A window that properly insulates the home guarantees optimal thermal comfort as well as a reduction in energy consumption. This is why it is wise to opt for the most efficient products possible. What are the main characteristics of good insulating joinery and how to choose? We tell you everything.
Choosing the right materials
Three main materials are used for window design: wood, PVC and aluminum. Traditionally used for joinery, wood is an effective, durable and customizable natural insulator but requires regular maintenance to maintain its effectiveness. Also an excellent thermal insulator, PVC is increasingly popular because it is affordable and requires very little maintenance. As for aluminum, it has the advantage of being very resistant and with a very long lifespan. Less insulating than the other two, its performance is nevertheless improved by the addition of thermal break devices.
Finally, let us mention composite windows, made from a mixture of fiber, glass and wood or PVC, which combine the qualities of these different elements.
Opt for high-performance glazing
A window, French window or bay window must consist of at least double glazing to be able to display real thermal performance. The latter consists of two glass blades, separated by a blade of air or an inert insulating gas (argon or krypton). A notch above, we find reinforced insulation glazing (VIR), two to three times more efficient than classic double glazing. Offering the ultimate in insulation, triple glazing is the most expensive.
There is also specific glazing to increase thermal comfort: solar control glazing. Optimizing the greenhouse effect in winter and reducing it in summer, it is particularly suitable for hot and sunny regions.
Rely on performance indicators
Certain indicators help evaluate the degree of performance of a window. Among them, the Uw coefficient, which designates the heat loss of the frame and glazing assembly, is one of the decision-making criteria making it possible to determine the degree of insulation of a window as a whole. The lower it is (closer to 0), the more effective the insulation.
Let us also mention the Ug coefficient, which determines the degree of thermal insulation of a single glazing, the A*E*V* classification, bringing together scores awarded according to airtightness, watertightness and airtightness tests. wind, the solar factor (Sw) reflecting the capacity of the glazing to pass the heat of the sun, or the Delta R coefficient (or ΔR), which studies the performance of the shutters. So it’s up to you to carefully examine the labels!
The importance of a good seal
For optimal insulation inside the home, the seals on windows and glass walls must not allow air and humidity to pass through. This is why their installation is often entrusted to a professional. Likewise, the Warm Edge interlayer profile, located between the seal and the glazing, is a major insulating element which must be in good condition. Designed in composite material, it avoids thermal bridges and improves the thermal performance of the glazing. So pay attention to these elements when choosing and installing windows.
Think about the type of opening
In addition, the type of opening must be taken into account. For maximum thermal performance, avoid sliding openings (as on certain bay windows) and prefer hinged openings (also called French style), which are much more insulating.
In order to optimize the performance of your windows, you can also equip yourself with accessories such as roller shutters, thermal curtains or even glazing films.