Contact us today to visit the solar energy house and get extensive hints, tips and notes for free as part of the tour...
Solar Energy House C/- Simon & Kristina Cope | 19 Manapau Street, Meadowbank, Auckland 1072 | New Zealand | Contact us now to arrange your tour
Aiming for Energy Efficiency with Double Glazing
Double glazing is twice or more as effective as single glazing in terms of heat insulation.
Double-paned glass, known as double glazing, is twice as effective as single-paned glass, or single glazing, in terms of heat insulation. The reason for this is due to the use of two panes of glass versus one, as well as to the layer of air that is sandwiched between the two panes.
The dry air trapped between the two glass panes helps curb the transfer of heat. It works like a down jacket helps keep you warm, with the warmth provided by the jacket through the small pockets of air within the down that curb heat transfer. Want more info about double glazing your home in New Zealand, then click here.
When Simon built his first solar powered house in Mt Roskill back in 1990 nobody suggested using double glazed windows... then when we built stage 1 of our 2nd house in Meadowbank in 2003, we got quotes on double glazing - however the price was an extra $15,000 (by memory) - and that is a lot of heating! so we didn't do it...
We were however sensible enough to use aluminium joinery that provided lots of maintenance-free benefits! We looked around at a lot of companies (and there are lots!) and like so many of the companies you will read about here who helped us build this house to our specifications - it wasn't the best quality at any price, nor the highest quality at the cheapest price that we were looking for; but we wanted to work with companies that can provide a great product (that the majority of Kiwi's would select & use) combined with EXCELLENT customer service - and Contour Aluminium (supplier of Aluminium Systems Ltd who designs & manufacturers aluminium extrusions) is that company when it comes to aluminium joinery....
We Decided NOT To Spend $15,000 on Double Glazing Back in 2003...
Why Use Double Glazing? Even In Auckland?
We did some research and found that double glazing is perfect where you want to:
* Use less heat to warm the house (i.e. make the house warmer in winter!) Double glazing is twice or more as effective as single glazing in terms of heat insulation.
* Use less energy to cool the house in summer (we definitely aren't going to install a heat pump / aircon unit!) - or better still use NO energy to cool the house because the double glazing knocks back the extreme temperature rises you can get in Auckland from the sun during the day... Solar gain is reduced by ~13% (don't tell my wife that ;-)
* Reduce condensation: make the house warmer and drier :-) Especially when we combine this with the heat & ventilation recovery system!
* Reduce noise coming in from outside (eg. lawn mower, train - in our case, road traffic, etc. Standard double glazing will reduce this noise by 20% and you can reduce it further with enhanced glazing options.
* Provide higher security level to our house:. Even though we have every single window and door wired into our monitored burglar alarm, burglar's don't find that out until they open the door / window... but having double glazed windows is a BIG deterrent before even attempting a break-in - much easier pickings next door with the house with single glazing... (and no burglar alarm!)
* Reduce UV damage to curtains/fabrics, flooring etc: when move a mat from the floor it is amazing how much brighter (or lighter depending on what surface I am looking at) the harsh NZ ultra-violet UV rays have done...
* Increase the value of our home: In 2008 the law changed in NZ (finally!) where new houses need to use double glazing and it is optional on renovations to existing. People will soon expect double glazing - just like a house in the UK has... money in the bank as they say! Click here to learn more
* Reduce your carbon footprint... yeah I had to put that in. Personally I think we are going in the wrong direction trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions - ban the human is the ultimate answer if you go down that path.. don't get me started! Read here mine (and others way more qualified than me on global warming rubbish!)
Examples Of The Single Glazed Windows & Doors In Our Solar Energy House In Meadowbank...
Stage 2: Finish The House (Let's Hope So!) in 2009 - Is Double Glazing Now A Viable Solution?
Thankfully due to a law change in 2008 every new house in New Zealand MUST have double glazing installed.
This means (like our PV solar roof and our solar hot water system) prices MUST come down due to mass production... And YES they have come down :-)
Now that double glazing is cost effective, click here to see who we picked to give us all the benefits of double glazing our home in Auckland.
The benefits of double glazing verses single glazing is obvious and the great news is we can also get our single glazing retro-fitted with double glazing glass - so we will definitely do this in our bedroom and probably also in the girls rumpus room downstairs as 2 of the 4 walls are floor to ceiling windows...
When we have installed our double glazed windows I will post photos for you to see!
So, we have lots of heat we can make in winter using a combination of the fireplace + wetback + boiler feeding out to the radiators... but what about the possibility of delaying when we have to light the fire / fire-up the boiler by an hour or so in the evening, or not at all? Or what about cooling on those balmy summer nights we get in January / February in Auckland? (and lots of other parts of New Zealand?). Click here to see how I got on with researching heat recovery and ventilation systems - and are they right match for our place? Learn more...