In recent years, having a home that's adequately insulated has become a priority for most Australian homeowners. A growing understanding of having sustainable homes with low energy needs combined with the rising cost of electricity is largely responsible for this. Even in the most well-insulated home, windows are a vulnerable point in most homes and are responsible for a considerable amount of heat loss and heat gain.
It's not possible to make your windows as well insulated as other parts of your home such as the roof, walls and floor. However, it is possible to significantly increase their insulative properties with these two simple products.
1. Tinted window film
Window film is a thin material that is adhered to the external surface of your window glass. It's essentially the same as the tinted film used most commonly on car windows. It works as an insulator on your windows by reflecting the heat from the sun that warms your home and keeping the cooler or warmer air that's generated by your air conditioner from escaping via the glass.
Window film has other benefits as well. It can increase the privacy levels of your home by obscuring the view through the window from outside. It also helps to shield the interior of your home from the sun's harmful UV rays which are damaging to both your skin and your home's soft furnishings.
2. Double glazed window panes
Double glazing has been a mainstay of European home design for a long time and it's becoming increasingly popular in Australia. It involves using two panes of glass instead of the single pane used in regular windows. The layer of air between the two panes is a highly effective insulator. Sometimes an inert gas is also injected into the space to further increase the level of insulation.Double glazed window panes are considerably more expensive than applying a window film. However, the higher level of insulation and the value added to your home after they're installed may be enough incentive for you to spend the extra money. This is particularly true if you live in a region that experiences very cold winter temperatures.
Whichever option you choose to make your windows a better-insulated feature in your home, you'll notice a vast difference in how much energy your home requires. This will also be reflected in the cost of heating and cooling your home, with reduced electricity bills during both the summer and winter months.