Modern homeowners around the world are choosing steel windows and doors, not only because of their aesthetic values and the wide range of designs and operations they offer, but also for their numerous benefits like durability, strength, security, etc. One of the key benefits of steel is that it is energy efficient and environmentally friendly. And this attracts the modern homeowners who want the high functionality and outstanding performance of steel, without compromising its elegant visual appeal.
Factors influencing the energy efficiency of windows
Steel by itself is a good conductor of heat and can transfer heat, so it is not energy efficient. But when technologically enhanced, steel can outperform all the other materials and be the optimum choice for energy efficient doors and windows for modern homes. Besides the steel frame for doors and windows there are other factors that need to be ensured to deliver maximum energy efficiency.
Thermal performance of steel
Thermal resistance of steel is five times greater than aluminium. Steel frames for doors and windows are thermally broken. So when hot or cold energy makes contact with thermally broken steel frames, it disappears at the thermal barrier. This minimizes or completely stops thermal conductivity and heat transfer.
The U-factor is the ability of the material to transfer heat. The lower U-factor a door or window has, the more energy-efficient it will be. The U-factor of a thermally broken, insulated steel is as low as 0.65, which makes it highly energy-efficient. Alternatively, the R-value is the thermal resistance to heat flow. Unlike the U-factor, a higher R-value indicates a greater insulating value.
A slab of steel is highly conductive and will allow heat and cold to transfer. Therefore, steel frames are manufactured hollow. And a high performance insulator material is sandwiched between the two steel frames. In most cases the manufactured hollow frames are filled with polyurethane insulation foam.
Double or triple glass
Thermally broken steel frames combined with high performance glass, with insulated glazing enhances the energy-efficiency. Two or more panes of glass, separated by vacuum and coated with a low-emittance element to restrict heat flow through the windows.
Condensation and UV resistant coating
Condensation is a problem faced by homes that are prone to high levels of humidity. It can cause staining and mildew in windows. This can be reduced by insulation. A special UV resistant coating can ensure protection against the ultraviolet rays of the sun. This is important to protect the furnishing of your home like the carpets, curtains and furniture. While the additional coating provides protection, it also helps prevent water spots and dirt built up and as a result less maintenance is required,
When professionally installed, steel doors and windows do not require weatherstripping. But weatherstripping can be used to ensure that there are no air leaks in the house. Drafts and heat often escape through the edges and this can be combatted with weatherstripping. Light magnetic weatherstripping is superior compared to other materials and methods.
Also there are different types of operations like single or double hung, awning or hopper, casements, etc. The impact of different window operations on energy efficiency is quite significant. For instance, single and double hung windows slide vertically and have higher air leakage compared to casement windows. Casement windows are hinged at the sides; they have lower air leakage. Similarly, awning and hopper windows have lower air leakage compared to sliding doors. Therefore, choose the operating type based on your requirement of natural light and ventilation.
Benefits of energy efficient steel windows
Energy efficient steel doors and windows prevent loss of conditioned air from homes. High insulation and airtightness of the steel doors and windows ensure that heat transfer is reduced in both directions. This means considerably low usage of heating and cooling equipment. As a result lowering utility bills like electricity and gas. Energy-efficient windows and doors are better in insulation and block heat during summer keeping the indoors cool. It also helps keep home warm during winter. Increased insulation can also deliver noise reduction and soundproofing. Energy-efficient doors and windows are a must have for comfortable homes.
The only disadvantage of energy efficient steel doors and windows is that it is very expensive. But this expense is offset by the future savings on air conditioning and heating expenses. It is a sizable investment, but its durability ensures that it is a once in a lifetime investment. Superior quality steel windows and doors when properly installed are long lasting and require minimum maintenance.
Steel windows and doors are energy-efficient, highly functional and deliver superior performance and they also do not compromise on their beauty. Home owners have the luxury of selecting from a myriad of color and design options. They add beauty and value to any property. They are stunningly minimal and modern and make for an environmentally friendly, sensible choice.