If you have ever spent a winter in an old, damp house you can appreciate the benefits of living in a well-insulated and healthy home. Nearly two-thirds of existing Kiwi homes were built prior to 1978, a long time before insulation became mandatory. As a result, many homes were built with single pane windows which allow heat to easily escape and also result in wet windows. This makes older New Zealand homes feel cold, draughty and damp.
While windows create harmony between inside and outside spaces, they are also typically the weakest part of a building’s insulation, accounting for up to 49% of heat loss in winter and 87% of heat gain in summer. Inefficient windows can cause high energy costs and discomfort.
For new homes, double glazing is mandatory and the benefits of double glazing are easier to justify at the building stage. For older homes, the justification seems more challenging due to the inherent cost of ripping out and replacing windows that otherwise work well. Existing homes can also realise the same insulation and cost benefits by double glazing the existing windows, rather than replacing the windows.
1. Maximise Results
Retrofit double glazing can mean replacing the existing glass pane on your single glazed window with two panes of glass or adding a secondary glazing system behind your existing window. Both methods can improve the thermal results, however, secondary glazing will maximise both thermal insulation and soundproofing. Secondary glazing gives better results by insulating the window frame which can account for up to 30% of the heat loss through a window, not to mention the draughts around the edges of the window. The performance is further improved by using a larger air cavity which is vitally important for sound proofing. Retrofitting secondary glazing can improve the sound and insulation performance of a window by up to 70%.
2. Preserve Your House’s Rich Historic Value
For heritage properties, retrofit double glazing retains the aesthetics and character of the home, as the look of the existing windows is unchanged from the outside. Retrofitting allows the heritage windows to remain a character feature, accentuating the historic look and feel of the building.
3. Minimise Costs and Support Sustainable Living
Retrofit double glazing systems are a more affordable alternative than replacement windows as you are simply improving the existing window which is already in place. This means less mess, quicker installation times and more money in your pocket. Retrofitting also means that the existing windows are not taking up room in overflowing landfills helping to maintain a more sustainable environment. Reduced heating and cooling energy use also reduces your impact on the environment.
4. Improve Property Value
Everyone prefers to live in a comfortable and energy efficient home. Retrofitting your existing windows will help to boost your property value by improving the thermal comfort of the home and making it peaceful and cosy all year round.
5. Custom Fit to Your Existing Window
Retrofit double glazing can be designed to fit your existing window and doors. Adaptable to sliding windows and ranch sliding doors it can also be installed on awning and casement windows that are timber or aluminium framed. There is a solution for all styles and shapes including out of square or even odd shaped and curved windows.
Editors Note: This is a guest post written by Magnetite NZ