Going Green, Money Matters

The indirect cost(s) of double glazing

The guys from Ecostar Double Glazing installed our fancy schmancy double-glazed windows earlier in the week. The house is much quieter now. While some noise still comes through, we’re able to watch TV with a 30% lower volume.

Double glazed window from Ecostar
One of our new double-glazed windows.

There’s also a noticeable difference in how the house heats up and cools down. After a warm day, the internal temperature usually drops in the evening, but with double glazing, the heat is trapped inside. The only way to release it is to open up the windows. Fortunately, Ecostar’s windows are designed to maximise ventilation.

Opening the windows to allow air in/out
The window swings out and slides down, making the most of convection currents. Warm air escapes out through the top and cool air gets drawn in through the lower gap.

Unfortunately, our $13k+ windows do not come with flyscreens*. What’s even more unfortunate is that silly us picked casement windows instead of double hung windows. While casement windows are Ecostar’s cheaper option, they can only be fitted out with costly flyscreens.

Normal flyscreens that fit on the outside of a window or on the inside of a window with a winder usually cost as little as $50 to order and install (via Doorite Screens). Normal flyscreens do not fit on casement windows that have extruding handles; only magnetic or retractable flyscreens are compatible. Magnetic flyscreens are the cheaper option, costing approximately $150 per screen. Retractable flyscreens will set you back $280 to $430 per smallish window**. Ask for Tuff Mesh (aka Cat-Proof) and you’re looking at a 15% markup. Gulp. 

The windows are also devoid of dressings, which means that while minimal ambient heat is transferred through the glass, direct solar gain is still a concern in summer. Plus living in a fishbowl kind of sucks. We’ll soon need to fork out for awnings and blinds/curtains for the windows facing north and west***.  Double gulp.

This double glazing thingy is going to end up costing more than our wedding. Thank goodness for little red packets.

*Still, we did get a very good deal on our windows. The installers from Ecostar told Cheap Geek that they had worked on a similar job which set the owner back $20k. By capitalising on Ecostar’s end-of-year and sign-up-on-quotation discounts, we saved ourselves thousands of dollars.

**Like a good Must Be Thrifty, I got basic phone quotes for ‘a small window’ from four different companies.

**By the way, does anyone know what type of window dressings are the most thermally efficient in both winter and summer?

2 thoughts on “The indirect cost(s) of double glazing

  1. Hi, we too have Eco Star double glazing and I agree with all your comments. When we asked the sales person about fly wire he assured us that it was possible to install it and agreed that he could pass on the details to us, after instillation I asked a few time if he could pass on the details for the instillation of fly screens but he never did. Other than the issue with fly wire they are a great product. Our house is quieter, cooler in summer, warmer in winter. They look wonderful and I’m very pleased. The guys who measured up and installed were also very professional and turned up on time. Although we still have a large family area to complete our full change to double glazing and I am looking at quotes from other companies because in this area I really want fly wire. It’s the main area of our home where we spend the most time and fly wire is important as we have evaporative cooling and if we need to use it a window need to be open. With kids and dogs coming and going in and out of doors fly wire will make life easier.

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