Why are window and doors important and how do you make the right choice?
Choosing the right windows and doors has a significant impact on heating and cooling bills, as well as on maintenance. Aside from being the link between indoor and outdoor living, they also contribute significantly to the look of the building as well as providing controlled ventilation.
There are a number of performance measures that will determine the comfort and energy consumption of the window or door in use. Choosing and comparing windows & doors you should be prepared to ask the right questions and more important be able to evaluate the quality of the answer.
Approximately 30-50% of heat loss of a building is through the windows and doors.
Approximately 80-90% of solar gain of a building is through the windows and doors.
What are the important factors for you when choosing window and doors?
Design and Appearance
- Do you have the freedom to customise the windows & doors – the sizes, shapes, glass, colours and extras (e.g. handles, locks etc.)?
- Does the design influence the performance of the window?
With Eurotech WinDoors windows and doors you can individualise the look of your home, create an eye catching house and achieve a perfect balance with your overall building design.
Tip: The design options should give you the freedom to choose without influencing the performance.
Costs & Maintenance
What are the costs over the life cycle – maintenance and energy (e.g. heating & cooling savings)?
- What is the life expectancy of the product?
Keep in mind that windows & doors usually remain in your house for at least 25 years. Solid wooden windows and doors are long term investments when maintained correctly and they are more economical than their artificial alternatives if use periods are taken into consideration.
Don’t forget to consider performance as a cost factor – quality hardware and seals should ensure a long life expectancy.
Tip: Ratings show you the performance of your new product. They don’t necessarily incorporate the quality of hardware and seals (gaskets) for ongoing durability. Check the hardware and seals for functionality.
The best way is to touch and see.
- How is the window rated?
- How does the window perform over its lifetime?
- What are the performance measures that show the value of the product?
- What is the life expectancy of the windows?
The discerning customer will invest in quality windows.
As well as performance, maintenance and handling you should always consider the environmental impact of your choice.
Tip: The rating is just a snapshot in time. Always ask for the value and constancy of the performance over time. Including various aspects in your decision is important. The bitterness of poor quality lingers on long after the sweetness of a low price.
Is double glazing mandatory?
No. New Zealand Building Code has performance requirements in the 3 NZ climate zones for new builds with double glazing being the easiest method of obtaining these.
Tip: Only double or triple glazing offers a convenient comfort and security level all year round.
Is double glazing enough?
No. Double glazing is only one component that contributes to the performance. The frame, gaskets and hardware as well as the level of craftsmanship influence the quality and performance of the product
Tip: Windows and Doors are a long term investment – see & touch the whole product before you make a decision.
Is it easy to compare windows?
No. The performance measures are a good indicator, but they only show a fraction of the window quality level. Sustainability of components, value over life cycle and functionality are not represented by generalised values & ratings.
Tip: You really should make sure that you compare apples with apples
Are performance values important?
Yes. The performance measures should be your minimum requirement, but always check if they apply for the whole window (not just for one component) and if it’s applicable in real life. The Rating (WERS) is a computer simulated testing. In regard to the frame the system disadvantages timber to aluminium. This leads to inaccurate and distorted values.