The combined impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and the winter chills have brought many Australians to the realisation that inefficient housing may be eating into their savings. While working long hours at home and thereby needing more heating than ever before, energy bills are going to come as a shocker to many. There has never been a better time to discuss how to make homes more energy-efficient and Australian double glazed windows may just provide the answer.
Building regulations in Australia have not kept pace with the rest of the modern world when it comes to energy standards. But that may change in the near future with the announcement of the $688 million construction stimulus package announced by the Prime Minister. Eligible singles or couples seeking to build or renovate their homes can apply for up to $25,000 dollars between June and December this year.
Energy think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions has called upon the government to ensure that any stimulus to the construction industry must come with the rider of lowering building sector emissions. This means more focus on higher thermal and energy efficiency in homes. And for the consumer, this simply means less energy spent on heating up or cooling down your house.
Why Double-Glazed Windows Should be a Norm rather than a preference
Homes in Australia are mandated to be at a minimum 6-star energy rating. This is comparatively low by global standards. With a low focus on energy-efficient housing design, up to 85% of homes have single glazed windows. The Australian Windows Association estimates that 40% of heat from within can be lost through these windows and in summer, there could be 87% more sun bearing down indoors.
If the new economic stimulus were to focus on energy-efficient design, a higher percentage of the population would make a move to double-glazed windows, the simplest solution to heat-proof your home. Houses with double glazed window replacements are able to retain heat in the cold winters and keep the harsh sun out in summers. While a lot of people have the misconception that these windows are only effective in winter, the fact is they are also great for Australian summers. And besides that, they keep outside noise from disturbing the peace inside your house.
Double glazing is preferred and recommended means of ensuring the energy efficiency of buildings in the US and Europe. Closer home, New Zealand has made insulation of homes mandatory and for most homes, this means double-glazing. But in Australia, double glazed windows remain a recommendation rather than a prescription. At present less than 5% of Australian homes feature double glazed windows, largely because it continues to be viewed as a luxury rather than a necessity. Considering the savings in energy bills at the individual level, they can no longer be considered a luxury. With the new impetus on construction, this is definitely the time to introduce energy efficiency to your homes.