It’s a Breeze to Keep a Home Cooler in Summer
By Melanie Bowman
As we head into summer and soaring temperatures across Australia, power bills and energy consumption remain an important and contentious topic. The Australian Government recently announced a $36 million trial to help reduce energy consumption during peak usage times, whereby Australian households will be paid when they voluntarily agree to reduce their electricity usage.
While there is now a real ‘dollar’ incentive for Australians to reduce their energy consumption and concern about the current cost of electricity is as high as ever, another way to help keep the home cool over summer lies in the windows.
According to Stegbar Windows and Doors, the type of windows and glass throughout the home can greatly contribute to the temperature inside. “Windows and shading are the most critical elements, and up to almost 90 per cent of heat gained can come through the windows in your home,” says Christine Evans, Director of Marketing at Stegbar. “When building or renovating, consider the glass as advances in glass technology mean that today’s glass is designed to be energy efficient to help reduce power bills and increase the comfort of your home.” glazed options are available.
There are three key glass improvements that will help to keep a home cooler to choose from:
1. Toned Glass
Toned glass acts like ‘sunglasses’ against the glare and reduces the heat entering a home. Colours include grey, bronze and green.
2. Low E Glass
This glass has a transparent Low Emissivity coating that reflects heat. For anyone serious about good insulation and energy savings, this is the best solution to start. Laminated and single-
3. Insulated Glazing Units
Commonly known as ‘double-glazing’, two pieces of glass are used with a gap in the middle, which can be filled with air or gas to provide the ultimate glazing solution. This is the cutting edge of glazing and offers the optimum in thermal insulation. Use with Low E glass for greater insulation and toned glass for windows that face the summer sun.
It’s also important to select the right style of window to maximise ventilation and air flow. “Louvres allow a breeze to flow through the home and they are extremely popular in tropical climates like Queensland and coastal areas to let in the afternoon ocean breeze,” says Ms Evans. “The beauty of louvres is that you can control the strength of the breeze allowed through.”
Double hung windows can be opened from the top and bottom of the window, which allows air to flow through a room. Bifold windows can be folded open to provide a large opening area, while casement windows allow for control and divert breezes from different directions into the home.
Top Tips For Keeping A Home Cool In Summer
Install modern glass like Toned or Low E Glass to reduce the amount of heat entering. Select a window style that will allow greater air flow – louvres are a great option for tropical climates. During the day, close blinds or curtains to keep the heat out and consider investing in blackout curtains. In the early evening as temperatures cool, open windows, blinds and heavy curtains to let the cool air in. Take advantage of passive design – orient the home to take advantage of cooling breezes, invest in effective shading like eaves and trees to reduce summer heat entering the home.
For more information on energy efficient solutions for windows and doors speak to a Stegbar consultant, or talk to a builder or architect about how windows can be used effectively in passive home design.
Stegbar is recognised by architects, builders and homeowners as a leading Australian manufacturer of quality building products. With over 70 years of experience in producing high crafted windows, doors, shower screens, splashbacks and wardrobes, Stegbar’s reputation is built on its commitment to innovative design, outstanding craftsmanship and excellent customer service.