The significance of the solar factor in choosing aluminium casement doors and windows

When assessing the quality of an aluminium casement door and window, it is essential to take into account not only the heat insulation efficiency, but also the acoustic efficiency. For it is these factors that guarantee the comfort of the installation. However, this is a more complicated concept to grasp than one might think. In fact, there are several factors that determine the heat efficiency of a window. Solar factor is probably not only one of the most important, but also one of the most fragile to take into account.

Understanding the heat impact of casement doors and windows on the overall housing environment

Being the link between the interior and exterior environment,   casement doors and windows, regardless of its type, plays an important role in the heat management of the house.

The laws of thermodynamics state that the transfer of energy between two distinct media in direct contact always takes place from the hot to the cold object. This means that a house will naturally tend to warm up in summer and cool down in winter.

rayons du soleil traversant une fenêtre

Windows have a thin element that acts as a barrier between the inner and outer environment helping to slow down the entropic process. As a result, they play a key role in regulating the indoor temperature. Therefore, efficient casement doors and windows minimises the loss of energy to the outside during winter. On the other hand, during summer, the casement doors and windows must be able to minimise the absorption of external heat, which is no easy feat. If the windows are poorly designed or badly fitted, then there will be a much greater risk of energy loss from the casement doors and windows.

To ensure optimum heat efficiency, everything must be thought out intelligently. This not only includes the direction of the windows, the size of the glazing, the technology incorporated into the frames, but also the colour of the frames! To do this, the casement doors and windows must be taken as a whole as regards glazing and frames.

One of the most important aspects of the insulating capacity of the casement doors and windows their ability to limit the temperature exchange between the inside and outside. However, this often only takes into account thermal transfer. In other words, it is the exchange of temperature between two media across the thickness of the window.

In addition to insulation, which only deals with the heat conductivity between the external and internal environment, another crucial factor that must be taken into account is the solar factor.

What is the solar factor?

Solar factor refers to the solar heat gain of casement doors and windows, referred to as the Sw coefficient. It is the amount of solar energy reaching the window that actually penetrates into the house. The sunlight is converted directly into heat, which then heats the house.

Although opacity naturally plays a role in solar heat gain, it is less intuitive than one might think. There are certain types of glazing that are perfectly transparent in the wavelengths visible to humans but impervious to UV radiation. However, it is the ultraviolet rays that transmit the bulk of the sun’s energy.

What is the need for harnessing the solar factor of casement doors and windows?

Harnessing the solar factor should be considered as complementary to the heat insulation of aluminium casement doors and windows.

Aluminium casement doors and windows such as those made by Installux have excellent heat insulation performance thanks in particular to thermal-break technologies. However, even with perfect heat insulation, if the glazing absorbs a lot of solar heat, then the windows retain energy in the house.

This can be a valuable point. The solar factor can be exploited intelligently in bioclimatic houses, low-energy buildings, or the positive energy buildings of the projected RT 2020.

A poorly harnessed solar factor, however, can lead to situations where the effects are felt without benefiting from its advantage Casement doors and windows  with a high solar factor produces a strong greenhouse effect in the home. While this may be beneficial in some areas or during cooler seasons, it can become a real concern in many other circumstances.

soleil entrant dans une maison à travers une porte vitrée

Structure, glazing, and design: how can the solar factor be optimised?

It’s not just about glazing. Aluminium casement doors and windows contribute to the transfer of solar heat which can be reduced or maximised through proper design. It is important not only to ensure that the aluminium  casement doors and windows is fitted with thermal-break technologies, but also to choose a suitable colour that absorbs or reflects solar heat, depending on requirements.

Ensuring that the casement doors and windows   corresponds to the glazing is also essential. Triple glazing has a lower solar gain than double glazing. As a result, it stores less energy, but its superior heat insulation means that it retains energy for longer.

Given that each situation is unique, the aluminium casement doors and windows’ fabricator who is aware of the economic and energy issues involved in harnessing the solar factor, and who is also well established locally, will be in a good position to offer fully customised solutions. Such a solution will be developed by taking into account the local climate, the layout of the house, the amount of sunshine it receives and the applicable regulations. So, by meticulously designing the house’s aluminium casement doors and windows, whether on a new construction site or for a renovation, the glazing can be optimised for each façade and for each room.

Aluminium casement doors and windows: the right option for optimising heat efficiency

Aluminium casement doors and windows are perfectly suited to controlling heat efficiency, including the solar factor.

Being both lightweight and robust, aluminium is ideal for the creation of large glass surfaces, which can be carefully positioned to maximise energy input during the coolest hours of the day.

Thanks to its thinness, aluminium can optimise the rate of transparent surfaces on casement doors and windows   to suit every need.

Furthermore, aluminium can be adapted to all projects, all types of glazing, and to all colour, structure and texture requirements thanks to its high degree of malleability. It is also very easy to fit additional accessories to aluminium casement doors and windows to help modulate its solar heat gain as well as its overall heat efficiency. These can include blinds, openings or ventilation systems, etc.

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