PVC, Vynil, Wooden, or Aluminum Windows

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There is no complete house without windows. Windows allow natural light to enter inside the rooms and help to keep the house properly ventilated. Windows will also enable the people occupying the house to enjoy better views of their external environment. As a result, if your house has enough windows, it will never feel stuffy or gloomy. Windows can make your home more energy efficient by allowing natural light into the home while retaining warm air inside the house. Also, windows can increase the visual effect and appeal of your home.

However, the materials used in making window frames are not the same. A window can offer durability, maintenance reduction, energy-efficiency, and insulating value depending on its material. That is why; whether you are installing new windows or replacing existing ones, it is important to be better informed about different window frame materials if you want the outcome of your project to be successful and to meet your requirements.

Any window material you choose should provide numerous benefits. It should be able to upgrade the interior and exterior of your house. Also, it should make the cleaning of your home easier.

What is the best material for windows?

Most people who want to install or replace their windows often think only of the window style or glass type. They often forget that the material used in designing the window is important also. That is why; you need to explore the different window materials available and their benefits. Also, you should consider their installation, maintenance, cost and many other things.

Most of the available windows in the market are made from Wood, PVC, Aluminum, and Vinyl materials. The materials with the highest quality are often expensive and have higher chances of weather-stripping. Moreover, they can prevent air from passing through from the sashes. Almost every window material can prevent wind when the weather condition is comfortable. However, if the temperature happens to drop below the freezing point, most of their weather-stripping can stiffen, shrink, or become brittle. As a result, they are likely to crack. That is why the best window material should be the one that can hold its own and offer high-performance even at 0 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.  

However, for you to get the best material for windows, there are certain factors you should look out for. Such factors like;

R-value

This factor measures the capacity of the window to prevent the transfer of heat. R-value can determine how the window retains a comfortable temperature inside and how it can keep the uncomfortable temperatures outside the house from entering. It is, therefore, better for a window material to have higher R-value.

U-value

The window material’s U-value otherwise known as U-factor is greatly the opposite of the R-value. What it determines is the heat transfer tendency. That is why; it is better for a window material to have lower U-value.

Solar Heat Gain

This particular factor is also regarded as SHGC {solar, heat, gain coefficient}. Its function is to determine how windows can heat the room as the sun shines. During cold weathers, solar gain is perfect for a window material. But during the summer, it can increase your air-conditioning costs. If the number of solar gains is high in the material, the heat gain will also be greater.

Wind Resistance

Window resistance otherwise known as air leakage can be determined by CFM {cubic feet per minute}. It usually comes in two numbers which are 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 0 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. It is great for the seal if the numbers are lower.

For this article, we are considering PVC, Vynil, Wooden, or Aluminum Windows. Each of them comes in diverse colors, sizes, and shape options. Moreover, some of these materials offer better thermal resistance than the other ones. Also, they have their pros and cons which you should consider before choosing the appropriate one for your project. They are as follows;    

 

PVC Windows

PVC windows are among the popular options available today. Moreover, it is resistant to weather and impact. Unlike wooden windows, you do not need to stain or paint PVC windows.

Pros:

  • They are recyclable
  • PVC windows only require low maintenance. As a result, homeowners can save money and time.
  • Since PVC windows do not change shape or warp, you may not need to replace it.

Cons:

  • You have to get the best quality of PVC to get that aesthetic appeal of aluminum or wood.
  • If you are unfortunate to get poor quality PVC, it can discolor or become brittle.

Vynil Windows

Vinyl windows consist UV-resistant Polyvinyl Chloride and are high-performance and affordable. They can accommodate many other applications. They offer high moisture resistance, almost maintenance free, and do not require painting. The best part is that you can insulate vinyl windows to enhance energy efficiency. Moreover, technology upgrades have increased its manufacturing processes. Thus, it enables vinyl windows to overcome its poor reputation of being substandard.

Pros:

  • It is the most affordable window among all the other materials
  • They can be insulated with foam or kept hollow which makes it energy efficient.
  • Vinyl windows retain its beauty for years and do not need maintenance.
  • It is UV-resistant and non-corroding.
  • Water and air infiltration are prevented due to the welded seams of vinyl. The welded seams also promote its durability.
  • The vinyl that has high-quality titanium dioxide is more resistant to heat.
  • There are also various color options to choose from than the standard tan and white.

Cons:

  • You cannot stain or paint the interior to suit the décor. If you do, it is likely to peel away and need reapplication in the long run.
  • There are so many sub-standard vinyl products available, and if you are not careful, you may end up with one. Thus, you are reducing its insulation value and durability.
  • Vinyl windows most times have no room for customization and as a result, may not suit traditional architectural designs.
  • They are likely to warp as time goes on and can even damage during its installation.
  • Changes in seasonal temperature can induce vinyl windows to contract and expand. As a result, the glass seals may break and cause moisture and air infiltration.

Wooden Windows

Wooden material is the favorite of most homeowners who are installing or replacing their windows. Moreover, for eons ago, wooden materials have been the choice for construction. No doubt, it is as a result of its complete energy efficiency, its architectural matching ability, and warm appearance.

Pros:

  • You can fabricate a wooden material into numerous sizes and shapes.
  • Woods are natural resources and environmentally sustainable
  • It provides maximum insulation value, which is cold transfer and low heat.
  • Wooden windows are highly durable and strong. In short, it becomes stronger over time.
  • You can stain or paint wooden window to your suit your specific exterior décor.
  • Due to its warmth and natural beauty, wooden windows can provide you with a greater return on your investment.

Cons:

  • The price is a bit on the high side than the other materials
  • It is high maintenance. You need to clean, caulk, stain, paint, and sand it regularly.
  • Wooden windows are prone to insect infestation, rotting, mildew, and molding due to weather conditions.

Aluminum Windows

Aluminum windows are almost maintenance free, strong, light, and one of the low-cost window options available. Moreover, aluminum window installation is the easiest for traditional home builders for ages now. No doubt, its standard aluminum window sizes, durability, and strength make it a great choice.

Pros:

  • Aluminum windows prices are lesser than the other materials
  • You can maintain aluminum windows easily. Moreover, it comes in baked-on or anodized finishes. As a result, you do not need to repaint it.
  • Aluminum windows provide narrow frames and slim profile which enables better glass space and promotes sight lines.
  • It is lightweight and allows for customization to your particular fitting configuration.
  • Aluminum windows are joined mechanically with corners that are warp resistant to retain its shape for a long time.

Cons:

  • Its U-value is high making it a great conductor of cold and heat.
  • Among the other window materials, Aluminum windows offer the least energy efficiency.
  • Aluminum is susceptible to condensation and is always cold when touched.
  • They are also prone to corrosion when you expose them to salt air and salt water. As a result, it can cause issues with its functioning and performance.

Differences and Similarities

The comparison of the different window materials will be classified by their;

Design

The design of window material is greatly important when you want to get the best. For instance, the interior of a wooden window usually come from Douglas fir or pine while the outside is covered with PVC, fiberglass, or extruded aluminum.

On the other hand, the material design for vinyl windows comes in various finishes. If by chance it is chipped or scratched, its exterior will still have the same look. More especially, since the entire material design is the same. Aluminum window designs are thinner thus, offering a high-end aesthetic look. No wonder most commercial buildings opt for aluminum windows.

Durability

Another important factor that you should look out for when choosing the best window material is its durability. That is the material that can last for a very long time. For example, wooden materials are easy to maintain and repair. Although they may be prone to rot, the newer wooden windows come with protection. Their exterior is covered by durable cladding or finish. While, vinyl window materials can greatly resist marring, cracking, and scratching.

Moreover, you cannot dent them easily. As for PVC windows, they can tolerate poor weather conditions. On the other hand, aluminum windows are resistant to marring, cracking, and scratching as well. However, if they are powder-coated or painted, they may become more susceptible to dents.             

Colors

The color of window material is crucial when choosing the best material option. Aluminum windows do not have many color options. It is either powder-coated or painted. You can paint vinyl window materials, but you will need a special process to get your specific color requirement. PVC windows do not require painting to get your color choice since they come in a variety of colors. On the other hand, wooden windows can be painted to your color choice. However, you will need to repaint them regularly to maintain their color.

Pitting and Fading

PVC windows do not fade easily no wonder they are recyclable. On the hand wooden windows are likely to fade especially the painted surface. Vinyl windows do not have issues with pitting and fading whereas, aluminum windows can pit. Moreover, its painted surface is likely to fade.

Thermal performance and Energy Efficiency

Wooden windows are perfect in preventing the transmission of heat or cold from outside. On the other hand, aluminum windows are known to radiate unwanted heat from outside in the rooms. Even they conduct cold likewise. That is why; they have to be protected with thermal breaks before they can become energy efficient. Thus, it makes their cost to go higher. PVC, on the other hand, is resistant to impact or any weather change. As a result, its thermal performance is okay. Also, it is energy efficient. Vinyl windows also function better regarding thermal performance and energy efficiency.  

Condensation

Condensation is easily noticed on wooden windows. Moreover, it is easy for vapor pressure to push moisture through wooden windows. Vinyl and PVC are less likely to create condensation. Whereas, aluminum can create condensation and other related issues.

Thermal Breaks

Thermal breaks are vital for aluminum and vinyl window materials since it reduces heat transfers from outside to the inside. Also, it combats the issues of condensation and maximizes energy efficiency. Whereas; wooden windows are non-conductive materials and do not need thermal breaks.

Maintenance

Regarding maintenance, PVC windows only require little or no maintenance while wooden windows need regular maintenance. On the other hand, both aluminum and vinyl window materials do not need maintenance at all.

How much does it cost to replace aluminum, PVC, Vinyl, and Wooden Windows?

When you want to replace your PVC, Aluminum, Vinyl, or Wooden windows, it is important to secure bids from many well-known contractors. At least, you should compare the prices from three different contractors. This is because; their prices are likely to vary from one contractor to another. Moreover, if you are not careful, you may succumb to the high-pressure tactics of their sales representatives.

However, after our research, we can boldly say that aluminum window prices are more on the high side. That is if you go for high-quality and energy efficiency. Vinyl and PVC, on the other hand, provides better value yet, they are not expensive. Wooden windows cost more than all the rest of them may be due to its beauty.  

Conclusion

Before choosing the best option among these window materials, you should consider their cost, efficiency, look, warranty, etc. You should also ask yourself what you require from a window material when embarking on aluminum window installation or any of the others. Furthermore, each of these materials has their particular place in the market. Therefore, if you install them appropriately, they can provide you with efficiency and lifetime service.  

 

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A Homeowner’s Guide To SANS 10400 XA

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south africa climate zones map, energy efficiency, fenestration sans 10400 xa, sigmadoors, south africa sans 204 building regulations aluminium windows and doorsAlmost 60% of the world’s electricity is used by residential and commercial buildings, making it a rapidly increasing and a pressing matter of concern. It’s due to the global climate changes and an increase in costs and energy consumption requirements that the need for energy efficiency and energy efficient buildings is being emphasized.  70% of South Africa’s buildings were designed and built when electricity prices were economical, but the constant price hikes are making it not only hard to maintain a livelihood but also depleting the energy resources at a very rapid rate. Thus, the increasing burden on the South African national electricity grid forced the government to make amends and introduce The South African National Standard – SANS 10400 – XA and the SANS 204 to regulate energy use and encourage energy efficiency in building for better utilization of resources and ensuring improvement in the ecological changes and declining ecosystems.

Energy efficient buildings, is a simple and very innovative idea to introduce required changes in the existing buildings and practical measures that save energy when new buildings are built and designed.  With the introduction of new regulations and policy in the existing sans 204 and national building regulations, the government of South Africa is taking a step ahead towards making the country a cost-efficient country!!

Many modern and especially commercial buildings have been built without much consideration of passive design and rely strongly on technology such as Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems and electric heaters to provide a comfortable indoor climate. Using electricity for these functions is very inefficient and costly.

energy efficiency, fenestration sans 10400 xa, sigmadoors, south africa sans 204 building regulations aluminium windows and doorsWhat Is SANS 10400 – XA?

The SANS 10400-XA standard is a summary of the SANS 204 and other standards into a single reference for homeowners to ensure compliance with the energy efficiency requirements of the National Building Regulations (NBR).  These Requirements include:

  • Buildings should face north so as to make most of the sunlight along with Suitable roof overhangs to maintain the adequate temperature during both summers and winters.
  • Use of energy efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems wherever required;  
  • At least 50% of water heating must be done through a solar water heater or heat pumps or any other energy efficient manner.

The SANS 10400-XA is part of the National Building Regulations (NBR) and must be adhered to. Municipalities are responsible for assessing and approving development applications including their adherence to the NBR.

The SANS 10400–XA Regulations

The latest amends in South African National Building Regulations (NBR) list the following regulations and adherence to which is mandatory to all homeowners.

  • XA1 – all homeowners must use energy efficiently and reduce the greenhouses emissions and use energy within the given limits.
  • XA2 – not more than 50% of the annual volume of domestic hot water should be heated through electrical resistance heating, i.e., 50% or more of hot water used must be heated by energy sources other than electricity.
  • XA3 – compliance with the XA1 Regulations must be accomplished by one of three methods. If homeowners or competent party build in accordance with SANS 10400–XA, then the buildings will be ‘deemed to comply’ with National Building Regulation XA1.

Which buildings are affected by the SANS 10400 XA requirements?

Buildings that consume energy as a result of human occupancy are the main target of the new regulations. All new buildings must comply with these regulations, and any additions or extensions to existing buildings must be strictly made in compliance with the new regulations. If the existing building is unaffected by an addition, only the addition will have to comply with the regulations.

How is compliance achieved?

energy efficiency, fenestration sans 10400 xa, sigmadoors, south africa sans 204 building regulations aluminium windows and doorsTo avoid delays in achieving planning approval and receiving occupancy certificates, homeowners should communicate to their architects and the professional teams that the home must be designed in accordance with the SANS 10400–XA Regulations. Compliance with the SANS 10400–XA Regulations requires that the design of new buildings satisfy certain conditions. There are basically three routes by which homeowners can comply with the new regulations, these three routes are-

  • The Prescriptive Route
  • The Reference Building Route
  • The Performance Route

The Prescriptive Route is generally available to all persons and will commonly be used for houses and smaller buildings. This route requires that a set of rules is adhered to for water heating, insulation and glazed areas, i.e., windows, glass doors, and roof lights.

Homeowners need to choose the most practical and cost-effective route, depending on their financial resources and project timelines.

What documentation must be completed?

Once the plans are ready for submission, the Appointed Person (or Responsible Person, if a professional has not been appointed) must inform the local authority and Building Control Officer which compliance route has been chosen, by completing a set of four documents (Forms 1 to 4). These forms can be downloaded from the SABS website (www.sabs.co.za).

  • FORM 1: DECLARATION BY THE HOMEOWNER FOR APPROVAL OF BUILDING CONSTRUCTION.

Mainly the roles and duties of the homeowner are discussed here. The competent person making a declaration wherein the means for SANS 10400 -XA regulations have to be satisfied.

  • FORM 2: APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL AS AN APPROVED COMPETENT PERSON.

In this step, the Competent Person agrees to take on full responsibility for all the energy-related duties in this section the competent must declare that he/she has the qualification, knowledge and contextual experience necessary for completing the work with compliance to the regulations.

  • FORM 3: DECLARATION BY A COMPETENT PERSON.

Under this the Competent Person is required, to make a declaration that the person is the best for the task at hand and has strictly adhered to the regulations. This form also has the second part which states the critical design information of building and its energy consumption.

  • FORM 4: CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION BY OF THE STRUCTURAL, FIRE INSTALLATION OR FIRE PROTECTION.

Here, the Competent Person has to make sure that he/ she has completed and attested the Certification of Completion. It is also the responsibility of the approved competent person who will retain the role of seeing all the energy aspects of the project.  

Option 1: Compliance through the Prescriptive Route

As compliance through the Prescriptive Route does not require the appointment of a Competent Person, it is likely to be the route most widely used in cases where the homeowner would prefer the simplicity of following the prescribed rules, rather than trying a more innovative approach to achieving energy performance standards.

What must be done to follow the Prescriptive Route?

To meet the minimum requirements of the Prescriptive Route, Schedule A of Form 1 must indicate that this route has been chosen, and the design must adhere to certain rules. This requires that decisions be made on the following:

1 Water heating: – The location, capacity, and type of hot-water installations must be planned to ensure that at least 50% of the water will be heated by means other than electrical resistance heating.

2 Insulation: – Insulation must be specified as follows

  • Roof and ceiling insulation type and thickness.
  • Hot-water pipe insulation thickness (only on exposed pipes).
  • External wall insulation (only where external walls are non-masonry).
  • Under-slab insulation (only where in-slab heating is installed).

3 Glazed areas: – The total glazed area as a percentage of the net floor area must be indicated –

  • If it is more than 15%, the glazed area must be designed to comply with SANS 204.

PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS

These are areas which have different climatic influence, and are tabulated below according to the different climatic zones in South Africa ranging from 1 to 9 these climatic factors must definitely be taken into account before selecting the route either prescriptive or reference building:

south africa climate zones map, energy efficiency, fenestration sans 10400 xa, sigmadoors, south africa sans 204 building regulations aluminium windows and doors

Option 2: Compliance through the Reference Building Route

If the Prescriptive Route requirements pose technical difficulties or are unaffordable, the homeowner may wish to pursue compliance through the Reference Building Route. This option permits a greater degree of flexibility and creativity, allowing the professional team to introduce innovative energy-efficient solutions to achieve an energy performance that is the same or better than that which would have been achieved by the strict application of the Prescriptive Route. The factors influencing the choice of this compliance route are:

  • The scale of the home.
  • The wanted aesthetics of the home.
  • The ability set of the expert team.
  • Client preferences and willingness to pay for energy modeling.

What does the Reference Building Route involve?

A Reference Building is initially designed according to the homeowner’s vision and needs, with all the elements required to comply with the Prescriptive Route being included. Thereafter, the design can be modified with recommendations from the professional team. The annual energy usage and demand is calculated and compared with the performance of the Reference Building (the base case). If the modified design shows an equivalent or improved energy usage compared with the Reference Building, it complies with the regulations.

What must be done to follow the Reference Building Route?

To meet the requirements of the Reference Building Route, the homeowner must appoint a Competent Person who, along with the architect, will ensure that the required documents are submitted to the local authority timeously. The homeowner must also sign the following two SABS forms before the plans can be submitted for approval:

  • Form 1: ‘Declaration by the person responsible for preparing an application for approval of the erection of the building in terms of section 4 of the act.’
  • Form 2: ‘Application for acceptance as an approved Competent Person in terms of Regulation A19.’

 

 

Case Study: Joe Slovo, Cape Town: Sustainable low-income settlement

The Joe Slovo settlement is situated in the suburb of Langa, 10 km east of the Cape Town CBD. The low-cost houses in the settlement include the following sustainable design elements in compliance with SANS 10400-XA

  • Improved thermal performance of buildings through insulated ceilings, roof overhangs, and double story, duplex block design, i.e., reducing external wall exposure
  • Improved energy services through energy efficient water heating through solar water heaters (150-litre low-pressure evacuated tube systems).

The images show the houses in Joe Slovo and conventional low-cost houses in Delft that were used to compare the impact of the sustainable features.

Solar water heaters- SWH were installed on all houses. A community survey conducted after occupation showed that the SWH were most appreciated measure. Prior to the installation households used an average of 8 kettles per day for water heating. Even on cloudy days in winter, the SWHs were found to produce 30 to 40°C warm water.  

Energy Efficient lights -The houses were equipped with CFL lights. It is noted that safe disposal and replacement system is required to sustain this measure as poor residents may replace broken CFLs with cheaper incandescent light bulbs.  

Thermal design features- The thermal design was optimized with the help of a computer modeling package. The houses are a double story and have shared walls reducing their exposure to outside air. Most houses are north facing with roof overhang shading windows on the top floor in summer.

Conclusion

So, from the overall discussion, we can conclude that energy efficiency has  become of a requirement rather than just a choice the global greenhouse emissions are increasing day by day destroying the ecological balance , if these signs further ignored the world as we know it will deteriorate,  However, successful government intervention plans policies regulation and increasing awareness has turned the tide and bringing in a new wave of change although the quantum of change is very small it is helping in spreading more awareness.

south africa climate zones map, energy efficiency, fenestration sans 10400 xa, sigmadoors, south africa sans 204 building regulations aluminium windows and doors It is important to note that the design and plans for extensions and Improvements of the above mentioned must be made in compliance with the newly set regulations. Usually, the SANS 10400 -XA serves the role of providing the  energy requirements for a building for the compliance with National Building Regulations regarding energy usage while the SANS 204 is more concerned with specifying the actual design requirements so as to achieve the desired levels of energy efficiency in the long run to make sure easy sustainability because countries like South Africa which fall under the economically backward  countries already have a very limited amount of resources and if the country continues to consume the resources at its current pace then in the next few decades South Africa will run out of energy sources and must depend on the underdeveloped renewable resources.

While there has been lots of regulations and policies, the response and awareness created through such plans and policies in South Africa is still very little. There is surely demand of more plans and policies and amendments in the existing SANS 10400-XA due to the in compliance and loopholes in the regulations. It is a very necessary and ideal time for intervention in averting such massive scale energy crisis. Reports and research have shown that the buildings are the largest consumer of energy, right after the construction sector in South Africa.

Thus SANS 10400-XA can be said to be a stepping stone in averting a massive energy crisis in South Africa although the SANS 10400 is an incomplete attempt and requires lots of revision and amendments in the foreseeable future it can be concluded that the SANS 10400-XA is definitely a founding stone in revolutionizing energy efficiency in buildings in South Africa.

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Renewable Energy vs. Nuclear Energy: What Is Better?

wind power, solar energy, renewable energy sources, alternative energy sources, nuclear energy, Sigmadoors

One of the most heated and vigorous debates in the contemporary academic domain is about renewable energy and nuclear energy. Both the efficient energy alternatives have garnered split global support, decades of research and billions in multi-currency investments. The question, however, still lingers whether nuclear energy should be the primary option. Or the alternative/renewable resources can cope with the overwhelming demands efficiently. The debate transcends mere statistics and plans. Furthermore, the sectors conforming to energy efficient standards are also looking to see the result of the seeming perpetual debate. However, the primary focus in this article would be on the application of the environment-friendly alternatives in the housing sector. It shall cover the usage of energy alternatives from the mere front doors to a more significant overall scenario. That is the scenario of an efficient and ‘green’ household.

wind power, solar energy, renewable energy sources, alternative energy sources, nuclear energy, SigmadoorsRenewable Energy or Nuclear

The current deplorable condition of the depleting and carbon-emitting resources is an extremely well-known fact around the world. The era when fossil fuels powered the large, boisterous industries and upcoming modern cities is approaching an end. The rising scale of carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases have merely rendered the fossil fuel alternative obsolete. The pollution, harmful emission, and global warming together have demanded a new, more efficient and less dangerous option.   

A few decades ago, the options came to light in the form of alternative energy. Countless scientists undertook long hauled research and bags full of money and contributed to the development of these alternative sources. They developed sources in the form of solar, wind, hydro and other significant forms of energy. Unsurprisingly, the results were revolutionary. The current scenario involves a large section of the global population conforming to these environmentally efficient methods.

However, the quest didn’t stop there. The next big revolution was the harnessing of nuclear energy. The results were impressive and significantly sustainable. However, the results took a massive monetary and economic toll.  

The debate then began regarding the overall credibility and sustainability of both the options. Various other scientific and economic factors were also taken into consideration. The result was mostly a tied-up situation; however, a more intricate look on a list of factors would shift the favor towards alternative energy sources-

  1. One of the most critical factors that discredit nuclear energy from becoming the primary energy source is the unpreparedness of the sector. Even after the significant investments and efforts, nuclear energy resources have not reached a level of adequate prominence. The current nuclear scenario consists of inefficient 2nd generation reactors which aren’t equipped to provide energy on a large scale. The 3rd generation reactors are efficient but not as efficient when compared to renewable sources. Moreover, the 3rd generation reactors are heavy on budget and still a work in progress.

Renewable resources on the other hand, like wind and solar energy sources, are effortlessly dominating. This is because of their cost-effective and efficient characteristics.

  1. Another undermined factor about nuclear energy is the amount of emission that takes place. For instance, during the mining of raw materials like uranium. The uranium deposits are further depleting. Thus in the future, the frequency of mining and the subsequent emission are expected to increase. This ultimately invalidates the very intention of efficient energy alternatives.
  2. In addition to the non-periodic energy supply and monetary inefficiency, the problems regarding the waste bi-product formed and its management is worth acknowledging. There are currently no waste management repositories in the whole world that can contain nuclear waste. Even if a project were to be initiated, the cost would be too high. To build a nuclear repository that is capable of over thousands of years of containment seems like a long shot.

Therefore, the notion is a bit more refined than the alternative energy resources are still holding the edge over their nuclear counterparts.

What requires attention next is the housing sector now. It is dependent and factorable into the renewable energy domain. Various housing products like aluminium windows and doors, glass doors, etc. and even more concepts have emerged these days. Hence, it’s now possible to make households energy efficient.

Energy Efficient Housing

Renewable energy resources have played an integral role in a lot of industries and sectors. Housing sectors are one of the major sectors which have benefited from renewable energy concepts in numerous ways.

The concept of making the house energy efficient is not only just an option but a growing necessity. People all over the world have already taken steps to do so. With the use of efficient aluminium windows, aluminium doors, better-equipped shower doors, etc. people make many housing changes for efficiency.

wind power, solar energy, renewable energy sources, alternative energy sources, nuclear energy, SigmadoorsThe need for making one’s home energy efficient comes merely from the fact that it’s cost-efficient. In addition to that, alleviated the comfort gradient, adds value to the resale number, and foremostly it’s environment-friendly. Windows and doors contribute extensively in making a house efficient. The right products and information can transform a home into an efficient, safely insured and comfortable living space.

It’s best to skim through the varying options provided by mere doors and windows provide. This is to understand the role of renewable energy in the housing spectrum –

  • Doors

Doors to a house are the undebatable defining factors. Not only do they carry an esteemed aesthetic value, but also the maiden protection responsibility. A change of front doors can have a profound effect on the structure of the house. Doors are a major factor of the overall design of any house. Not only does it provide security, but it is also responsible for factors like thermal performance, moisture protection, daylighting and aesthetics. A door plays an essential role in the overall design and performance.  

For the house to become more efficient, a change of doors can help.

Newer entrance doors have a better insulation effect and thus lower heating effect and prolonged cooling.

To have this augmented thermal effect, the use of aluminium doors or aluminium folding doors is advised. aluminium doors have glass layering which prevents conduction of heat and reduce air permeability. This glass layering is called glazing and is often used to make the house more efficient.

Furthermore, the use of aluminium sliding doors offers enhanced protection in case of heavy winds and storms. The heavy-duty sliding structure of an aluminium sliding door makes sure the door stays intact in aggressive scenarios.

Another great addition to an efficient house is that of folding doors. Especially, aluminium folding doors are an efficient way to alleviate the housing standards. The foldable doors, when closed, are a canvas of glass which allows a panoramic view of the outdoors. This also enables incorporation of flooding natural light which is quite essential. As compared to aluminium window French doors, folding doors offer more security. Their compressed panels also make sure the thermal and air permeability is in check. The ventilation through the widely spaced folding doors is utterly sufficient too.

Furthermore, aluminium doors are much more credible than wooden doors. In addition to energy efficiency, aluminium doors are much easier to maintain, more cost effective and highly durable. They also spruce up the entrance with a modernized and bright look.  

With a cost range of R6000-R30000 aluminium doors, the house is not only more protected but also more thermally efficient.

  • Windows

Another factor that plays a vital role in augmenting thermal efficiency and making the house more energy efficient are windows. Windows are an essential part of the overall structure of the house. Windows are a source of natural light. However, they also decide the level of permeability and thermal exchange a house should have.

Windows are primarily used as a barrier in the house. The main component of the window that decides the majority of the factors is the frame used.  

Primarily, aluminium window frames are widely used now because of many reasons. The frames are used extensively because of their insulation properties and added protection. Not only is aluminium a durable material but the glazed surface prevents unneeded air and thermal exchange. aluminium is also used extensively because the material is highly flexible in availability. This allows a large variety in standard aluminium window sizes. The use of aluminium frames also allows wider and clearer screen installation. This, therefore, allows more daylight and subsequently enhances the clarity of the outdoor vision.

A better option for an efficient home is also the use of compression seal windows like the awning windows. These windows offer better water resistance and filtration of the air. Since these windows can be opened entirely, they also provide an efficient ventilation option.

Another thing to keep in mind is the maintenance of the aluminium windows. The best way to maintain aluminium frame windows is to anodize the aluminium frames. This protects it from environmental factors such as moisture and humidity. Furthermore, the glass window panes require regular cleansing with normal water.

aluminium windows also serve as efficient replacement windows. In events of a storm or other natural calamity, they are easily replaced. That is only if they are not able to withhold the cause, which they usually do.

aluminium window prices are furthermore cost efficient than the wooden counterparts. The range is usually limited from R100-R150 per square meter.

For further modernized guides, various forums and blogs can be referred to.

To gain access to this wide range of products, it’s best to have credible sources. The availability of these aluminium doors and windows is always an issue. However, various well stocked online entities can be referred to for help. Companies like Sigmadoors, etc. are known for their diverse catalog of efficient and quality products.

 

These are the factors that contribute to the overall energy efficiency in household scenarios. In addition to these cases, renewable energy resources like solar panels, hydro generators, etc., are used in industrial situations efficiently.

According to various reports and surveys, the use of renewable energy in the industrial sectors has seen an upgrade of up to 5%. The increased use is countered by nuclear use of 3%. Even though renewable energy sources are leading the statistics, the use of energy efficient alternatives is a positive sign.

The statistics also point to the fact that the use of alternative resources has increased in double margins since the beginning of the last decade. Bio-mass, hydroelectricity, solar energy, etc. are been used extensively throughout the world.

The nuclear energy, however, is dealing with other problematic factors — the only efficient grade reactors, that it, the 3rd generation and the 3rd+ generation are not available for extensive use. The former is only available in 3 countries while the latter is still not in existence and is constructed. Even if nuclear energy is an innovative and efficient alternative, it is not yet equipped with the practical tendencies to provide on a global scale.

In conclusion, renewable energy resources are holding the edge in the contemporary energy scenario. The nuclear energy sources are offering their contribution but still lack the refined capabilities to accommodate the efficient energy demands on a global scale. However, as we have seen, both have their own upsides as well as downsides. It is all about the requirements and the planning that we have in mind.

Furthermore, they are numerous ways to use alternative concepts and techniques to make one’s house energy efficient. The various uses of aluminium in aluminium doors and windows, etc., can alleviate a house’s energy efficiency and make it environment-friendly which is the least contribution one can make in the increasing necessity of environment-friendly acts. Ensure that all your actions are with the thought of the environment in mind. Your actions will lay the path for the younger generation as well. The choices that you make in terms of saving the environment today will eventually lead to them having a safe and secure future.  

What Kind Of Damage Can High Wind Speeds Do To A House?

aluminium windows and doors, hurricane damage, wind speed damage, tornado, sigmadoors

hurricane damage, wind speed damage, sigmadoorsA heart is happy when the house you have built is happy.  A happy house is characterized by how satisfied you are with it. Contentment can be measured by the comfort in the design and utility of the house, not just by the styles of your glass doors and awning windows. It is necessary you care for the structure and protect it as your own. By not treating it as a different entity, you will be ensuring the safety of the house and your family. The possible threats the building is likely to face are mostly uncontrollable and involuntary. Nature’s forces like the wind and water are not under the guidance or control of any man. Thus, it is essential for you to safeguard your house with insurance. Damaging wind speeds are detrimental since they take shape in various categories and forms. Awareness against all these odds will help in tackling these hazards smartly. The following is a detailed study of the same.

What are the winds and why are they harmful?

Wind, in its most comprehensive meaning, refers to a collection of gases. Winds flow faster than a regular breeze and tend to last for a longer duration. At a velocity, winds carry with them a certain amount of pressure which determines the direction of the wind flow. This velocity is also called wind speed. It is interesting to mention that on the following basis, winds transpire into various categories:

  1. Spatial scale-  The spatial scale shows the amount of intensity of an object over a fixed distance, time and area.
  2. Wind speed- Wind speed is a noteworthy discussion that determines the damage and utility quotient of the wind.
  3. The region- Because winds all have differential pressures and directions at different points of time, the locational influence is an eloquent amplification.
  4. The forces- The forces refer to the ignition of climatic changes that generate differentiated winds.

A few winds are harmless while another few are highly damaging. Every wind has three aspects to it- the cause, the area of effect and the effects. On this basis, damaging winds are calculated and predicted. This analogy acts as an helpful precaution against impending horrors of nature that will affect your house.

The cause

Winds are generated across various locations due to the disparity in atmospheric pressure. This thermal difference in temperatures and pressures gives rise to various forces. These forces accumulate towards a common center, thanks to a centrifugal force.  The friction at the eye of the winds slows the pace of the wind. It moves towards a gradient pressure area and starts collecting a similar army of winds which, as a result, increases the speed.

The area of effect

At the area of effect, the accumulated winds tend to cause havoc. The speed of the wind is alarmingly high. Since winds host moisture and collect humidity from the nearby air, water is a well-known companion of such high-speed winds. Soon after this, the storm starts to develop an eye. At this point, the winds start their action in dilapidating the region tormented with the storm. Coastal regions are the most suffered areas of damage. The sea and land breezes aid the winds which may cause widespread damage to your roof coverings, windows and front doors. This damage is inclusive of significant damage to houses and the community at large. The damage caused by these winds depend on the speed of the winds aroused in the region.

The winds that have attained the speed of 50-60 miles per hour (mph) are denominated as straight-line winds. These winds can easily reach up to 100 mph in the blink of an eye. The worst the winds have speeded across an area is 300 mph. Moreover, these accumulated winds have slight outbursts called microburst and macroburst. They are significant contributors to house damage to entrance doors, aluminium windows, and aluminium doors. Such high-speed winds are accompanied by previously uprooted flying debris, wind-driven hail and damage from a tornado. This debris includes replacement windows pieces, vehicle junk, and numerous splinters.

The scale used to determine the speed of the winds and the damage caused by them is the below-mentioned table.

 

Scale ( Fujita ) Wind speed (mph) Damage
EF0 68-85 Mediocre
EF1 86-110 Moderate
EF2 111-135 Considerable
EF3 and above >135 Total destruction

 

The effect

The intensity of damage caused by these winds is highly detrimental. The damage of such winds is ancillary to the wind speed, the direction of the wind and duration over which the storm persists. The debris comprises of broken pieces from glass doors, aluminium windows and more. This debris-storm causes more damage than the winds themselves.

Different wind speeds cause various levels of damage. Minimal speed winds which rage at 50-60 mph do not cause noteworthy damage. The most it can do to your house is to uproot the trees in your backyards and shatter the shingles of your roof. They are also capable of overturning a few light vehicles or fences. A regular house that has a foundation can withstand 120-140 mph winds easily. Trouble occurs when the winds go over the mentioned speed range. At this speed, the roof begins to fall off or blow away. The winds blow towards your house with a severe intensity that will pass through the unfinished ends and edges. This will weaken the wall and cause its destruction. Doors and windows have always been the weakest points of interest. Heavier pieces of previously stable aluminium folding doors and broken splinters and slivers of standard aluminium window sizes are nothing less than harmful.

Home damage of aluminium doors and aluminium windows

Coastal and disaster-prone areas are the most common sufferers of these hazards. The tropical depression that is created by the winds is of extreme concern to many construction workers and home designers.

  • At a modest speed of 50-60 mph, the shingles of the roof or slight breakage in the fence can be observed.
  • When the speeds reach to about 70-80 mph, building materials start of wear off slowly and steadily. At this rate of a wind change, the glass of the glass doors and windows and of other equipment would be shattered. Older and traditional methods of construction are weak and unadvanced. They will not be able to withstand the effects of the high-speed winds that are ravaging the community.
  • At a speed of 150 mph, trees and lampposts are uprooted mercilessly and, the foundation of the house is ripped beyond repair.
  • Manmade structures and buildings fall off at the wind speed of 210 mph. It is highly unlikely that any artificial structure can hold its strength against such damaging winds.
  • For instances, one of the most damaging kinds of winds hit Barrow Island with a speed of 253 mph. The costliest of hurricanes were Sandy, Katrina, and Andrew in the US that had a recovery expense of $125 billion.

Precautions to take

These are seven best precautionary measures which can help in preventing extensive damage to your house:

  1. Manufacturer addressed concerns – when a storm with high-speed winds hits the region, many houses are overturned or completely destroyed. The wind can easily overpower the strength of your construction. Thus, it is advisable for you to use those materials that offer permanent solutions to home-based queries. For example, if the doors of your house were likely to cause a break down during an upcoming storm, how are going to handle it? The material in question should be top notch and available.
  2. Extra add-ons- The most vulnerable parts of your home are the windows and doors. They are the main causes of flying debris entering the house. If the construction material had no significant specification for the door, then use an add-on. Equipment such as shutters, panel systems, and screens can be used to ward off debris. Moreover, this additional protection cannot easily be penetrated by debris (unless the object is heavy such as aluminium sliding doors). These systems provide an extra layer of safety to the windows and doors.
  3. Glass advancement- Using glass doors and windows is nice. They are tinted or transparent in their usage, but during high-speed wind crusade, these very glassdoors cause the highest amount of damage. Glass shattering is not only painful to the building, but the debris after the shattering of glass is extremely fatal. In a preventive measure, glass can be manufactured to be made impact resistant. This can be achieved by heat hardening the glass and chemically treating it. This involves the method of serious compression that limits the jerking of the glass doors.
  4. Leakage-resistant techniques- Doors and aluminium windows, despite being the best alternative, do not completely kee off trouble. They are very delicate and easily prone to damage. They are also habitats of water intrusion. Storms are often accompanied by water and debris. The debris will cause damage to the aluminium window and will allow the water to flow in and through it. This seepage will eliminate the remaining strength of the wall, and it will slowly succumb to the wind and water pressure. Thus, the use of certain extra tools like screens or shutter can be invariably helpful.
  5. Siding- Siding is a shielding material attached to the outlying side of a wall. Along with the roof, it forms the first line of defense against the natural forces. Therefore, it gives rise to a stable, and a really worriless interior. It also helps in reducing the interior temperature when it too high. Siding to houses should be looked after and taken as a piece of advice. Fibre cement siding is a material used to build one of the most powerful and strong holdings and long lasting walls. Can hold itself against ferocious coastal winds. Siding must be designed to withstand a minimum of 130-150 mph of winds.
  6. To build a home, you should consider wind load classifications and types of building materials that can withstand the winds.
    1. Age factor- the older the house, the less likely it is to withstand the wrath of the winds. Newer houses are equipped with more stabilized techniques which are preferable.
    2. Your home can withstand the air pressure if it is one-storied. Extra precautionary measures need to be taken in order to protect the house from such high-speed winds.
    3. The strength of your walls can be a known factor. Many homes use concrete block than wood framing to build their walls. A few houses even use a combination of the both.
    4. The type of roof is a dependent factor on which the health of the house is relied on. There are two types of roof structures- gable roof and hip-roof. The materials used in building a roof are significant to understand. Dimensional lumber is old and unfavorable. The problem with Dimensional lumber is that this wood is sharp across all edges and turns. That creates wind resistance. Dimensional lumber can be the reason why high-speed winds are capable of toppling your home. OSB or plywood is a recommended alternative to such wood.  Despite being the least used housing material, concrete is still recommended.
  7. Insurance is the undisputable necessity among all other precautions. In order to ensure your home’s safety and recover the lost funds, insurance can help you to do that. Here’s a general list of questions to skim through when you’re deciding on your insurance:
    1. How to buy insurance for your homes:
    2. Home Insurance Overview
    3. What Does Home Insurance Cover?
    4. Storm Damage Insurance Buyers Guide
    5. Home Insurance Terms and Definitions
    6. Storm Damage Insurance FAQs
    7. Flood Insurance: What You Need to Know and How to Purchase Coverage
    8. How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim after Storm Damage

This list is as per the NSDC. Property owners can safeguard their entities by obtaining a good insurance policy to combat the after-effects of a storm.

It should be noted that winds are a topic of utmost importance. They do not cause the damage that amounts to that of a child’s play. Be it your fancy double sliding glass doors for entrance doors, and nothing is a match to high-speed winds. Only awareness and safety tricks are the measures for a healthier approach to human and house safety, at the least.

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How To Maintain Your Doors And Windows

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In today’s contemporary architecture of buildings, aluminium windows and aluminium doors are becoming a popular choice. Both from a residential and commercial point of view, the integration of aluminium windows and doors are increasing significantly. Aluminium is an excellent choice if you want to maximize levels of security, insulation, or aesthetics of your home or building. Aluminium windows and doors have proven to be light but strong, durable and easy to maintain. They are available in standard aluminium window sizes and can be purchased on various sales and discounts.

Due to the strength of aluminium, the frame requires less material to hold the glass. As a result, slimmer frame profiles are possible. The strength of aluminium windows and doors also allows the construction of much bigger windows and doors. These glass doors and windows improve the outside view as there is much more glass area. Use of such architecture almost blurs the lines between the indoor and outdoor view. Hence, this gives us a sensation of being closer to nature.

The Need for Maintenance

There is a wide range of advantages of investing in aluminium doors and windows. Hence, it is equally important to know how to maintain it well. It is true that these type of windows and doors are of low maintenance. However, it would be best if you still did not neglect taking care of them.  If not taken care of, it may call for an expensive door or window replacement.

Even though aluminium is a great material to use, its chemical properties are such that it can corrode easily. Once this begins, it can quickly get out of hand. Nobody really wants their front doors to be stained by corrosion. Areas exposed to water such as shower doors must be given extra care to avoid corrosion of aluminium.

You can follow these methods and tips listed below to maintain your aluminium doors and aluminium windows.

11 tips to maintain your doors and windows

  • Clean the Glass

Any glassy surface is bound to get dirty soon. It may have several fingerprints or settled dust on its surface. This ruins the look and show of it. Hence, it is a good idea to clean your front doors, entrance doors, and aluminium windows on a regular basis.

For this, it is advised to use detergent and clean water. It is also best to use a sponge or a soft cloth for cleaning. This will protect the surface from scratches. Do not wash the glass when its surface is hot. Also, remember not to let the soap solution dry on the surface.

A high-pressure source of water such as a hose should not be used. This may seep into the wall assembly and cause damage.

  • Dry the Awnings

Aluminium awning windows help to conserve heat within the interior of your home while adding to the aesthetics of it. They are a meeting ground between fashion and practicality. Drying of the awnings is essential for proper maintenance. Any form of solvent residue must be removed carefully before they are left to dry. If neglected, heavy oxidation may lead to staining.

  • Unclog the Tracks

Aluminium doors and windows consist of tracks. Dirt and debris may often get accumulated in these tracks. This may restrict the motion of aluminium sliding doors and windows and make the operation of closing and opening difficult. Also, due to clogging chances of corrosion also increases. You can try using a vacuum cleaner to remove the set-in dirt. Avoid the use of sharp objects to do this. It may cause damage or may scratch the powder coating.

  • Wash the Frame

Just as the glass and tracks need to be kept clean, the frame also requires attention. It would be best if you used soft cloth or sponge and minimal detergent on the frames. Use mild detergents and dilute it properly to inhibit oxidation and pitting. Pour 1 cup of detergent into one liter of water to scrub the frames and keep them intact. It is essential to note that wood frames require paint or stain every five to ten years.

  • Use these products

Penetrating Lubricant – You can spray the locks of your aluminium windows with a penetrating lubricant. This will keep the springs flexible and reduce stiffness.

Car Wax – You can apply car wash in the frames of your aluminium windows and doors to protect it from grime. It will also control the amount of dirt on the glasses and make it crystal clear.

Silicone Lubricant – A silicone lubricant profoundly prevents rust and corrosion. Additionally, it makes the sliding of glass a lot smoother. However, make sure that you apply the lubricant only after cleaning your aluminium windows and doors thoroughly.

Glass Cleaner – You can make use of glass cleaning sprays as well. Spray ample amounts of liquid to the glass and clean in a circular motion using soft fabric or old newspaper. This will help you achieve perfectly clean aluminium glass doors and windows.

Steam Cleaner – If your awning windows seem withered, you can use a steam cleaner. Many a time, typically sticky substances like mildew can make your glass dirty and opaque. This machinery is recommended because it helps to remove such contaminants. Aluminium awnings require sprucing with coats of fresh paint from time to time. Using a steam cleaner will negate moisture seepage. This will increase the durability of the awnings and improve their appearance on the whole.

  •  Lubricate the Hardware Components

Aluminium is used to construct entrance doors, french doors, front doors and many other kinds of glass doors. Therefore, it is vital to lubricate the hardware components. Parts such as locks, handles, and keyholes should be lubricated using a wet silicone spray. Proper attention should be given to the roller assemblies used in aluminium folding doors and aluminium sliding doors too.  Use a straw applicator to lubricate these parts. It is also recommended that you apply a generous amount of lubrication to joints and hinges for smooth locomotion. This is highly recommended in coastal areas as sea salt encourages the formation of rust.

  • Apply Sealer

Seasonal changes such as in late summer and early fall can cause maximum dirt accumulation and problems. It is the right time for the reapplication of sealant or caulk in your aluminium windows and doors. To reduce the potential of leaks, you must pay heed to areas that are constantly exposed to sunlight. Other extreme weather conditions such are thunderstorms or hailstorms can also cause damage to your windows and doors. This will make you go for replacement windows.

  • Maintain functionality of your hardware

Friction – You may find that your aluminium windows and doors are becoming stiff. If that happens, use a light spray lubricant such as WD40 and apply it on the joints. Following this move the glass back and forth several times to remove the stiffness. Spray the lubricant in careful amounts to avoid over sliding.

Hinges – Be regular with the cleaning of hinges for good durability.

Cylinders – As dust and grit accumulate in the cylinders of your glass doors and windows, it will become harder for keys to turn. Hence, apply lubricant or graphite powder when the cylinders feel too tight to move.

Locks – Use spraying lubricants to keep the bolts and latches free and clean.

Rollers and Wheels – To keep the operation of your aluminium sliding doors smooth, focus of the tracks. Keep the tracks clean by using a vacuum. Make sure that the brush piles are also free of debris. Also, keep a check on the drain holes in the lower frame of your doors and windows.

  • Install Blinds and Snap-In Shades

To insulate your interiors of the house from cold temperatures in the winter or scorching heat in the summer, you can install blinds. Some aluminium windows come with pre-installed shades between the glass. Blinds and snap-in shades are readily available for most of the various standard aluminium window sizes. Nowadays several options for getting custom sized shades and blinds made are also present. These shades and blinds provide additional privacy. They also increase energy efficiency.

  •  Replace/Repair the Damage

It is a harsh reality that overtime your shining aluminium windows and doors will lose some of their shine. To however preserve the performance and durability of your doors and windows you must replace and repair the damaged components. Due to water penetration over time wood may get cracked and deteriorate. This will allow cold air and unwanted moisture to leak into your home. You must keep an eye out for these signs and call for replacement windows at the earliest if the damage is done it cannot be controlled any further.

Loose or missing seals and gaskets must also be fixed at the earliest. Glazing seals are responsible for providing weather tight connection between the glass and the frame. Hence, lose, or missing seals can also cause unwanted moisture or other elements to contaminate your house.

  • Prevent Condensation

Condensation results when moist air comes in contact with a cold surface and changes into its liquid form. It can lead to a deposit of water in the form of tiny droplets on the interior wall and glass. It must be avoided at all costs to minimize damage. In such a natural phenomenon much is not in our hands to control. However, the usage of wooden frames can help reduce condensation to an extent. As wood is a good insulator from the cold temperatures outside, wooden frames for aluminium windows and doors is a smart choice. On the other hand, metal frames are not so beneficial. Some metals usually used to make window and door frames are not good insulators. They allow the cold conditions to affect the temperature of the entire frame. This causes heavy condensation on the interior of the glass. Hence, in order to control wooden condensation frames are better than metal ones.

How to know when your aluminium windows and doors need maintenance?

Look out for these typical signs that indicate that your windows and doors are calling for help.

  • Draughty windows – When your windows are shut, but you can still feel cold air currents, something is not right. It indicates that there is some ill-fitting in your frame. You must add more sealant or weather-stripping to your windows and doors.
  • Condensation – As mentioned before, condensation means seal degradation. It occurs in double or triple-pane windows, and doors indicate the replacement of the entire unit.
  • Cracks – This visible sign shows clear damage. If your aluminium windows and doors are visibly cracked or broken or difficult to close and open, a full replacement is required.
  • Noise – If too much noise is easily entering your house even when windows and doors are closed; things have become outdated. New energy efficient windows keep heat, cold air, and noise out. If you can still hear sounds of heavy traffic, it is a sign that a change is long overdue.
  • Smoke test – This showcases the tiny air leaks. To perform this shut all windows and doors and turn off gas appliances. Turn on ventilation systems in the kitchen and bathrooms to create a negative pressure indoors. Light an incense stick and bring it near your sliding doors and aluminium windows to determine which areas are drafty.

How often should you maintain your aluminium windows and doors?

With our busy lives and work schedules, it is impossible to be so particular about doors and windows. So, how often must you do the steps as mentioned above? You can inspect your windows every two to three months and doors every six months for faults and damages. Needless to say, if you stay near the coast, then monthly maintenance and care are required. However, it is suggested you have a professional inspect once a year regardless of your location for optimum results.

With this, we have come to understand that aluminium doors and aluminium windows installation are a great option. It is very easy to find aluminium doors for sale, and aluminium windows prices are also quite economical.

Hence, think no more and alter your house with aluminium windows and doors for all kinds of new benefits.

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Guide To Home Insulation

home insulation building insulation, ceiling insulation, sigmadoors, aluminium window insulation, aluminium window insulation

It is often said that for mere survival, a human needs four things:

  1. Food
  2. Water
  3. Shelter
  4. Oxygen

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Shelter plays such a crucial role in survival. Our house is what protects us against natural calamities, wild animals and unpleasant situations. When you’re having a bad day, you’d just want to go back to your house; because that’s a comforting place. The importance of a home isn’t measured by the fancy glass doors or your awning windows or by how ornamented your front doors are. Rather it depends on the level of safety the house provides. Accidents can occur anywhere. Thus, it’s important to follow certain steps and tips to build a strong and healthy house that can protect you at all times and conditions. Here is where home insulation comes into play. This article is about the same.

What is home insulation?

Houses need protection to stand strong and still during unpleasant circumstances. home insulation constitutes of anything that’s used in a building for insulation purposes. There are various types of insulation, which are all equally important:

  • Thermal insulation:

It is the process of insulating the house against transmission or loss heat  absorption. In short, maintaining the temperature inside the house. This also ensures that it doesn’t fluctuate as per the climatic changes outside. For this purpose, the insulating material is chosen which has relatively low heat conductivity. This is used to shield the interior of the house against the loss or gain of heat by conduction, convection or radiation. Aluminium is a plausible insulator of heat. Therefore, in colder regions of the world aluminium doors and windows are used as it slows down the flow of heat from the inner to outer surroundings.

  • Electrical insulation:

If you have a house, it is certain that it’s powered by electricity. Almost every appliance runs using electrical power. Electrical current can be fatally dangerous. Thus, proper electrical insulation is very important. Using high-quality insulating materials to cover all the wires and plug points ensures electrical safety at home.

  • Acoustic insulation:

The materials used to build your house must have at least some soundproofing nature. Acoustic insulation is the overall ability of the building to reduce the sound transmission through it. Walls can be soundproofed using certain insulating materials. In the same way, aluminium windows and doors or glass doors provide better insulation than ordinary wooden doors.

  • Fire insulation:

Fires can start with the tiniest of sparks. Fire requires a combustible fuel and oxygen to burn. A house with fire insulation minimizes the chances of a fire accident by using non-combustible materials. For instance, wooden doors or window frames have a higher chance of burning due to the combustible nature of wood. Instead, having aluminium sliding doors and aluminium windows mitigate the possibility of a fire accident. aluminium is non-combustible. It has great fire resistance properties due to its melting point being beyond 600 degree Celsius.

  • Impact insulation:

Nature is dynamic. You can never know when there’d be intense winds blowing or an earthquake. In such situations, having a strong foundation and using building materials with a good tensile strength is very important. Protecting the house against vibrations caused by natural phenomenon or industrial applications is called impact insulation.

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Signs that your house is poorly insulated

  1. Fluctuating temperatures when the climatic conditions outside change.
  2. High energy bills due to all the heating/cooling appliances you use to control the temperature indoors
  3. Cold walls, floors, and ceilings
  4. Water leaks in the attic
  5. Too hot or too cold rooms

If you come across these signs, it means that it’s high time you got your insulation checked.

  • About 25% of the house heat seeps out to the atmosphere through the roof and attic. Hence, roof insulation is crucial.
  • The walls can lose about 35% of heat.
  • Windows are responsible for 35% heat escape
  • Any tiny gap will aid heat loss

It’s a proven fact that good insulation has three folds greater impact on the house’s average energy consumption and comfort.

Follow these few tips when you install insulation in your house

 

  • Factors like climate, the region you live in, the home design must be taken into consideration
  • Depending on the extent of insulation required, select a budget for smart insulation, use materials with a higher R-value. For example, cathedral ceilings and foam spray
  • Make sure you have an ample amount of ventilation for fresh air flow
  • Instead of installing solid wooden windows and doors; having glass doors allows natural sunlight into the house, which is also a good source of Vitamin D.
  • Consult an insulation expert to choose appropriate materials.

 

The following table contains the types of insulation materials that can be used:

MATERIAL

WHERE APPLICABLE

INSTALLATION METHODS

ADVANTAGES
Fiberglass

Mineral (rock or slag) wool

Plastic fibers

Natural fibers

Unfinished walls, including foundation walls

Floors and ceilings

Fitted between studs, joists, and beams. Do-it-yourself.

Perfect for joist spacing and standard stud

Is free from any obstructions.

Comparatively inexpensive.

Foam board:  Placed on the outside of a wall (usually a new construction) or within the wall (existing homes):

Some manufacturers include air or foam beads  (Increases R-values) into the mix of concrete

Unfinished walls, which also include foundation walls

Major renovations or New constructions

Walls (insulating concrete blocks)

Specialized skills are required

Insulating concrete blocks are stacked without a mortar sometimes (dry-stacked), and then it is surface bonded.

Insulating cores causes an increase in wall R-value.

Outside insulation of a concrete block wall will place a mass inside a conditioned space, which will moderate the indoor temperatures.

Autoclaved cellular concrete masonry and Autoclaved aerated concrete units have an insulating value that ten times better conventional concrete.

Polystyrene

Polyisocyanurate

Polyurethane

Unfinished walls which also foundation walls

Ceilings and  Floors

Unvented  roofs that are low-sloped

Interior applications: should be plastered with building-code approved material or 1/2-inch of gypsum board for safety against fires.

Exterior applications: should be encrusted with weatherproof facing.

A high value of insulation for comparatively little thickness.

Blocks thermal short circuits when it is installed constantly over the joists or frames.

Foam blocks or foam boards Unfinished walls, which includes foundation walls for a new development It is installed as a part of the structure of the building. Insulation is built within the home’s walls, which creates a high thermal resistance.
Mineral (slag or rock) wool  

Cellulose

Fiberglass

New open wall cavities  or already existing enclosed walls

Incomplete attic floors

Other hard-to-reach places

With the use of special equipment, it is blown into place or poured in sometimes. Great for adding insulation to finished existing areas, around obstructions, and irregularly shaped areas.
Paper,  Foil-faced kraft, polyethylene bubbles,   cardboard, or plastic film Ceilings, floors, and Unfinished walls Films, foils, or papers fitted between joists, wood-frame studs, beams, and rafters. Do-it-yourself.

Apt for framing at standard spacing.

If framing is irregular or obstructions are present, Bubble-form apt.

Most effective at (effectiveness usually depends on spacing) preventing downward heat flow.

Mineral (rock or slag) wool Fiberglass Ducts that are in unconditioned spaces

Places that require insulation which can manage high temperatures

At their shops or the job sites, HVAC contractors fabricate the insulation into ducts. Can tolerate high temperatures.
Liquid foam insulation core or Foamboard

Straw core insulation

ceilings,  Unfinished walls, roofs, and  floor for new construction To form walls and roof of a house, construction workers fit SIPs together SIP-built houses give uniform and superior insulation when compared to more regular construction methods; they also take a short time to build.

 

How to insulate your house?

In today’s world, energy is the deficit. This calls for energy conservation in any way possible. In your house, instead of turning the thermostat on, insulate your home for long-term benefits. This cuts down on your electricity bill, along with insulating your house thermally.

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Follow the guide:

  • Insulating the doors

Doors create a pathway between the house and outer surroundings. Thus, insulating the doors can help in managing the temperature inside the house. Using porous substances like wood or straws for manufacturing of doors doesn’t help much with controlling heat exchange. Whereas, using synthetic substances like glass or metal slows down the flow of heat. Glass doors are great for heat insulation and for letting the sunlight in. aluminium doors are insulators of heat and have good tensile strength. It makes for an apt door.

  • Well insulated windows

Along with doors, windows are another kind of openings in the house that aid heat escape. Cracks, crevices, and pores are frequent escape points for warm air to escape. Cheap plastic or wooden window frames can wear out over time. Metallic frames are cost efficient and good for long-term usage. aluminium windows and window frames last long and provide great insulation. Apart from this, investing in cellular blinds or insulating draperies can be a great idea as well.

  • Double glazing

If you have glass doors or windows; double glazing is a fantastic option. Windows which have two layers of glass with a space between the layers, called double glazing. They reduce the loss of heat. It’s worth the investment and can save you dollars on your electricity bill.

  • Insulation of attic or loft

This has been studied and stated as one of the most efficient energy saving options. It’s also very cheap and extremely simple to install; you can DIY it. You just need to purchase some fiberglass wool and cover all the gaps and holes in your house with it. Glass wool is a synthetic material made of a mixture of sand and recycled glass at 2642 degree Fahrenheit. The end product is converted into fibers, that are available in the market. The best part is that glass wool is recyclable. Glass wool is one of the best insulating materials, as it’s appropriate for thermal, sound and fire insulation.

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How is insulation rated?

Alike all physical properties, thermal insulation can be rated too. It is based on the measurement of the resistance of the material to the flow of heat. It is commonly referred to as R-value. The resistance to heat flow is directly proportional to the R-value. Hence, materials with a higher R-value are more insulating. There are a set of building codes which list the appropriate R-value required for different parts of your house. Following the manufacturer’s instructions properly will result in you having a perfectly insulated house.

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Insulation of doors and windows

The two major openings in the house are doors and windows. Following are some ways to insulate them. There are some DIY projects you can use on your doors and windows to thermally insulate them. Their projects are cost-efficient and don’t need a special set of separate skills. Cold air enters through the windows from tiny holes that are uninsulated. Draft-proofing the windows using the following ways can help:

  1. Weatherstripping: A cost-efficient method is to purchase weatherstrips to fix drafty windows and doors. Weatherstrips are pieces of rubber, synthetic fiber or other materials that can be used to seal loose ends and corners of the doors and windows.
  2. Foam tape: Foam tapes are extremely handy and useful. They are super adhesive tapes that are of insulating foam material. Slightly warped doors and windows can be quickly fixed by cutting a piece of this tape and securing the corners to block air. How easy can it get?
  3. Using door snakes: If you have creaky windows or a wide gap between the door and floor; door snakes come very handy. They are heavy tubes of fiber that can be placed at an opening to block the cold winds. They are inexpensive and can be DIYed. If you don’t want to purchase one, roll an old towel or a fabric in the shape of a tube, and you’re good to go.

Houses are not just pieces of mere architecture. We live in it for a long period. Thus, for our safety and comfort, we must maintain the house in good condition. A constant renovation is necessary. Be it replacing worn out wooden doors with aluminium doors or getting upgraded glass doors for your French windows. Comfort, safety, and energy conservation are three very important things. All three can be achieved with a well-insulated house.  

 

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