Is it time for a fenestration upgrade?

Cobus Lourens from leading local window and door manufacturer, Swartland, explores the many benefits of upgrading your home’s fenestration.

Did you know that up to 30% of a house’s heat loss and gain can occur through its windows and doors? Cobus Lourens from leading windows and doors manufacturer, Swartland, explains how you can make the right choice when it comes to fenestration, not only lowering your home’s heating and cooling bills, but also controlling light, views and privacy, reducing external noise pollution, and improving the overall appearance of your home as well.

Swartland on benefits of installing new windows

The benefits of installing new windows

Here is an overview of some of the benefits of replacing your old windows for new, energy efficient ones:

Lower your energy bills: Replacing your old windows with new energy efficient units is a wise and cost effective home improvement that will save you lots of money in the long run. Says Cobus: “Well insulated windows help insulate your home from the elements, making it more comfortable all year round by keeping it warm in winter and cool in summer. This will save you money on your heating and cooling bills – in fact, industry experts estimate that it can help save as much as 7% to 15% on your overall utility bills every month. Ultimately – new efficient windows such as those from Swartland for example, will give you more money in your pocket at the end of each month, and ensure a more comfortable home environment to live in.”

Compliance with the law:

A benefit to upgrading your windows is allowing more light into the home

But energy efficient windows are not merely a “nice to have” – they’re a legal requirement as well. All new builds have to comply with the SANS 10400-XA National Building Regulations. This includes windows and doors that are required to be compliant with the SANS 613 and 204 (Fenestration Products) Mechanical Performance Criteria. Says Cobus: “Swartland is leading the pack when it comes to going green – all Swartland’s products in its KENZO range of aluminium windows and doors, as well as its Ready-2-Fit timber windows and doors are SANS 613- and 204-compliant. In fact, according to a SAFIERA (South African Fenestration and Insulation Energy Rating Association) test, Swartland’s double-glazed windows are some of the most energy efficient currently on the local market. What does this mean for the consumer – it means that not only do Swartland’s products comply with all the necessary building regulations, but they are also an environmentally responsible choice.”

Reduce noise pollution: Correctly installed, high quality windows, such as those from Swartland for example, can help reduce any noise coming from the outside, as well as increase your home’s privacy. Say Cobus: “If you live near a busy road, or in an urban area with lots of foot traffic, then well-insulated windows are a must. Alternatively, if you live in a complex or neighbourhood, where your neighbours live in close proximity to you, then well-insulated windows will help screen out any noise pollution from getting in or out of your home.”

Lessen any fading: UV rays from direct sunlight can lead to your furniture, carpets and window dressing fading over time. However, you can select windows with special glazing that can block out most of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays to prevent this from happening.

Better control over light, ventilation, and views: The fundamental functions of your windows are to increase the amount of light in your home, improve the ventilation, and take advantage of any outdoor views beyond. Changing out your old windows, for larger models can make an enormous difference to your indoor spaces, explains Cobus: “Bigger windows means your indoor spaces will receive more natural sunlight, and they will be better ventilated – a combination that can make an enormous positive impact to the overall ambience of your indoor spaces. Larger windows can also stand as beautiful focal points in a room – allowing you to enjoy a larger aspect of the outdoor views beyond, and bringing the beauty of nature indoors.”

Improve your home’s resale value: Property experts have estimated that homeowners can earn as much as 80% of window replacement costs when they eventually sell. This is because of the fact that the home will be better insulated, reducing heating and cooling costs, and it will be more comfortable to live in. It also has a lot to do with the fact that well-chosen windows can make a dramatic improvement to any homes overall curb appeal. However, Cobus notes that you have to choose your replacement windows carefully: “It is important to select high quality windows that complement your home’s architectural design. For example, if you live in a period home, then timber windows in a traditional style are best suited. If, however, you live in a modern cubist-styled home, then aluminium windows are probably a better option. Remember – selecting the wrong style or using economy-grade windows can actually detract from the resale value instead of increasing it.”

What to look for

Here are some simple thing to look out for when choosing windows and doors that let in natural light without compromising on energy efficiency:

  • Choose a reputable brand: “Choose quality fenestration from a reputable manufacturer with a long-standing history,” says Cobus, pointing out how Swartland has earned a first-rate reputation from decades of supplying high quality products, giving customers peace of mind.
  • All fenestration and doors must be compliant: Only purchase products that are compliant with the SANS 613 and 204 (Fenestration Products) Mechanical Performance Criteria tested for deflection, structural strength, water-resistance, air-tightness, operating forces, and the best possible energy efficiency.
  • Seal them before damage sets in: Swartland’s Ready-2-Fit timber range of windows and doors, and its KENZO aluminium range both come pre-sealed and pre-glazed directly form the factory.
  • Professional installation is key: Ensure that your windows and doors are installed by a reputable company and according to the manufacturers specifications. Says Cobus: “Even the most advanced fenestration products won’t perform effectively if they’re not installed properly.”
  • Check out the guarantee: Ensure you receive a manufacturer’s guarantee on the fenestration that you purchase. For example, Swartland offers a 10-year manufacturer’s guarantee on its Cape Culture range of timber windows and doors, and a 3-year manufacturer’s guarantee on its KENZO range of aluminium windows and doors.

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