National newspapers had a field day on May 1 this year, as temperatures around New Zealand plunged well below zero. Winter, it appeared, was not just coming - it was well and truly upon us. While much of this can be put down to media hype, it certainly does get cold indoors here during the winter months.
Many New Zealand homes, particularly older builds, aren't properly insulated.
And while our European cousins in the northern hemisphere may chuckle at our sensitive skin, they have well-insulated homes to keep them snug when it's freezing outside. Many New Zealand homes, particularly older builds, aren't properly insulated. Heat from inside escapes easily through cracks and holes, and a great deal of this gets out because windows aren't effective at retaining warmth.
So, how do you ensure the future inhabitants of your new build won't need to adopt Jon Snow's fashion sense to make it through those chilly nights? You make sure that the house windows you install are as structurally sturdy as the coveted Iron Throne, and more energy efficient than the dimly-lit interiors of Westeros' many castles.
Winter is coming, but the right windows will ensure that it stays warm indoors.
They're better at trapping heat inside.
It's little wonder that so many of Game of Thrones' characters appear so brooding - they're always freezing cold! Sadly for the fictional inhabitants of the Seven Kingdoms, double glazing doesn't appear to have been invented yet, so their windows aren't doing much to warm their icy hallways. Luckily for us here in New Zealand, innovations in technology mean that our kitchens don't need to be drafty, nor our bathtubs frosty.
Picking the right windows is crucial in order to build a home that is adequately prepared for the winter months. Double glazing is now standard in new homes, and can reduce the heat that escapes by half. For that added layer of warmth, however, you'll want to choose windows that offer an additional barrier of protection against those biting southerlies.
Thermally broken frames ... reduce window heat loss by 20 per cent.
Standard aluminium frames are relatively conductive, but thermal efficient windows retain the heat produced within the home. Thermally broken frames have nylon thermal barriers that reduce window heat loss by 20 per cent prevent the transfer of heat and reduce condensation considerably.
Our Pacific thermal suite windows add 50 per cent more thermal efficiency to regular double glazing. Installing these windows will make any home more comfortable in winter, and have the additional benefit of reducing outside noise.
They are more energy efficient
We use a great deal more power to warm our homes in winter, so any energy reducing solutions will save residents a lot on their energy bills. Plus, they'll be much better for the environment.
The Pacific Thermal Suite is ENERGY STAR qualified. This is a recognised mark of energy efficiency that indicates the windows are effective at reducing heat loss.
The New Zealand government recommends that kiwis plug the gaps in their homes and install good insulation to save on electricity costs. While these measures, combined with rugging up warm in layers of blankets, can be somewhat effective, they won't do very much if warmth is still escaping through the windows and the heater still needs to be turned on. When thermal efficient windows are installed, these measures will be a lot more effective.
Winter is coming, but just like the men of the Night's Watch, you can keep the cold at bay. Investing in smart, innovative window solutions that keep out the chill is the first step to ensuring that your new build is resilient enough to survive the New Zealand winter. Talk to us at Fletcher Window and Door Systems about getting your hands on our energy efficient range of windows.