Improving insulation on windows and preventing heat loss


As we mentioned, windows can be a costly feature of a home, accounting for substantial heat loss in cold weather and heat gain in warm weather. Single-pane windows, found in nearly 50 percent of American homes, are the most extreme in terms of energy-inefficiency [source: Money Matters 101]. Improving the energy infrastructure of your home will reduce home heating and cooling costs and help reduce fossil fuel consumption, slowing down the carbon emissions that are disrupting the global climate.

Heat loss through windows takes place in four distinct ways:

Air leaks directly in and out from gaps along the edges (infiltration).Heat passes through the window glass (conduction).Heat energy flows from a warm object toward any cooler object nearby until equilibrium is achieved (radiation). This can cause up to 65 percent of the heat loss from your home.Because heat rises and cool air sinks because of their different relative densities, the cold air at the interior surface of an...
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Windows are among the prime culprit of heat loss in a house. Why heat more when windows constantly leak heat out? Here are some tips that will help you improve your window’s insulation and save on your heating bill, all while adopting greener behaviours. There are many economic solutions to choose from, depending on your budget and the current quality of your insulation.

The radical solution: window replacement

If your window insulation is poor, and you have the budget to do this type of work, replacing the window, sash and frame would be the best solution.

A vast selection of window sash and frames in different material options are available to you depending on your aesthetic and budgetary choices, the most common being wood and honeycomb aluminum.

A double glazing window is recommended for optimum insulation. Many companies now offer triple glazing solutions, but with its significant difference in price, the gain in insulation may not make it...

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by Chris Woodford. Last updated: April 10, 2018.

If you're out and about in winter and you're feeling cold, chances are you'll put on a hat or another layer of clothing. If you're sitting at home watching television and the same thought strikes you, you're more likely to turn on your heating. Now what if we switched the logic around? What if you ate more food whenever you felt cold and stuck a woolly hat on top of your house each winter? The first wouldn't make much difference: food supplies the energy your body needs, but it doesn't necessarily make you any warmer right there and then. But putting "clothes" on your house—by insulating it—is actually a very good idea: the more heat insulation you have, the less energy escapes, the lower your fuel bills, and the more you help the planet in the fight against global warming. Let's take a closer look!

Photo: Aerogel is one of the world's most exciting insulating materials. Put a slab of aerogel between a gas flame...

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Section 2: Energy efficient buildings

2.1 Assessing heat loss and insulation requirements
2.2 What is the heat loss of a building?
2.3 Defining options
2.4 Options an initial guide
2.5 Planning applications and building regulations

This section deals with energy efficiency issues and will help communities understand how best to tackle inefficient buildings or practices. It covers some technical detail which could be useful if a community is looking at improving building performance and energy usage.

2.1 Assessing heat loss and insulation requirements

Immediate savings on energy can be obtained by applying simple energy efficiency measures. These include:

Draft proofingAdding new or more insulation into walls, ceilings and under the floorInstalling double glazingUsing low-energy light bulbsBlocking off unused chimneysInstalling white goods with high ratings for energy efficiencyRaising the awareness of those that use the...
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EURO 68 wooden window profile with insulated glazing

Insulating glass (IG), more commonly known as double glazing (or double-pane, and increasingly triple glazing[1]/pane), consists of two or three glass window panes separated by a vacuum or gas filled space to reduce heat transfer across a part of the building envelope.

Insulating glass units (IGUs) are manufactured with glass in range of thickness from 3 to 10 mm (1/8" to 3/8") or more in special applications. Laminated or tempered glass may also be used as part of the construction. Most units are produced with the same thickness of glass used on both panes[citation needed] but special applications such as acoustic attenuation or security may require wide ranges of thicknesses to be incorporated in the same unit.



diagram of a fixed insulating glass unit (IGU), indicating the numbering convention used in this article. Surface #1 is facing outside, Surface #2 is the inside surface of the...

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Heat production can be reduced and it cannot be prevented. Reduce current density by increasing conductor cross section or increase core area to reduce copper content. In both cases there are limits. Answer If you prevented heat loss from a transformer, then its temperature would continue to rise until, possibly, its insulation fails. So, heat loss is essential! With power (transmission) and utility transformers, this is one of the reasons for them being oil immersed. In the case of the smaller, utility, transformers cooling results from oil which circulates, naturally, by convection through heat exchanger tubes on the outside of the transformer's tank. In the case of large power transformers, in addition to convection, the oil can be pumped through external heat exchangers which are then forced-air cooled or even cooled with water. The other reason for using oil, is its insulation properties which allows the transformer to occupy a far smaller...

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Presentation on theme: "Heat loss and insulation"— Presentation transcript:

1 Heat loss and insulation

2 Heat loss from houses A thermogram shows the distribution of heat over the surface of a house. It highlights where heat is being lost. The white, yellow and red areas are the warmest so these are the worst insulated parts of the house. The blue and green areas are the coolest so these are the best insulated parts of the house. A poorly insulated house loses more energy and so costs more to heat. It also means that more pollution particularly carbon dioxide is created in order to heat the house.

3 Heat loss from houses roof 20% walls 36% windows 12% doors 4%
floor 28%

4 Can heat loss through windows be reduced?
A lot of heat energy can be...

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For a window opening of width "W" and height "H“, you will need the following components:

1) Front panel

Width = W + 0.75", height = H + 0.75" Material = Polar fleece or another thick and flexible fabric that can fit snugly against the sides of the window opening and prevent the passage of air. If the Kume curtain is used as a primary curtain, the front panel can be made with a fabric that best suits the decor of the room (a cotton print for example). You should ideally wash the fabric before making the panels and, as with all drapery, you should consider using flame-retardant fabrics.

2) Moisture barrier

Width = W - 0.75", height = H Material = Transparent polyethylene with a thickness of approx. 4 mils (0.004"). You can also use a black polyethylene sheet, but keep in mind that this will make your curtain totally opaque (blackout) even if you use light colored fabric for the front and back panels.

3) Upper batten

Section = Approximately 0.5" x 1" ...
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Fitting loft insulation is a fantastic way to reduce your heating bill and improve your level of comfort especially in winter. It is a great DIY Project and one that almost anyone can do.

The first step is to select and calculate the type and amount of insulation that you need, which we cover in a separate project here.

The easiest form of insulation to install is a mineral fibre insulation or fibreglass matting. Both types come in rolls.

It works by trapping warm air between the fibres of the mat and stopping it rising further to escape.

Whichever type you choose, the process for installation is exactly the same. This is also true for other types of rolled insulation such as sheep’s wool and plastic rolled insulation.

Use the following instructions to make insulating your loft as easy as possible.

Preparation for Insulating a Loft

There are a number of things that need to be done before you start:

Check the access to the...

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Energy Efficient Windows

Energy Efficient Windows All properties lose heat through their windows. But energy-efficient glazing keeps your home warmer and quieter as well as reducing your energy bills. That might mean double or

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Draught proofing manual

Draught proofing manual 1 Why draught proof? Draught proofing is one of the cheapest and effective ways to save energy and money in your home. Draught proofing may cost between 75-90, depending on the

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Selecting Energy-Efficient Windows

Selecting Energy-Efficient Windows E N E R I N F O A D V I S O R S E R I E S Key Points Improving the energy performance of windows is important, since windows are the least insulated surface of most homes.

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Heat transfer: Insulation 2

Heat transfer: Insulation 2 Name: Using insulating material When you learnt...

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About half of every energy dollar you spend goes towards heating your home. Your windows and doors are often a major factor in energy loss in your home and you certainly don’t want that money leaving through cracks and windows.

Insulation and draft proofing can make your home more comfortable and quiet, while saving energy and reducing heating costs by 5-10 percent.

Single-paned windows that have metal frames are not well insulated and do not keep the heat in or out very well. These types of windows only take up between 5-10% of a home’s total surface area that is exposed to outside temperatures but account for as much as 30% of the heat lost in a home. Older homes are more susceptible to heat loss because of the structure of the windows. The edges of doors and windows account for a large amount of air leakage.

You have options to fix these heat losses and improve your energy efficiency of existing windows by adding storm windows, caulking, weather-stripping...

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Windows provide our homes with warmth and light, but they can also be a major weak spot in your home’s thermal efficiency profile. By applying bubble wrap insulation on windows, you can drastically improve energy efficiency on a limited budget.

Believe it or not, up to 50% of heat can be saved by insulating single glazed windows with bubble wrap. It is quite easy and fun to install, literally few minutes per window is enough.

Homes with single glazed windows, especially in cold climates, would experience full effect of this simple heat loss prevention technique. By applying ordinary bubble-wrap packing material on your windows to keep the heat in, it is possible to cut utility bills almost in half.

Even for double glazed windows bubble wrap insulation does have some limited effect – up to 20% improvement in heat loss. However, using this technique on triple glazed windows does not bring any measurable improvement.

Main reason for using packaging...

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Whether you’re looking to buy a new build, refurbish your existing home or just looking to renovate a room in your home, to reduce heat loss is one of the biggest considerations when it comes to making your home warm and cheaper to run. The less heat loss the less heating you will require, which will save energy and money and result in lower heating bills.

Heat loss is where heat escapes from inside the building to outside, typically through the roof, walls, windows and floor. Knowing the heat loss helps determining the most efficient heating system and ensuring that your property is adequately heated.

When looking at heated floors, knowing the heat loss of your room or home will tell you if underfloor heating will be enough to heat your room or home properly. If the heat loss is low, it is highly likely that floor heating will be enough. But if the heat loss is high, you may need to look at ways to reduce heat loss to ensure efficient performance of the system. Heat...

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Ice forms in that location because 1) heat is lost where the two panes of glass are connected by the metal frame, and 2) cold air sinks to the bottom of the window opening. I don't see any red flags that indicate air leakage or other serious issues. The fact that the entire glass pane frosts up at times reinforces that position. You have simple heat conduction happening, with little or no air movement from exterior to interior.

I've lived in Minnesota for 25 years, and what you see there is nearly unavoidable in extremely cold weather. It's a result of heat loss through the window and excess moisture inside, and it's the reason window film was invented. I realize that the idea of applying film annually isn't terribly appealing, but it's probably your best bet here, short of replacing the windows. Only low-e glass panels and ultra-modern sealing and insulation, coupled with very good indoor humidity management, will completely prevent ice...

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Hi Sahar, you are talking about "heat loss", yes certain films will help but only very very marginally, as glass is opaque to infra-red (heat) anyway. If you are trying to improve the thermal efficiency Luca & Charles are absolutely right trap a layer of air, 5-20mm is good, more would increase convection within the cavity, therefore more heat loss.

In UK I also specified Duette shades (expensive and difficult to obtain), but very good tracked fixing on the sides of the windows and can be adjusted within the opening to suit when ventilation is required, variety of colours and textures was also very useful especially to the decor conscious ladies of the house.

Thermal imaging photos showed the improved performance against the non-insulated...

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An insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measured or rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value -- the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. The R-value depends on the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density. The R-value of some insulations also depends on temperature, aging, and moisture accumulation. When calculating the R-value of a multilayered installation, add the R-values of the individual layers.

Installing more insulation in your home increases the R-value and the resistance to heat flow. In general, increased insulation thickness will proportionally increase the R-value. However, as the installed thickness increases for loose-fill insulation, the settled density of the product increases due to compression of the insulation under its own weight. Because of this compression, loose-fill insulation R-value does not change proportionately with thickness. To determine how much insulation you need for your...

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You should be able to describe how heat energy is lost from buildings and to explain how these losses can be reduced.

Heat escape routes

Take a look at this image showing heat loss from a house.

Most household heat is lost through the windows and roof

Heat is lost:

through the roof through windows through gaps around the door through the walls through the floor

Heat energy is transferred from homes by conduction [conduction: The transfer of heat energy through a material - without the material itself moving. ] through the walls, floor, roof and windows. It is also transferred from homes by convection [convection: The transfer of heat energy through a moving liquid or gas. ]. For example, cold air can enter the house through gaps in doors and windows, and convection currents can transfer heat energy in the loft to the roof tiles. Heat energy also leaves the house by radiation through the walls, roof and windows.

Ways to reduce heat...

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If your windows only have single glazing, then it's likely that you'll be losing up to 20% of your home's through them.

Windows and doors account for a significant portion of heat loss, so any measures you can take to prevent this happening are worth considering and will help you save on your energy bills.

Read this guide for essential information about window insulation and double glazing.

How much heat is lost through windows?

If your windows only have single glazing, then it's likely that you'll be losing up to 20% of heat through them. Windows and doors account for a significant portion of heat loss, so any measures you can take to prevent this happening are worthwhile, and will save on your energy bills.

What can I do to prevent heat loss through windows?

One obvious measure is to replace windows and doors, including frames, with double - or triple - glazing. This reduces heat loss through the windows and resolves any issues with...

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Heat loss makes your heating system work harder than it should to keep you warm on those cold winter nights. This means you'll pay more than necessary in energy costs. Finding and fixing air leaks, improving insulation and taking other energy-saving steps in your home can cut those energy bills back down to size, and you don't have to be the handiest homeowner to do it.

Following are a few quick and simple household improvements that can help reduce heat loss (and the bonus is that most of these steps also will improve cooling efficiency in the summer):

Change those air filters – A dirty air filter will slow airflow through your heating system. Changing your filter regularly – every 30 to 60 days for most systems – keeps heat moving from furnace to living space quickly, reducing heat loss along the way. Keep vents clean – Dust and debris often collect in heating vents. Check them regularly and vacuum as necessary to ensure proper airflow. Wrap that storage tank water...
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