If you are a homeowner who is thinking about having new double glazed windows installed as an upgrade or as part of a new build, you are probably already familiar with reports of energy efficiency and the consequent savings in winter heating as well as summer air conditioning costs. Depending on the window type and quality, double glazing delivers considerable extra draught proofing and insulation – or, more accurately, a reduction in heat loss.
However, apart from secondary advantages such as extra physical security and improved sound insulation (think peace and quiet inside the home), did you know that two other significant benefits are not widely known? This pair of pluses could well be of equal or greater importance in the medium to long term.
Health benefits: the problem with cold homes
According to reports, poor insulation including lack of internal sealing around window frames means that many old build Australian homes are too cold in winter, especially in the south. As recently as 2015, Science Daily published an article, based on medical research in the Lancet, which had found that that cold was the cause of more deaths than excessive heat in Australia. ABC then broadcast a radio programme based on the same findings.
Fortunately, over recent years, rising energy costs in conjunction with lower window prices has meant that double glazing has become a more affordable priority in residential properties. Double glazed window insulation (which is measured in U-values) is much more efficient when the gap between the twin panes of glass is at least 12 millimetres. With 16mm of spacing, the overall insulation value rivals that of special low emission frames, which usually have a higher price tag.
Home scoring: property sales and purchases
As though the extra warmth in winter and cooler interior in summer were not enough, double glazing also makes a house easier to sell. One of the leading online Australian real estate agencies recently launched an instant comparison snapshot scheme, with energy scores awarded on a scale from 1 to 100 points and related to consumption. The points scheme aims to help buyers and sellers by simplifying energy efficiency comparisons with other homes of the same type and in the same area.
Of course, double glazing has an installation cost – so the work should be viewed as a long-term investment that also improves one's quality of life from the beginning. All the same, double glazed windows can enhance the resale value of a house – even in the short-term.
As we move into the future, there is little doubt that double glazed windows will continue to have an increasingly important role in boosting the energy efficiency, interior comfort and resale values of Australian homes – not to mention the benefits of a reduced carbon footprint.