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How Your Choice of Windows and Doors Can Help You Comply With Australian Energy Ratings

Australia is a vast and diverse country with different climatic zones. Window and door manufacturers need to ensure their products improve the thermal performance of a home. Selecting the best doors and windows results in a sustainable residential building.

Did you know that high-performance doors and windows have a positive impact on your home’s efficiency rating?

Building Energy Efficient Homes

Windows and doors that meet the minimum requirements under the Australian building regulations can withstand extreme Australian weather conditions. When building new homes, builders need to consider the U-Value and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient values of windows and doors to ascertain they are of high-quality and will help the overall home comply with required energy ratings.

Analysis of the heat on the window using a thermal imaging camera
Analysis of the heat on the window using a thermal imaging camera

How your choice of windows and doors can help you comply with Australian energy ratings:

The U-Value, also referred to as Uw, is used to denote a measure of the conductivity of the entire window, including the glass and the frame.  A lower U-Value relates to a higher insulating value. On the other hand, the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (often abbreviated as SHGC) denotes the measure of the heat that filters through the windows during direct solar contact. This value is expressed as a decimal (between 0 and 1), with a lower value indicating less solar heat transmitted than a window with a higher value. These values relate to the whole window and door values, rather than purely measuring the performance of the glass alone.

Compliance with Energy Requirements

At Versalite Windows & Doors, we pride ourselves on the fact that our products comply with Australian building energy efficiency requirements. Our products contain the Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) label, demonstrating that Versalite products have adequate heating and cooling performance for Australian homes. The more stars, the better for the overall performance of a home.

Other factors considered when rating the performance of windows and doors include

  • safety,
  • water resistance,
  • window pressure,
  • strength and
  • air infiltration.

Windows and doors should reduce heat flow from the house to maintain a comfortable temperature during weather extremes. A poorly performing window will drag down the thermal performance of a home. The same holds true: using low-quality windows and doors will affect the performance of an otherwise well-insulated home. Builders should avoid using windows or doors without any certification.

Double Glazing

Single-pane plain glass windows have close to zero insulation capabilities. Using windows with this type of glass results in energy being lost or gained through them. To comply with Australia’s energy ratings, builders should use high-performance windows.

Double glazed windows have insulation properties. These multi-pane windows and doors are energy efficient because they reduce heat loads by maintaining warmth after sundown.

A gap that is approximately 5-20 mm separates these glass panes. Argon, a gas with excellent insulation properties fill this gap. Multi-pane glasses appear as singles pane units, but the window frames need to be deeper to accommodate their thickness. Invariable multi-pane window types are useful for cold and mixed climates.

Energy Efficient Windows levels of insulation

When updating your windows, you should consider the fact that different rooms require specific levels of insulation. Windows that work best in the bedrooms might not be best for the kitchen based on the activities performed within the rooms. Work with a well-reputed window and glass supplier in Australia to get high-performance products.

Coating, Tints and Laminated Products

Coatings and tints can improve the performance of single pane glasses used on doors and windows. It is also possible to coat multi-pane windows to turbocharge their performance. Builders and manufacturers should use low-emission (low-e) coatings to keep warmth inside during winter and radiate it out in the summer.

Coating, tints and laminated products reduce the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and improve the U-value of the window or door. There are guidelines to window and door selections that builders use to choose glazing for windows and doors. You can quickly look up a window on the Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) website to see how it performs.

The Bottom Line

Windows and doors are fundamental elements in the fabric of every home. Using high-performance products ensures that the thermal performance of the house is improved. Windows and doors can be an unwanted source of heat gain or the reason for significant heat loss.

Compliance with Australia’s energy ratings ensures the home is comfortable at weather extremes. As a builder, ensure you only purchase doors and windows marked with a performance label confirming that it complies with the Australian Standard AS 2047 and AS1288. Contact us to learn more about our products that exceed Australian standards.

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