As the energy crisis takes a grip on Australia, home owners are encouraged to consider the sustainability of their homes.

Windows have the potential to contribute dramatically to energy savings, e.g. new insulated glass units have the ability to reduce heat loss by up to 70%. But no matter how advanced the glazing and framing materials, a window’s ultimate performance is determined by the quality of its installation.

The Australian Window Association (AWA) is reminding home owners and owner builders of the importance of using a licensed and experienced builder to install their windows, doors and skylights.

According to Australian Window Association, the modern definition of a window incorporates a variety of key benefits, such as energy efficiency and sound reduction. If you are spending money on a high performance window that promises to save energy, for example, it must be installed correctly for assurance it will live up to those claims.

Improper installation can contribute to air leakage, unnecessary heat loss, condensation and water leakage. This could not only lead to diminished energy performance, but also to deterioration of walls, insulation, the window unit itself, surrounding furniture, carpet or curtains.

Australian Window Association members are regularly audited by a third party to ensure their products meet Australian Standards, i.e. they are made to withstand Australian conditions and climates.

The ideal way to stay safe and get the most out of a window is to ensure the product and its installation meets relevant Australian Standards. Using Australian Window Association member products and a licensed and experienced builder will ensure your windows are compliant.

Australian Window Association also warns about common tricks of the trade.

The Australian Window Association supports the training and education of apprentices, but too often the installation of windows is relegated to a builder’s apprentice and is not check or inspected by someone with experience or knowledge of the strict installation guidelines as set in the Building Code of Australia.

The Australian Window Association has produced an industry guide for the installation of windows and doors as part of its commitment to educating builders and owner builders about proper installation techniques.

The Australian Window Association strongly recommends the information contained in the booklet be augmented by manufacturer’s guidelines for installation.

The booklet provides basic handling and installation instruction for windows and doors in residential buildings. Areas covered in the guide include responsibilities regarding the Building Code of Australia and compliance, pre-installation care, installing frames correctly, flashing, installation of aluminium, timber and uPVC windows and doors and post installation care.

Australian builders, owner builders, architects and designers can receive the Australian Window Association Industry Guide to the Correct Installation of Windows and Doors from their local Australian Window Association member.