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Windows might not always seem as important as other parts of the home building process, but considering they can drastically impact comfort levels, they are worth paying close attention to. But what should you be considering when building with windows in mind?
In this article, we'll cover four key discussion points:
Good air flow is vitally important for moisture management. Without it, you could be contributing to higher levels of condensation, which in turn can lead to the growth of black mould and adverse health effects. The challenge here, though, is that without a mechanical system (like HVAC), ventilation largely falls on a home's windows. If your choice of windows doesn't suit this task, you may find humidity hard to control.
— BRANZ (@BRANZlive) August 3, 2014
Thankfully, windows can also provide a number of solutions to this problem. Consider these tips:
Natural light is important for our well-being, not to mention our bills.
Natural light is important for our well-being, not to mention our bills. According to NC State University, natural light boosts the body's vitamin D storage, promotes productivity, helps you sleep and reduces the risk of nearsightedness in children. Of course, it also cuts down on the energy consumption of artificial lighting.
When choosing windows for your home, consider if you can add skylights and other small windows to spaces that you hadn't considered, like hallways. While you shouldn't go overboard with putting glass everywhere (see "Warmth"), even small additional windows can make a big difference to how well-lit your home is. This can also address ventilation issues with otherwise airtight spaces.
Kiwi homes are infamously cold. In fact, last year's HRV State of the Home Survey found that four in 10 New Zealanders don't heat their home in winter to cut down on power bills. Why? Their homes don't have proper insulation, which means winter heating sends power bills into the hundreds. Windows are one area that, if not chosen properly, can compromise your thermal comfort.
Our advice to counteract this in your new home is to carefully choose windows that are appropriate for the conditions in which you live. There are two ways you can gain more efficient heating through glass:
Frames also make a big difference to a home's warmth. For instance, aluminium windows conduct heat from inside to out very easily, especially when thermal breaks (a type of heat barrier) are installed.
Aesthetic is the final windows building block. You must consider what you want your windows to look like, and how you want them to feel. This area is highly subjective, and though we can't tell you precisely which style to choose, we can tell you what to consider so you can either make an educated decision by yourself, or walk through options with your architect.
To work with a windows and doors supplier that understands the needs of Kiwis and is always finding new ways to innovate and make windows smarter, talk to Altus Window Systems today.