It’s no secret that the right window and door system can help reduce your energy bills. But with so many different options and combinations available for frames, glazing and seals, it can get a little confusing. Thankfully, there is an easy way to make sense of it all – and it all comes down to climate zones…
According to the Window Energy Rating Scheme’s (WERS) website, Australia has three major climate zones. A heating climate is an alpine or cooler area such as Tasmania or southern areas of Victoria, where energy is used most for heating. Hot and tropical areas like many parts of Queensland are cooling climates, where the primary use of energy is to keep the home cool. A mixed climate is an environment where energy is used for both heating and cooling equally, throughout the year.
If you live in a heating climate, window and door systems should work to keep you warm by keeping the heat in. For this climate, WERs recommends products that maximize the solar heat gained during the day (achieve high SHGC ratings). Insulated Glass Units (IGUs) with clear glazing are a good option. However, thermally broken frames such as the ones found on Bradnam’s Signature Thermal Break range, are optimum for reducing energy consumption in a colder climate.
If you enjoy hot and tropical climates where you live, window and door systems perform best when they are designed to keep the heat out. Windows that limit solar heat gain (achieve low SHGC ratings) are suitable, and when combined with good insulation they work hard to keep the heat out of your home. Double glazed windows and doors with a low-e glass on the outer pane are an option you can’t go past in these climates.
If you’re lucky enough to enjoy the benefits of a mixed climate, WERs recommends the following:
Follow the guidelines for a cooling climate on eastern and western elevations, incorporating Solar Comfort systems. Follow heating climate recommendations on the northern elevations, to allow the winter sun to penetrate the home and add warmth. Southern elevations should have window and door systems that allow for high visible light transmittance. In general, homes in a mixed climate are likely to have a unique mix of window and door systems depending on the elevations and where the home is.
For more information on selecting the right window and door systems to reduce household energy consumption, download our Thermal Smart Solutions brochure or get in touch with our sales representatives for your local area.