts around doors and windows.

What you can do about it

If your home needs improvements, don’t fret. You won’t need to rush out and splurge on replacing all your doors and windows right away. In the meantime there are various tips and tricks you can try to lower the cost, but the benefit of an overhaul will still reign supreme.

And if you’re in the process of building a new home, good news! You now know the benefits of installing energy efficient windows and doors from the start.

If you need help discussing your window and door needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Accent to discuss how our quality aluminium products can make drastic improvements to your energy consumption, and look great whilst doing so.