The Ultimate Window Buying Guide

From frame materials and glazing options to energy efficiency and personal taste, Heritage has you covered

The Ultimate Window Buying Guide

Whether you’re building a new home or replacing your existing windows, choosing windows is important for the environment and your carbon footprint, as well as the overall aesthetic of the home.

Which frame material you choose will also be affected by the type of home you have, the location you live in, and of course your personal preference. The type of glazing you want and how energy efficient your windows are as well come down to your personal preference, though asking your window salespeople for their advice is highly recommended.

While most homes feature more than one style of window, it can create a disjointed look – keep in mind that the style of your home may be better suited to a certain window style that goes with the home’s architectural styles.

Common window styles

Common window styles

Double-hung windows

Double-hung windows with or without muntin are the most common of window selections and feature two large frame units which surround the glass panels that slide up and down within their vertical tracks. The standard double-hung are commonly seen in classic and traditional-modern homes including the classic rambler, farmhouse, and bungalow style homes.

Muntin

If you like the look of subdivided frames, consider a muntin version which provides a classic, ornate look which is commonly found in colonial, Victorian, and other classic style homes.

Single-hung windows

Single-hung is a variation of the double-hung where the top half is fixed in place and are considered a lower-cost alternative and can be more energy efficient.

Casement windows

Casement windows are the second most popular Australian window and crank open horizontally on hinges leaving one side stationary while the other opens like a door. These windows are more modern and can be extremely useful to catch and direct cooling breezes into your home. You can usually see these windows on homes near the ocean and other bodies of water such as Lake Macquarie.

Awning windows

Awning windows open from the bottom while the top edge is fixed in place. These windows are typically installed as low-level windows where intruders might be a problem and are great for rainy regions since you can still have the window open for fresh air while it’s raining.

Slider windows

Slider windows are a simple mid-century modern style window which consist of side-by-side windows sliding horizontally. Some styles have both windows sliding, while others have one side fixed and the other moves. These windows are commonly found around Australia and were very popular in the 1950’s and 60’s in new construction.

Fixed windows

Fixed windowsare one of the simplest types of windows and look amazing with some stunning window coverings from Heritage Blinds & Shutters. Fixed windows are any window that does not open or close such as the classic picture window and are used to provide access to a view or light where ventilation or egress is not needed. They are very commonly found in high-rise office buildings.

Skylights

Skylights are typically a fixed window installed in a roofline, as opposed to a roof window, which can generally be opened and closed to provide ventilation, some styles may even form a tiny patio. These windows are good for bringing in extra light to the darker interior spaces such as attics and upstairs spaces where wall space is limited. They are typically used to improve light and ventilation in the spaces installed.

Bay or bow windows

Bay or bow windows are a combination of windows that form a unit extending outward from the house’s walls and are traditionally formed with a fixed picture window with one or more pairs of openable windows. If you’re after a visual centrepiece in a large space looking out on an attractive view or landscaped setting this style would be perfect.

Window heat transfer and energy efficiency

Window heat transfer and energy efficiency

When choosing your home’s windows, it’s important to not only consider the price, materials, and style of your home but also the heat transfer rates of your current windows.

The Australian Window Association (AWA) estimates up to 40% of a home’s heating energy can be lost through windows and up to 87% of its heat gained through them. Your windows will transfer heat in four main ways:

  • Radiation
  • Conduction
  • Air infiltration
  • Type of glass.

Radiation

Heat is lost by indirect radiation which means that the heat radiated by objects inside the home and is absorbed and conducted through the glass to outside. Come summertime, the heat from outside is absorbed and conducted through to inside.

Conduction

If your current windows have an aluminium frame with no thermal break, the heat is lost through the frame thanks to conduction. Heat conduction is a direct transfer of heat from hot to cold which means during winter as the warm air inside cools against the glass it drops to the floor and draws in more warm air creating a convection current.

Having your heating system outlets near the windows will increase the heat loss as it increases the temperature differential and breaks up the air layer on the inside of the window, though blowing the warm air away can be beneficial.

Air filtration

If your windows aren’t airtight, you will lose heat through air infiltration, where the air leaks through the gaps between the inner window frame holding the glass and the outer frame holding it. Unfortunately, poorly sealed windows are common in older homes and can be a big issue in areas with higher winds.

Type of glass

The type of glass you have will also affect your heat loss with standard unshaded single-pane windows being a huge energy efficiency monster. Thankfully there are lots of options out there to help increase your window’s energy ratings such as double and triple glazing, factory-applied glass coatings, add-on glazing systems, stick-on window films, and much more such as window coverings!

If you need help figuring out which glazing system is right for your home and windows, feel free to speak with your local glazier or if you’re interested in window treatments, call the team at Heritage Blinds & Shutters.

Let Heritage Blinds & Shutters help you with your window coverings

Once you’ve picked out the perfect windows for your home it’s time to choose your blinds or shutters for added privacy and energy efficiency. Heritage Blinds & Shutters are leaders in providing and installing all types of quality blinds, plantation and roller shutters, awning and window coverings.

Our team is happy to provide their expert advice and complimentary obligation free in-house measure and quote, so be sure to contact us today on (02) 4958 4336 or email us at info@heritageblinds.com.au. Alternatively, click here to  fill in our online contact from or visit our showroom at 197 Main Road, Speers Point NSW 2284.