Thermally Broken is a term which relates to the window or door frame, which is equally as important, if not more than the glass.
The frame of a window has a significant impact on the overall energy efficiency of any window and door – including that of double glazed systems. While double glazing is seen as a benchmark for energy efficiency, to select double glazing with a standard aluminium frame is only going half way to having a high performing energy efficient window.
Double Glazing is to glass what thermally broken is to aluminium windows.
Standard Aluminium Framing:
- As most of us know metal/aluminium is an excellent conductor of heat and cold meaning that you can lose or gain a great deal of heat through the frame of the window/door.
- This will ultimately undermine the performance of a high performance glass selected for a window. Problems include, but are not limited to the potential for condensation to occur which can lead to mould or degrading of internal finishes.
To improve the overall performance of the window or door, a thermal break needs to be added to the frame.
Thermally Broken Aluminium Framing:
- A Thermally Broken Frame is one which features a reinforced polyamide strip (a non metallic, composite, structural, material) fixed between the inside and outside aluminium profiles, creating an insulated barrier within the window frame.
- The polyamide strip is a material of low thermal conductivity which will minimises the transfer of heat and cold through the window frame, resulting in improved energy efficiency.
- This polyamide strip will have a HUGE impact on the transfer of heat and cold than standard aluminium.
- These sections can be anodised or powdercoated to withstand the harsh Australian climate, including UV damage and salt corrosion.
Heat Loss / Heat Gain:
- As much as 49% of the heat lost during winter and as much as 87% of the heat gained during summer can come from the windows*
- In Melbourne the majority of energy usage is for heating, while in Brisbane, most of the energy is used for cooling homes, with very little heating if any**
The emphasis on selecting the right product to reduce heat loss in a colder climate and reduce heat gain in a hotter climate should be an important decision to achieve greater comfort and energy efficiency.
Choosing the right frame and glazing option will help and the lower the U value the better the overall window.