In the quest for energy saving windows and doors and sustainable building practices, thermally broken windows have gained popularity in recent years. These windows offer enhanced insulation properties and contribute to reducing heat loss or gain within a structure. Here, we will discuss different types of thermally broken windows, including thermally broken aluminium, and also, whether thermally broken windows are worth it or not.
What Does “Thermally Broken” Mean?
The term “thermally broken” refers to the style of the window frame which incorporates thermal barriers to minimise heat transfer between interior and outside areas. Traditional window frames, made of materials like aluminium or steel, conduct heat more easily, resulting in energy loss and compromised thermal efficiency. Thermally broken windows, on the other hand, feature an insulating material placed between the interior and exterior frame components, creating a thermal break.
How Do Thermally Broken Windows Work?
Thermally broken windows utilise a combination of materials with low thermal conductivity to interrupt the flow of heat or cold. This creates barriers that block the exchange of heat or cold. This design significantly reduces thermal bridging, where heat can pass through the window frame and compromise the overall energy efficiency of the window.
Advantages Of Thermally Broken Windows
Improved Energy Efficiency: One of the primary benefits of thermally broken windows is their enhanced energy efficiency. By minimising heat transfer, these windows help maintain a more stable indoor temperature, reducing the need for heating or cooling systems and ultimately lowering energy consumption.
Increased Comfort: The superior insulation properties of thermally broken windows contribute to a more comfortable indoor environment. They prevent drafts and cold spots near windows, ensuring a consistent temperature throughout the room. Additionally, these windows can help reduce noise transmission, creating a quieter living or working space.
Condensation Reduction: Traditional windows can be prone to condensation, leading to issues such as mould growth or damage to interior surfaces. Thermally broken windows minimise condensation by maintaining a warmer interior surface temperature, reducing the risk of moisture-related problems.
Durability And Longevity: The use of non-conductive materials in thermally broken windows improves their resistance to temperature fluctuations, condensation, and weathering. This feature enhances the durability and lifespan of the windows, resulting in reduced maintenance and replacement costs over time.
Thermally Broken Windows
Thermally Broken Aluminum Windows and Doors: Aluminium windows and doors are known for their strength, durability, and sleek design. When combined with a thermal break, they become even more energy-efficient. Thermally broken aluminium windows offer excellent thermal performance while providing a wide range of design options and customization.
Considerations And Cost
While thermally broken windows provide numerous benefits, there are a few factors to consider before investing in them:
Cost: Thermally broken windows and doors generally come at a higher price point compared to traditional windows. However, the long-term energy savings and improved comfort they offer may offset the initial investment. It is essential to assess your budget and weigh the potential energy savings against the upfront cost.
Building Design And Goals: The architectural style and design goals of your building should also be taken into account. Thermally broken windows offer versatility in terms of design options, but it is crucial to ensure that they align with the overall aesthetic and vision of your project.
Return on Investment: Generally, whatever you invest in installing or replacing existing windows will give a doubling of ROI, Invest 50, return 100.
Installation And Maintenance
When considering thermally broken windows, it is essential to factor in the installation and maintenance requirements. Proper installation is crucial to ensure the optimal performance of these windows. It is recommended to hire professional installers with experience in working with thermally broken windows to ensure a proper and airtight fit. Commercially Installed, not 4 nails.
Regular maintenance is necessary to preserve the functionality and longevity of thermally broken windows. Cleaning the frames and glass regularly, inspecting seals and weatherstripping, and addressing any issues promptly will help maintain their energy efficiency and performance over time.
Energy Savings And Return On Investment
One of the primary reasons for choosing thermally broken windows is their potential for energy savings. The improved insulation properties reduce the reliance on heating and cooling systems, resulting in lower energy bills. While the initial cost of thermally broken windows may be higher than traditional options, long-term energy savings can provide a return on investment over time.
Conducting an energy analysis or consulting with an energy professional can help estimate the potential savings and determine the payback period for the investment in thermally broken windows.
In addition to energy savings, thermally broken windows offer environmental benefits. By reducing energy use, these windows can help reduce your carbon footprint since less fossil energy will be required to heat or cool. This can help in mitigating climate change and promoting sustainable building practices.
Furthermore, the durability and longevity of thermally broken windows mean fewer replacements and less waste over time. By investing in high-quality, long-lasting windows, you are reducing the demand for new window production and minimising your environmental impact.
Building Codes And Regulations
When considering thermally broken windows for a new construction or renovation project, it is crucial to ensure compliance with local building codes and regulations. Building codes may specify certain energy efficiency standards that need to be met, including U-values and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) requirements. Verify whether the thermally broken windows you are considering meet the necessary performance criteria.
Consulting with architects, contractors, or building officials who are familiar with local regulations will help ensure that your choice of thermally broken windows aligns with the necessary codes and standards.
Thermally broken windows offer numerous advantages in terms of energy efficiency, comfort, durability, and environmental benefits. With their innovative design and improved insulation properties, they can significantly contribute to reducing energy consumption and enhancing the overall performance of buildings.
While the initial cost may be higher compared to traditional windows, the long-term energy savings and potential return on investment make thermally broken windows a worthwhile choice, particularly in climates with extreme temperatures. Additionally, their durability and reduced maintenance requirements add to their overall value.
When considering thermally broken windows, it is crucial to assess your specific needs, budget, and project requirements. Consulting with professionals, conducting energy analyses, and ensuring compliance with building codes will help you make an informed decision and select the right thermally broken window option for your building.