Fenestration & Building Insulation

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WINDOWS

These days when you plan on considering a window replacement or even a first time window installation, there are a number of things which you have to bear in mind about windows. These have been summarized here in terms of some of the most commonly frequently asked questions regarding fenestration and insulation of buildings.

WHAT DOES THE TERM LOW-E STAND FOR?

The term basically stands for low emission. This is the quality of window which makes it possible for light to freely pass through the window – any glass material. So, what is low-E? This is simply a coating of non-visible and microscopic layer of silver which have been sandwiched in between layers of anti-reflective metal oxide. Usually, when these are added onto the surface of windows, they end up providing increased comfort and protection from harmful UV rays. Usually, this feature helps achieve this goal by actually filtering out the harmful part of light spectrum which contains the harmful UV rays.

AFTER HOW LONG SHOULD I REPLACE WINDOWS FOR INSULATION EFFICIENCY?

Usually, the time span for window replacement is at most 25 years. This is to be able to earn the ultimate energy efficiency and at the same time be able to protect your home, should you have very old, unreliable and weak window frames. Case in point, if your windows are all painted shut, experience a lot of ice buildup or sealed, then it is about time that you consider replacing your windows.

WHAT DO THE TERMS U-VALUE AND R-VALUE ACTUALLY MEAN?

These two are some of the most important things to consider when you wish to have an energy efficient window. Case in point, the U-value is what will represent the amount of heat which actually escapes out through the window while the R-value simply represents the ability of a window to conserve more heat.so, how do these actually achieve efficiency? Well, to begin, the lower the U-value then the more energy efficient a window actually is while the higher the R-value of a window then the more energy efficient the window is. These two are somewhat compliments of one another and thus, you should consider weighing on these two for you to get the desired quality.

WHAT MAKES THE BUILDING PROCESS SO IMPORTANT?

The main reason as to why it is essential to plan the building process as being a vital step in the energy efficiency process is the fact that the design of buildings is one of the main reasons which determine the energy efficiency in buildings. Moreover, it is paramount to appreciate the unavoidable fact that even the best thermal efficiency materials may be ruined if not correctly installed. This is why it is important that the builder as well as the owner have to understand the intentions of the architect who will be doing the overall work so as to achieve energy efficiency on the long run. As such, the designer has an overall co-responsibility, owing to the fact that the designer is the actual “painter” of the resultant establishment.

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN INSULATION?

Basically, in order to be able to deliver the best insulation qualities, then it is best that one gets to comprehend what the overall process is all about. With this, it will be possible to realize the best and cost-effective approaches to ensuring optimal performance when it comes to energy efficiency. Usually, it is best to take the baby steps into what insulation is all about. Insulation is basically trying to reduce heat loss by the constructed establishments. This will be noted mostly when two different zone areas are close to one another. Case in point, during the winter, the outside is way cooler than the inside of the house and hence this will lead to continuous heat transfer. The contrary happens during the summer. As such, insulation is aimed at trying to moderate this, if not eliminate it completely.

WHAT DOES THE TERM DRAUGHT PROOFING MEAN?

Draught proofing somewhat aims at preventing the inside air from leaving the building while at the same time preventing the inside air from leaving the building. Usually, the former happens during the summer season where the outside temperature is way warmer than the inside temperature. The opposite happens during winter season, where air leaves the building into the outside. So, with draught proofing¸ there is aim at making sure that this transfer or air from the inside to the outside and the vice versa is controlled somehow. So, when this is taken into account it will be helpful in supporting the insulation, heating and thermal mass factors.

HOW SHOULD INSTALLATION BE INSTALLED?

Usually, different parts of a building would require different attention when installation is to be taken into account. Case in point, flat ceilings with pitched roofs are the easiest ones to insulate. In such a case, it would be best to use reflective foil materials on top of the rafters however below the battens of the tiles on the roof, with a minimum overlap of about 150mm. However, with bulk insulation, this is a bit different because this should be done to allow batts and blankets to be able to expand their natural thickness, cut clearly to fit in between the ceiling joints – keeping in mind that they have to be kept clear of recessed light fittings of any sort. On the other hand, blow in insulation have to be applied such that they don’t interfere with the breezes present within the ceiling spaces.

WHAT TIPS SHOULD YOU HAVE IN MIND WHEN BUYING INSULATION?

There are a number of things which you should consider when buying your insulation, these are:

  • Reading the product label. It is here that you will find important information such as the manufacture’s name, the R – Value of the material, batch ID number among other important checks which you have to consider, if you are to get the best insulation material on the long run.
  • Consider fire safety. Basically, all the insulation materials have to be in line with the National Building Regulations, meaning that these have to be tested and verified independently. During this test, there should also be fire testing which will be covered in the SANS 428 specification. Thus, it should have recommended fire performance prior to being put out into the market.
  • Consider multiple quotes at all times. This will basically help when there is need for cross referencing. Check multiple reports for the correct analysis and observation of the sets, which means that as long as these are above the accepted code, then the overall set will be the one you are looking for.
  • Give the R – Value some weight. Basically, the R – Value is what will determine the ability of an establishment to be able to retain the heat within. The greater the value then the more efficient the material will be and the vice versa.

 

 

 

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