When you want to decide what type of window best suit your home, there are many options available. However, the range of options can also make selection more difficult.
Windows enable views, let natural light and fresh air into your home and are vital for a house and the comfort of its occupants.
To reduce the energy required for heating and cooling you need to have an appropriate window design with suitable size, location, and glazing treatment combined with the right shading and internal covers.
Window size should be chosen according to the location and the climate, and the insulation around the window needs to be a good fit to minimise thermal bridges. If you want to take advantage of passively heating and cooling your house, appropriate window sizing and location is critical.
Maximum solar access for north-facing windows will reduce electricity bills during winter when the Sun will help to heat up your house. Double glazed windows and internal window coverings or blinds will also help to reduce heat loss.
The main heat gain through windows is due to thermal radiation. Windows receive direct solar radiation when the sun strikes the glass, but also diffused radiation reflected from the sky and the ground. A single glazed window can gain or lose up to ten times more heat energy than an insulated wall.
If you shade the glass of your windows appropriately, you can obstruct direct rays from the sun entering your home. Otherwise, radiation from the sun travels through glass to the inside of a house; this heat is absorbed by thermal mass, and elements/furniture, which when warmed up, re-radiates heat to the room air.
During winter, solar heat gains reduce how much electricity you use for heating, which means it is also important to ensure that valuable winter sun can shine into the house. Where solar access to north-facing windows is obstructed, roof mounted solar panels are a good option to get solar energy into the building.
Skylights and roof lights are also a good way to bring more light into rooms. However, it is advisable to protect the windows with double glazing and double shading against the summer’s heat.
Table of Contents
Energy Efficient Window Design
Window elements such as glazing types, orientation of the structure, and the thermal mass, influence the appropriate design size of windows in terms of energy efficiency.
It is also important to consider every room separately, as each room may have different acceptable limits which means they might need different sized windows.
Best Window Frame Materials
Fiberglass is a very energy-efficient material, this makes fiberglass one of the very best materials to use when it comes to sustainable windows and doors. It is comprised of sand that’s been rolled into pieces of glass. Few resources on Earth are as plentiful and renewable as sand.
Three other common materials are aluminium, vinyl and wood. All these materials come in a selection of great colours to choose from.
There are different types of insulated glass that you can obtain. The most common is double glazing which uses two pieces of class mounted close together. You can find windows that have three or even four pieces of glass in the window with air space between them to offer insulation. These are called triple or quadruple pane windows. The thermal performance of insulated glass of this type of windows is significantly better than single pane glass.
There are different window types to choose from for your home. You can find the single hung ones, double hung, bay windows, bow windows, awning windows, egress ones, garden type, casement windows, jalousie, hopper, picture windows, glass block type, round circle, sliding, skylights, storm windows, transom type, and custom windows.
- Single hung windows open vertically with their bottom window panel or lower sash moving up and down, and the upper sash remaining stationary. And double hung windows are like a single hung window but the lower sash as well as the upper sash can move up and down and usually tilt out for easy maintenance.
- Bay windows stick out from an exterior wall and create a small shelf in the home. They rely on flat windows set into an angled frame that are built out of the home.
- Bow windows count on custom curved windows that will create a circular area along the outside of the home.
- Awning windows hang open on the outside by being pushed outward with the handle. This makes them somewhat weatherproof.
- Egress windows offer an escape route for emergencies, they are typically installed in basements.
- Garden windows can extend room space and they are used to provide ventilation for plants. You can keep plants and herbs in the mini shelves so that they can be visible from the outside while getting sunlight into your home.
- Casement windows swing out to the side or up to open. This allows the window to be built of solid glass and offers a less obstructed view overall.
- Jalousie windows open like a set of blinds and they are great if you want to increase airflow.
- Hopper windows open from the top and usually crank open to tip down. They make efficient use of compact spaces, which is why they are commonly found in basements or bathroom.
- Picture windows are fixed windows that cannot be opened but are often paired with other windows for design and flexible functionality.
- Glass block windows are typically frosted or adorned with a patterned design, which provides simultaneous light and privacy. They are great to use for bathrooms, basements, and other private spaces.
- Glass block window are built with thick blocks of glass that are not easy to break so they provide security.
- Round circle windows involve many different shapes that add architectural interest to your home. Round windows give your space a nod to historical décor.
- Sliding windows have two sections or sashes that are usually made from single windows, and one of the sections slides horizontally over top of the other to open or close.
- Skylight windows are basically a window for your roof, and it installs similarly to a roof vent.
- Storm windows add another layer of blocking out drafts and heat loss perfect for when cold weather rolls in.
- Transom windows help break up space, they are decorative windows that you see installed above doors in upscale homes, or even above other windows.
- Custom windows are crafted from dimensions measured in your home.
At Perfect Square design, we will help you choose the perfect window to suit your new home or renovation design. Contact us today to discuss how we can make window choice simple and easy for you.