Your home can get really quite cold in winter but there is a way that you can make it more comfortable without having to rely on your heating systems too much and thus running up your energy bills. It may sound unlikely but you can actually heat your home using your windows! Read on for more.
One thing you can do to help heat your home in winter is to use windows that have a high solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). What this means is that the windows will admit the sun’s solar energy into the home, giving you free heat. While this is very effective in winter, you need to make sure that you can shade these windows in summer so you don’t have the problem of too much heat coming through when you don’t want it. This can be done using trees, awnings, solar blinds, shutters, and so on.
Windows on the north facing side of the home are great and you should have as many as possible here as they will help to trap the winter sun’s warmth. You don’t have to worry about summer heat if your eaves are correctly designed – as a general guide, multiply the distance from the eaves-line to the bottom of the window by 0.7. This will tell you how much your eaves overhang should be or how far they should extend from the wall of the home. Also use windows with a high SHGC on the south side of your home in order to maximise the winter sun.
You can also look at the WERS (Windows Energy Rating Scheme) of your window. This provides a rating of between 0 and 10 stars for both the heating and cooling performance of your window. In order to heat your home in winter, you will want a window that has a high star rating when it comes to its heating performance so that the window will keep the heat in the home where it is wanted.
Of course, don’t forget the importance of using energy efficient windows. Look for windows that are well sealed and don’t allow any air to leak through. Double or triple glazing should be used due t their superior insulating performance (slowing the rate of heat loss through the windows) or use windows that have special coatings that reflect the heat back into the home during winter.
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