Watch winter from a cosy, healthy home

Heat treated . . . Balclutha Windscreen and Glass work with style as well as double glazing. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Shorter days and dropping temperatures turn all minds to heating and insulation options for the coming months, where we’ll watch the wind and rain from the cosy shelter of homes and workplaces.

Healthy homes have ceilings and walls stuffed with lofty fill and underfloor insulation, but the chill winds sweeping over the glass of our homes results in major heat loss that window hangings can only limit so much.

The most effective solution to window cavity heat loss is multiple-glazing technology.

Double-glazed windows, also known as insulating-glass units (IGU), use two panes separated by a space filled with air or insulating gas such as argon.

The space width varies, with a 12mm gap most common due to optimal insulation performance.

Argon gas is a better insulator than air, though slightly more expensive, and in combination with low-E glass and high-performance frames, it can give an excellent thermal performance.

Coatings and treatments on the glass itself also enhance interior warmth, allowing external radiation in, to augment the warmth retained from your hard-working home-heating preferences.

Today most new houses and additions will require double glazing to comply with the New Zealand Building Code, but in older houses it is absolutely worth considering retrofitted double glazing, replacing existing windows with custom-made double-glazed ones, or bychoosing another option such as fitting secondary glazing to existing windows.

Still, frosty winter nights not only herald freezing conditions but enable outdoor noise to cover greater distances with increased clarity and glass is usually the weakest barrier to noise in the building envelope.

Standard double glazing provides a little improvement on single glazing for most sound frequencies but not always for low-frequency noise.

For very cold or very noisy locations there is even the option of triple glazing.

Triple glazing consists of three panes of gas-spaced glass to provide even higher levels of heat retention and noise reduction, and is understandably more expensive, but to keep bedrooms insulated not only from icy skies but the roar of night-trains and heavy trucks thundering past on the main roads, triple glazing is a sound investment.

Clutha district is fortunate in it’s range of double-glazing experts, including Balclutha Windscreen and Glass and Milton-based Fairview — South Otago Windows and Doors.

Both teams are standing by, ready to measure and quote, build on local premises and install with home-grown trade specialists.