The ideal home is one that stays cool in summer and warm in winter. Poor design can lead to soaring energy bills in both summer and winter, especially in Australia, which is exposed to climatic extremes. Many old Australian homes lack sufficient insulation on windows, walls and roofing; therefore, it’s common to see heating and cooling together contributing to 40 per cent of energy use in the average home.

Now that winter is here, homes across the country are cranking up the temperature to keep the cold at bay, once again leading to high energy consumption and bills. Homeowners can, however, choose a more economical (and permanent) solution to maintain energy efficient homes by installing the right windows, doors and furnishings.

Improve windows and glass

Windows, which are a major cause for significant heat loss in winter, can keep heating costs down and create a more ideal temperature in the home by being more energy efficient.

Christine Evans, Marketing Director at Stegbar, observes that windows are one of the most critical elements that contribute to the temperature inside the home. Stegbar’s high performance glazing options can help to increase thermal performance, reducing the amount of heat escaping through the windows in winter.

Ms Evans says Stegbar’s double glazed windows improve the comfort of the home and ensure that the interiors remain pleasant during winter. She explains that the sealed air (or gas filled) gap between the two panes of glass acts as an added layer of insulation, reducing reliance on heaters, ultimately lowering the energy bills and improving the home’s energy rating.

Maximise insulation

Window furnishings, blinds and curtains can enhance the performance of windows as well as overcome problems with existing windows.

Jenny Brown, National Marketing Manager, Australian Window Furnishings division of Hunter Douglas, comments that insulation is key to maintaining room temperatures, and a few small changes can help a home be more energy efficient and keep bills down.

For instance, Luxaflex® Duette Architella Ménage Shades are chic window coverings that provide more insulation than any other window covering product on the market. Unique features such as a triple honeycomb cell construction, with six layers of fabric creating five insulating air pockets to trap air for superior energy efficiency, help save up to 49 per cent on home heating costs.

Insulating window coverings not only prevent heat from escaping, but can also help regulate warmer temperatures during the day.

Brown explains that windows let in more radiant energy during the day than what’s allowed to get out; sunlight can enter through the glass, but the window is opaque to the infrared radiation trying to escape. However, their award winning PowerView motorisation uses clever technology to enable homeowners to schedule their blinds to lower immediately after dusk to help prevent heat loss.

Stegbar is a leading Australian manufacturer of high crafted windows, doors, shower screens, splashbacks and wardrobes.

Luxaflex Window Fashions is a market-leading brand of quality window coverings for inside and outside the home. Luxaflex window coverings provide optimal light control and privacy, are easy to maintain and remain at the cutting edge of design and technology.