Summers in Australia are WARM and this makes it difficult for people to stay cool, tossing and turning all night – making it almost impossible to sleep. The inside of your home can over-heat throughout the day, from cooking, showering, body heat, the opening and closing of doors…. It all affects not only your comfort levels, but your electricity bills as well.
The good news is, there are ways we can help keep our home cooler during those long hot summer days.
In summer the heat just beats down all day and that heat is transferred from outside your house – to inside your house. Most of this heat transfer occurs through your windows. Today there are windows available that come with a special coating that can block some of the sun’s heat – that means more heat is kept OUTSIDE and less heat can enter your home.
On hot days, no one likes to sit in a dark room with the curtains drawn, while the curtains help keep out the sun’s rays, they also make a room feel gloomy. Natural light brings with it several benefits (apart from the heat) and it’s that natural light that can help brighten the moods of those inside the house. Natural sunlight also brings with it the potential to add light and beauty to your room which is why you may wish to consider replacing windows with ones that can help block the heat while allowing all that gorgeous, uplifting light to enter the room.
If you have decided to go ahead with the installation of new energy efficient windows always ensure you are working alongside a business that provides you with warranties and guarantees and is willing to back them up.
Energy efficient windows can help to keep you cool in summer, so always choose a window that can block out the heat, while still allowing natural light in.
Alternatively, you can consider double glazed windows with a low solar gain coefficient.
Whether you have standard or double glazed windows installed there are some things to consider if you want to keep your house cooler during the summer months.
East and west facing windows are hard to shade and can be a source of over-heating, to minimise this, where possible they should be protected by porches.
If building a new home, large windows should face the North and South and have them installed so they are recessed into the wall or are protected by overhangs or porches. Your goal is to use the window to keep all that unwanted heat out of your home. The best frames for your window are a low conductive foam filled fibreglass and vinyl frame, with a casement style window – which is perfect for ventilation. Low solar heat coefficient windows are great, especially if your home is air-conditioned.
Your goal is to keep as much heat as you can out of your home – this unwanted heat gain comes in three forms – radiant heat gain, conducted heat gain and infiltration of hot air from outside. For those living in a tropical or sub-tropical area the best windows for you are windows that limit solar heat in all three forms. All homes are subject to over-heating in summer, so good insulation is also necessary especially if your home is air-conditioned.
Radiant Heat Gain
Radiant heat gain happens when solar energy is transmitted through the glass and occurs when the glass and frames of your windows are exposed to the sun and start to heat up. While it is not always possible, the best way to stop radiant heat gain is to shade the glass. Shading your window using external awnings or blinds can interfere with the flow of natural light, and is an added expense to the cost of your window installation, awnings can inhibit natural ventilation and can also cut down your view. Every home and situation is different but installing energy efficient – low solar heat gain windows will help to keep your home cooler.
Conducted Heat Gain
To reduce unwanted conducted heat gain – especially in an air-conditioned home an energy efficient windows is recommended. Timber or PVC frames are your best choices for this style of window rather than the more traditional aluminium frames.
Infiltration Heat Gain
The final way that heat enters your home is via infiltration heat gain – this is where heat enters your home through small gaps and cracks around frames and sashes when a window is shut. When you shut a window – you want it to be completely shut. Look for windows that have very good weather seals. Traditionally windows with *compression seals* on them such as casement windows seem to have a much better long-term *track record* when it comes to keeping the heat out via infiltration, but advances with some sliding window seals has closed the gap.