Impacts of Glazing on Passive Cooling your home

Passive heating comes from only one source the sun or solar radiation. Passive cooling comes from many sources; air movement, outside breeze, evaporation, earth coupling and reflection radiation.

The Gold Coast and Brisbane are considered a warm or temperate climate which then requires both the heating and cooling design requirements for your residential or business dwellings.

For example at my home in Burleigh Heads, we do not have air conditioning, from November to May we rely on the sea breeze or fans, to cool the house. This is passive cooling using free or low energy input solutions to cool your home.

The glazing design within a building will significantly impact the heating and cooling requirements. Apparently close to 40% of a buildings heat energy can be lost via the glass. More importantly, it is also reported that up to 85% of heat in a building will be gained via the glass. When renovating or building a new dwelling, window design will have a direct impact on the dwellings thermal performance (your comfort) and ongoing energy costs. Poorly designed glazing works as a passive heat load, not something you want.

In SE Queensland, it is important then to get the passive cooling of your building right and minimise the passive heat load.

Using cross ventilation, shade, films or tinting on window glazing can all help to prevent solar radiation or passive heat load. Additional structural passive cooling options may include lighter colours to reflect heat, thicker insulation and frame styles.

There is a huge range of glass windows styles and these will affect the impact on passive cooling.

For example window opening angles impact on how much cross ventilation can be achieved. The best windows for cross ventilation are louvres, hinged or pivoting windows as they open to at least 90°. Less effective window types for passive cooling are awning, hopper or casement windows, as these have short winders, providing smaller openings and less cross ventilation.

Consider installing new louvre gallery’s to allow breezes to pass through the building. Use of obscured glass will also help to maintain privacy and security. For passive cooling consider louvre placement, above doors or in internal walls to improve cross ventilation.

Glazing has the ability to make your home more liveable for more information – http://www.yourhome.gov.au/introduction/welcome-your-home.

Simon Vaughan Marketing Consultant

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Author Simon Vaughan marketing consultant at digitalblitz.com.au

How to Teach Children the Importance of Going Green at Home

When it comes to protecting our planet, the job is going to last far beyond our lifetimes so our children will need to be taught from an early age to carry on the fight. When you consider the overall consumption of energy in terms of utility costs as well as the amount of waste that is generated by each person, a child will need to understand the importance of going green such as recycling, reusing materials as well as energy conservation.

Considering how much waste is produced on an annual basis, recycling and reusing products is of paramount importance when it comes to preserving space in landfills. It will not be long before the designated landfills are full and there will be hard choices as to where the trash will go. So, by educating children today, they can help preserve our planet for tomorrow.

 

Five Ways to Go Green

Here are five simple lessons you can teach your kids and help protect the environment as well. Each of these tasks are simple to do and will help engrain your children to the environmental dangers that face our nation.

Recycling: This is a simple one where you can teach your children the value of recycling in your home. You can have them recycle water bottles and plastic bags for other uses, create recycling bins for the appropriate materials and even hold contests where all the children who reach a pre-set goal of recycling will receive a reward.

Water Conservation: This may be one of the more difficult lessons as children as well as adults love to play in the water. However, you can start by having all of your children start taking showers when they have reached the appropriate age over baths, set time limits on how long they can run the shower and even to stop running the water while at the sink, such as when they are brushing their teeth.

Reusing Items: Here, you child can learn the value of how resources can be reused by donating their old clothing and toys to non-profit organizations that will give them out to need children. Plus, they can purchase items from second-hand stores so they can benefit from the process as well.

Conserve Energy: One of the best and most fun ways your children will enjoy saving energy in the home is shutting off the computers and video games to engage in a family game night or perhaps a trip to the park if the weather cooperates. Even cooking out in the backyard while they play will save electricity and show them that there are fun things that do not involve an energy-consuming device.

Community Service: When you children are a little older, they can participate in community activities to help clean up parks or streets which will teach them the value of working together. This is also a great way to get outside as well which is more time away from the computer and video games.

Your kids will learn more about the environment and how to take care of our planet thanks to the little things that you can teach them about reusing, recycling and energy conservation.

How to Save Money on your Electricity Bill in the Summer

We all want to save costs when we can and by following our top tips you can reduce your electricity bill during the hot summer months.

  1. Using air conditioning units increases our energy bills, so lower costs by ensuring that your air conditioning unit is well maintained and operating at an optimum level.
  2. Consider installing energy efficient windows and doors which will keep the summer heat outdoors and the internal temperature much cooler in summer and keep the cold winter weather out and your home cozy in the colder months.
  3. Replace old appliances with more energy efficient models, keeping your running costs to a minimum.

tips summer

However, some of us can’t make these investments so we have drawn up a list of low cost ways to reduce your energy consumption in the hot summer months:

    1. Choose heavy curtains that block and reflect the heat of the sun. In the summer they will help keep your home cool, and in the cold winter they will act as a barrier to keep heat in. Think of a greenhouse to understand why windows are one of the primary ways to heat up our homes. If the cost of new curtains for every room is prohibitive choose the rooms that get most sunlight and cover them up.
    2. Some air conditioners have an energy saving mode. This keeps your home cool without using too much power. By turning it on and off you are going to use more power as the home will heat up and need more power to cool it down again. Keep your unit on low when you are out to save money.
  1. Heat rises. So, if you spend most of your time on the ground floor keep the doors upstairs closed, reducing the space that your air conditioner has to cool. Plan ahead, by opening the upstairs doors an hour or so before you will be using them.
  2. Ceiling and other fans help cool a room significantly. With the right circulation, using window fans you can keep your home cool without spending a lot on electricity costs.
  3. Turn off unnecessary lights. Lights aren’t needed during the day and even the energy efficient light bulbs use power and put out heat. Turn off lights that are not needed and replace bulbs with energy efficient CLFs or LEDs.
  4. Don’t try to cool your home more quickly by setting your air conditioner to a lower temperature than you need. It won’t cool your home more quickly and all it will achieve is a hike in your electricity usage.

By taking these steps, by turning off electronics and other appliances when they are not in use you will cut your power bill every month.

Energy Efficient Windows

Windows add light and character to our homes, yet they can also create a huge drain on energy if they are not carefully selected and installed.

Installing energy efficient glazing is the best answer and will repay the initial outlay over just a few years, but if finances are tight then there are some simple steps that can be taken to improve energy efficiency and save money until new glazing is an option.

Add storm windows, caulk and weather strip to reduce air leaks and use drapes to reduce heat loss in the window and to stop heat gain in the summer.

When considering windows, minimise the number of windows on the east, west and north facing walls while still allowing for adequate natural lighting. Windows on the south facing wall should have a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of greater than 0.6 to maximise energy efficiency.

energy efficient window

The aim is to maximise heat gain in the winter and minimise it in the summer, so bear in mind the number and size of your windows to ensure that your energy usage is maximised. Low emissivity glazing can help control solar heat gain in heating dominated areas.

Similarly, major glazing areas should generally face south to collect solar heat when the sun is low in the sky in winter, while during the summer overhead overhangs and other shading devices will help prevent excessive heat gain.

A coated glazing will help reduce energy costs by controlling heat transfer. A virtually invisible coating of metal or metallic oxide saves energy costs as does a tinted glass which reflects light in summer and absorbs in winter.

Also, take into consideration how your windows open as some styles have lower air leakage rates than others.

Awning style, were the window is hinged and the top and opens outwards has a lower leakage than sliding windows due to the sash pressing against the frame. Hopper windows, hinged at the bottom and that open inwards also have lower leakage rates. Casement windows are hinged at the side and also have a lower leakage rate.

Fixed panes, when fitted properly, have zero leakage but are not desirable in areas where ventilation is required. Single and double hung and sliding sashes that slide vertically or horizontally have a higher air leakage rate than hinged windows.

Top Ten Reasons to Double Glaze Your Home

You know that double glazing is more energy efficient, and that you can cut down on both heating and cooling costs. But there is still something holding you back from reglazing your home.

double glazing window

Here are our ‘top ten’ reasons to make the choice for double glazing:

  1. Protection! Double glazing has two panes of glass that provides your home with extra protection from would be intruders who would prefer to move on to a home with only single pane windows which is much easier to get through.
  2. Noise! If you live near a busy road or rail track, or even under a flight path you will be delighted at the level of noise reduction offered by professionally installed double glazing. Statistics have shown noise reduction to be up to 70%. Even the everyday sounds of neighbours cutting grass and children playing outside with be reduced instantly, giving you more peace and quiet in your own home.
  3. Added value! Double glazing has been proven to add value to your property and make it more appealing to future Online pharmacy buyers.
  4. Health! Many homes have issues with condensation which can lead to mold and mildew problems. Protect your family’s health by installing double glazing that eliminates that problem.
  5. Safety! If you have children or pets who play indoors you can rest easy knowing that a bump against double glazing reduces the risk of injury dramatically. Toughened and laminated glass is impact resistant and also ensures that there won’t be lethal shards of glass if there is a breakage.
  6. Low Maintenance! Most double glazing is installed in uPVC frames. You don’t have to repaint the frame and your frames won’t rot over time, needing replaced, due to weather.
  7. Life saving! The fire resistance quality of uPVC framed windows is one of their best features. Fully flame resistant they will not combust in the event of a fire.
  8. Environmentally Friendly! Not only do they help you reduce your energy usage, and carbon footprint, but they are fully recyclable and help prevent harmful emissions into the atmosphere.
  9. Comfortable! The heat of the summer and the chill of the winter won’t be able to affect the interior temperature of your home as much. You will be able to control your home’s environment much more effectively and save money as you do.
  10. Durable! Our extensive range of beautiful windows is perfect for homes that are exposed to extremes of temperatures, high winds or the ocean air. They won’t deteriorate over time and very effectively keep out sneaky draughts.

How Energy Efficient Windows Can Save You Money

Your old windows may be costing you more than you think. In the winter they leak out valuable heat from the home, causing your heater to work harder just to keep the home warm. In the summer, you can feel the heat coming into your home and causing your air conditioner to work harder as well.

Installing energy efficient windows will save on average around 11% on your electricity bills when it comes to running the heating and air conditioning of your home. That means in a short period of time that energy efficient windows will start paying for themselves.

Whether you are going to remodel your home or simply want to save money on your electricity bills, purchasing energy efficient windows is the answer. This is an investment that really pays off in terms of what you pay each month and in improving the overall value of your home as well.

sustainable renovation

Measurements

You’ll need to know the measurements of the spaces for your windows because that will affect the cost. Take a few moments to measure your windows and write them down so during your purchase you can provide the size.

What to Consider when Purchasing Energy Efficient Windows

Of course, before you run out to the store and buy them, it is important to remember that the very architecture of your home will play a role in the type of windows that you purchase.

Aluminium: Light and very strong, these are generally the most popular chose for most homes thanks to their low cost and overall effectiveness in warmer, milder climates.

windows-aluminium-frames-03

Clad-Wood: More expensive, but very low in maintenance. This particular type features wood on the inside while a cladding of protective metal is on the outside. They are easy to take care of and available in several different colours.

Vinyl: One of the most durable and energy efficient, this is the type of window that offers low maintenance and plenty of different designs as well.

Wood: Wood is certainly beautiful and crafted from materials that will not rot. You can even stain, paint or clear-coat the wood to get the look you desire.

Of course, once you decide which type to get, the next step is what colour and hardware is needed to ensure that you get exactly what you want.

Colour: You can increase the visual appeal on the outside of your home by matching your widows to the paint scheme or offsetting them for a more striking result.

Grids: The decorative pieces that create separate window panes add a traditional look to your home. They come in different styles as well, including simulated divided lites (SDL) and grilles between the glass (GBG). The latter is easier to clean and more economical in nature. If you choose to go with wooden windows, you can select removable grids.

Options for Glass: You can go with impact resistance, Low-E which helps protect against UV fading and various textured glass that adds more privacy while still letting in the light.

Finally, you can look over the different operator types such as single or double hung, casement, sliding and awning. You can even go with fixed glass that does not open.

You have plenty of choices when going with energy efficient windows, so be sure that you do your homework before choosing the type that works best for your needs.

High Performance Glass: Human comfort and Energy Consumption.

Electricity prices have skyrocketed over the last few years and many of us have started to feel the pinch. Surveys have shown that many families have been putting off going to the doctors and even resorted to skipping meals in order to stretch the weekly budget further.

With power bills expected to rise by more than 20% over the next two years, it is time to start thinking about what we can do to reduce our household energy consumption and lower our bills.

green home

Over the summer months, air conditioners can contribute to over 50% of our electricity usage. Then when winter comes around, we rely on heating to keep our families comfortable.

In summer, ordinary windows absorb heat from the sun and re-radiate it into your home. In winter they work the other way by absorbing the heat from your home and re-radiating it to the outside.

Did you know that choosing the right glass for your windows can dramatically decrease your energy consumption and lower your annual bill?

High performance glass is a great way to improve your homes energy efficiency and there are a wide array of options available when it comes to choosing which windows and glass doors are right for your home.

Tinted Glass:

There are quite a few benefits that tinted glass offers over regular glass. It can help control heat from the sun radiating into your home and also reduce the glare. In addition to this, tinting is effective in adding privacy to your home and can also increase its value when the time comes to sell.

Double Glazed Glass:

Double glazed windows are a popular choice, not only for energy efficiency but also to help reduce noise from the outside and add strength to your glass. Double glazing is achieved by using a layer of air or gas between two panels of glass. The space can range between 6- 20mm but the best choice for energy efficiency would be to choose double glazing with a space between 10-20mm.

Low E Glass:

Compared to ordinary glass, Low E glass can reduce the amount of heat that is re-radiated into your home but up to 30%. It is also effective in eliminating glare and because it reduces UV rays from penetrating through your windows, it prevents your inside furnishings from fading in the sunlight.

It is not only the glass that has an effect on your windows energy efficiency. The materials you choose for your window frames can have a huge impact on how well your glass performs.

Traditionally window frames were either made out of aluminium or timber, which both have their drawbacks.

Aluminium can conduct the heat and transfer it into your home. In colder climates aluminium frames can cause moisture to build up which encourages dampness and mould in your home.

Timber frames were a popular choice in the past from a visual perspective but as with aluminium, timber has a few flaws when it comes to being energy efficient. Moisture can cause timber window frames to rot and warp, which in turn can leave gaps around your windows, resulting in air getting in.

UPVC (Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride) is an extremely cost effective and energy efficient option when it comes to window frames. It is highly durable and comes in a huge range of colours and design options.

Many people don’t realise the importance of making an informed decision when it comes to windows. While it may be tempting to go with the cheaper option now, in the long run it could end up costing you a whole lot more in electricity usage.

Do your research and decide which glass is the best option for your home or business. You will be glad you did.

Green Technologies for Your Home

There are a number of DIY projects that can be done for a greener home that can be quick and relatively inexpensive. I would touch base on some of the simple ones that just about anyone on any budget can do on their own. By using these simple projects and tips, you can save money on your utilities as well as helping our environment.

sustainable renovation

  1. Weather stripping – by applying weather stripping circulating around doors and windows, it is estimated that one can save up to 30% on heating and cooling bills. Weather stripping can come in a variety of styles and sizes.
  2. Insulated pads – these types of pads are used around doors and outlets to prevent drafts. Safety is always first; therefore you should always ensure that the circuit breaker is off prior to taking the cover off, inserting pads or such to prevent electrocution.
  3. Water savings – one easy trick is to simply add a 2 liter bottle filled with water to the tank in your toilet. By doing this, you will displace the water in the tank which will only allow the tank to fill to a certain point this will in turn decrease the amount of water used upon flushing.
  4. Replace all light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs or florescent lighting which uses roughly about 75% less energy to run or turn on.
  5. Caulk – use silicone caulk to fill spaces and gaps between windows and door frames on the outside of your home. Decreases drafts and unwanted critters.
  6. Finally, consider replacing portions of your lawn with a ground covering which requires no watering or mowing. This also will reduce your energy and water usage which will save you money as well.

These short but few simple tactics can help decrease energy costs as well as keeping your home environmentally friendly. There are many other useful hints we can all implement such as adding energy efficient thermostats, solar panels to heat our home and water as well as many others leaving us with more money in our pockets to enjoy some of life’s pleasures.