Most people know the frustration of waking up to the sight of condensation on windows and mildew appearing in your home – and glass windows and doors are the biggest culprits for heat loss. Double-glazing is great for reducing condensation and heat loss, but you can still find it occurring on the window frame. We talk to Andrew Riley, the general manager of McNaughton Windows and Doors about how they are the only ENERGY STAR® partner manufacturing ENERGY STAR-qualified timber windows and why this is a game-changer for architects and homeowners wanting optimal thermal performance from their windows.

Better for you and your energy bill
McNaughton Windows and Doors enlisted a European thermal expert to assist with the development of this suite of products. “We’re talking about a whole window,” says Riley. “The spacer in the double-glazed glass and the frame itself.”

The immediate benefits of a fully ENERGY STAR-qualified window is to reduce condensation, improve the acoustics, reduce air leaks, create a warm home in winter and, with some products adds Riley,

“a cooler house in the summer”. In addition to savings on your power bills, you could downsize the air-conditioning system you use and you can actually use less expensive glass for the windows.

With their calculator and expertise, McNaughton’s can thoroughly assist the client as they compare timber with aluminium, and choose their frames and glass.

The advantages of timber
The thermal performance of a window is measured by its R-Value. A minimum of 0.32 is required to achieve ENERGY STAR qualification. “We can nearly double that,” says Riley. And the thermal benefits of timber have always been well known.

Aluminium is a very good conductor of heat: its thermal conductivity is 160, compared to timber with 0.12. “What’s different now is that we’re manufacturing the whole window to a much higher spec, including the seals that we put in, the double-glazing units, and the spacers we put in those double-glazed units.”

Architecturally, this increases design flexibility dramatically, while still achieving the minimum R-Value that the house needs to comply with to meet code. And McNaughton’s can assist architects in calculating the thermal values of windows and doors with very accurate data. “We can use very specific BRANZ approved calculations that demonstrate the timber windows and doors are thermally advanced.”

“We can make practically any design as long as it fits with building code and the architect’s able to get compliance.” Timber designs are also able to stand the test of time. “There’s many, many examples of windows and doors out there made out of timber – with a sand and a paint they actually look quite great.” In addition to that, there are the potential savings of around $500 a year – even more in colder environments than Auckland. Because it is so easy to restore timber and keep it looking stunning over decades, the savings and benefits of ENERGY STAR-qualified timber windows will certainly add up.

For people wanting to know more about how ENERGY STAR-qualified windows can improve the thermal performance of their home, McNaughton Windows and Doors are the only company manufacturing an ENERGY STAR-qualified timber window system. Their expert team is available to offer advice and solutions to architects, builders and homeowners.