Siberia Overheating With Double Glazing

Can double glazing cause overheating in Summer?An OVER-Heating Lesson For Double Glazing- From Siberia!

I’m a longtime fan of Melbourne Environmental Consultant, Alan Pears. Alan is an Associate Professor at RMIT, and described by Wikipedia as “a pioneer of energy efficiency policy in Australia since the late 1970s”. I’ve met Alan, and I’ve corresponded with him on the subject of heat pump hot water systems.

As I’m very interested in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable, and particularly double glazing, I was fascinated to see a new article from him in Renew Economy, on his recent experience in Siberia. Believe it or not, during the short Summer season, some new Siberian residences are overheating. That’s right- OVER heating.

It seems that modern, well-built and designed units there are being built with excellent insulation, including double glazed windows. Unfortunately, they are also often being built without any shading of the windows. Great during Winter, but like an oven in Summer.

It’s an extreme lesson from Siberia, but it brings home a point for our local, Australian market. While double glazing does wonders for letting in sunlight and keeping in warmth during Winter, we need to plan for proper shading of windows that are sunlit, to prevent overheating in Summer.

Shading can be from properly-sized eaves on our houses. If that is insufficient to keep out the Summer sun, then we need to look at alternatives. These could include;

  • awnings over the windows
  • shadecloth protecting the windows
  • shutters on the windows
  • inbuilt venetian blinds for the windows

Double glazing is a brilliant product, which provides a whole raft of benefits. We just need to make sure we don’t sabotage their ability to do a wonderful job for us.

You can read Alan’s article here

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Efficient Heating and Double Glazing Now ‘Home Essentials’


UK home buyers rank double glazing as 'must have'.

How Does Double Glazing Rank With UK Home Buyers?

Where does double glazing fit into the list of ‘must haves’ for UK home buyers? The pleasantly surprising answer, according to UK comparison website,  is #2. Yes. double glazing outranks a garden, friendly neighbours, even an ensuite bathroom.

Energy efficient heating comes in at #1 of the ‘must haves’. You can understand that in the cold UK climate. In Australia, we’d probably say ‘efficient heating and cooling‘. Needless to say, fitting double glazed windows and doors to a home makes both the heating and cooling systems more efficient. They don’t have to run for as long, they cost less to operate, and they last longer.

#3 on the list is ‘secure windows and doors’. Double glazing again! Modern double glazed windows and doors are generally far more secure than the old windows they replace. Better design, burglar-resistant construction  and multi-point locking, all contribute to enhanced home security’.

‘A good energy efficiency rating’ also makes it into the Top 10 wanted features, at #8. Of course, double glazing contributes significantly to any measure of the energy efficiency of a home.

In the late 1980’s, I was in Real Estate. I can attest that most home purchasers were oblivious to energy efficiency measures or energy efficient design, and most new home builders knew and cared even less. Today, many buyers have become much more aware of the issues of energy-efficiency, both from financial and global warming perspectives. Unfortunately, the Real Estate Industry is still lagging behind. And the Building Industry? Having to be dragged kicking and screaming to better standards.

Ben Wilson, from Home Insurance, summed up the UK survey…

“Our research suggests that today’s potential home-buyers are putting practical concerns ahead of aesthetics by looking for properties which are cosy, energy efficient and secure, rather than full of character. With ever increasing gas and electricity prices, fuel and financial economy are a concern for many households, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that well-insulated homes and efficient central heating systems are key priorities for buyers.

I haven’t seen a similar survey done in Australia, but it certainly indicates that any measures you take to improve the comfort and energy-efficiency of your home will not only make life better for your family, but they’ll be rewarded at sale time.

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Climate Change: More Heatwaves & Double Glazing

Australia can expect more and longer heatwaves due to climate change.

Study: Heatwaves Will Get Longer, Hotter & More Frequent

The evidence is in… again. The University of NSW has used a database that tracks the last 50 or so years of heatwaves , to discover any trends.

Their analysis shows that heatwaves are getting longer, more frequent and more intense in Australia. One of the climate scientists involved in the study, Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick explains how and why in the video below. She also reflects on the value of using double glazing to reduce heat inside the home, and reduce air conditioner use. In an ABC 7:30 Report aired on 20/11/2015, one of the climate scientists involved in the study, Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick explains how and why. The Interviewer is Julia Baird.

“JULIA BAIRD: And given that emissions are going to increase, obviously there is a debate about to what extent, are we at the point where we need a cultural change, a change in our thinking, where we all start to say okay instead of toughing it out this summer, instead of perhaps buying more air conditioners, we actually try to adapt to it and accept that our lives will be different now?

SARAH PERKINS-KIRKPATRICK: Absolutely I think we needed that about 10 years ago. People sometimes think that double glazing on their windows on their houses for example isn’t a good move because you only need that in cold climates to keep the heat in but insulation goes both ways, if you want to keep the heat in, you also want to keep the cool in and vice versa. So perhaps using those sorts of measures when we are building our houses, maybe making it easier, or cheaper for people to buy those sorts of resources.

That also goes for insulation in the walls of the house, in your roof, making these resources more available. So that goes into our architecture or how we live our daily lives. There are also other ways like maybe the times of days that we move, like it is peak hour out there now, I’m sure a lot of people don’t want to be out there in this hot weather. Perhaps if we moved at different times or could potentially work at home to stop people being out in this extreme weather and getting heat stroke as well. But I would say we needed those changes and that cultural shift to start quite a while ago.”

I couldn’t agree more. We shouldn’t need to point out that double glazing is insulation. and it works both ways. It’s nice to have a scientist remind us that double glazing helps keep us cooler in summer, as well as warmer in winter.
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