As a part of new legislation, glass window installations now have to uphold a certain level of energy efficiency.  This regulation applies to both new residential and commercial developments, as well as affecting any renovations concerning windows. The country’s attempt at energy efficiency stems from past problems relating to load shedding and power shortages. Furthermore, there is also the threat of an upcoming coal shortage for South Africa. This means that other measures should be taken to reduce electricity use. This reduction will help to conserve the countries precious resources and ensure that we have electricity for the future.

Why is Energy Efficiency Important?

As mentioned above, our countries access to electricity may be limited. The only way to save power is to conserve the amount we use. The definition of energy efficiency is using less energy to provide the same quality of function. This means that we can use less energy in our homes, but still solve the same problems. For example, with winter fast approaching, warming up our homes and businesses becomes a priority. However, heating our homes requires much more electricity than we normally use. This spike in usage isn’t good for power suppliers, as it puts more strain on the process. So how can we heat our homes without using too much power? The answer is in energy efficiency.

What Affects Energy Efficiency?

There are elements that work against home efficiency in the case of openings like windows and doors. One of these things is air and water infiltration. When air can get in through window openings easily, it changes the temperature to that of the outside space. This means that in winter, hot air will easily escape the house, and cold air will be able to come in. This makes it harder to keep the house heated overtime, using more electricity to do so. Ensuring an airtight seal on your windows is vital to conserving energy.

This is also true of the overall insulation properties of the windows. The better the materials of your windows, the less chance of a draught coming in and hot air escaping. Currently, many South African windows are not made with energy efficient glass and frames. This means that our homes do not provide much insulation. Therefore we tend to use too much electricity to keep our homes nice and toasty.

This also works in the same way during the summer months. We use things like fans and air-conditioning to try to cool our homes. However, our poorly insulated homes simply bring the heat in and let the cold air out. To avoid this and keep your home or business at the optimal temperature year round, without using a ton of energy, requires an efficient solution.

The Energy Solution

The glass you use for your windows should be a huge consideration in energy efficiency. Glass contributes to nearly half of a buildings yearly heat loss in winter. It also accounts for a staggering 90% of heat gain during the summer. If nothing else, changing the type of glass you use should be a priority.  The best solution is a glass material that optimises energy management, while maintaining natural light transmission. There are various options provided for both residential and commercial properties designed for year round temperature comfort. This high performance glass can be provided and installed by a major specialist glass company, such as Aluview. It is vital to use an installer with experience and expertise, as the installation quality can affect the energy efficiency.

Another important factor in energy conservation is the correct framing. Frames like wood or aluminium provide better insulation than steel. Aluminium frames offer the strongest, most durable qualities, and are cheaper than other materials. With the correct thermal break and glazing, the right aluminium frames will improve your homes energy efficiency.

What’s in it for you?

The most obvious benefit of energy efficiency: you’ll save money. The cost of electricity has increased by over 300% since 2004, and continues to increase. A further 50% increase could be implemented this year. The best way home and business owners could attempt to decrease the impact of this, is to increase energy efficiency. The less electricity one uses, the less you have to pay. Ensuring that you aren’t wasting power this winter by investing in better windows is a smart choice.

Other Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows

Despite the obvious cost saving element of having energy efficient windows, there are also other benefits. For example, your home or business environment is sure to provide a more comfortable environment. This means reduction of heat in the summertime, and fewer draughts in the winter. Energy efficient windows also provide noise reduction, and they provide better home insulation.

If you are looking to replace old windows the time is now to consider energy efficient windows. This is especially true for the construction of new homes and businesses. You have the chance to start off on the right foot. Not only will you be reducing the impact of energy usage, but you’ll save plenty in the long run too.