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Ask RiotACT: Insulation and double glazing

By ANGELA_MARTIN - 3 July 2016 13

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I moved into Canberra recently. It is very cold here. Can you recommend a company to install insulation and double glazing?

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: Insulation and double glazing
Masquara 8:57 pm 11 Jul 16

David Pollard said :

Ive installed some honeycomb blinds, which due to deep window frames can sit under existing blinds. Not sure how they go relative to double glazing or some form of stick on covering; so far I can certainly notice less cold drafts coming through the gaps between the blinds and the walls but don’t know if that translates into cheaper bills.

Honeycomb blinds are great – except that mine are the earliest version and have open edges and if a spider crawls along one of the slats, it will get stuck. nb You must have pelmets AND you should have insulated heavy curtains along with your honeycomb blinds, and then you’ll lose very little heat.

Someone posted earlier about cavity insulation – but in a solid brick house, wouldn’t the air between the bricks be an effective insulation element? I though cavity insulation was more for brick veneer walls?

JOHN_TAYLOR 4:53 pm 11 Jul 16

Both myself and my parents have used Just Rite. Just Rite has been around for long time I think. We got our ceiling cavity wall and double glazing done through them. We found them quite professional. If you like then can check on the link I went through
http://www.justrite.com.au/products-and-services/retrofit-double-glazing/get-double-glazed-windows-for-your-home-in-canberra/
http://www.justrite.com.au/products-and-services/retrofit-wall-insulation-cavity-wall/

Good Luck 🙂

Acton 11:42 pm 10 Jul 16

Effective and durable insulation is worth splurging on to avoid shivering through these cold Canberra winter nights in a drafty house risking the kids (or oldies) coming down with pneumonia. For an existing one room extension with three windows I’m considering double glazed windows in a wooden frame and after excluding companies that have negative reviews about their customer service on this and other forums have a shortlist of:
http://www.cswindows.com.au/products.htm
http://www.trendwindows.com.au/
http://www.justrite.com.au/
There is also something called a composite double glazed window, made up of aluminium on the outside for low maintenance, and timber inside to provide better looks and all important heat retention. Provided by Stegbar:
https://www.stegbar.com.au/Products/Windows/Siteline/Siteline-Awning-Windows
This seems to be the ideal solution, avoiding the cheap and nasty plastic film across the window solution, magnetic perspex sheets or uPVC (unplasticised Poly Vinyl Chloride).

ungruntled 1:33 pm 08 Jul 16

We have done a much less expensive version of double glazing which may be of interest to someone else.

We got the man who did the shower screens to cut glass (ordinary glass works, but los e glass would be better) to fit the window frame & frame it with aluminium.
Then make sure you the get some air sealer (buy it in a roll from your hardware store) and draft seal the edges. You then just attach it with a little lever thingy (also from the hardware shop) & extra panes can be removed for cleaning or whatever.

Hugely less expensive option. Provides good insulation. Hope it helps someone.

dtc 9:34 am 08 Jul 16

Ive installed some honeycomb blinds, which due to deep window frames can sit under existing blinds. Not sure how they go relative to double glazing or some form of stick on covering; so far I can certainly notice less cold drafts coming through the gaps between the blinds and the walls but don’t know if that translates into cheaper bills.

AlexanderWatson 7:37 am 08 Jul 16

I’ll declare straight up that I own an insulation retrofitting business but just wanted to reinforce the comments made about windows so far. In some case study work we did with the ACT government and other energy efficiency companies we saw brilliant results from retrofit products like clear comfort. They can be a little tricky to fit but if there’s nothing aesthetically wrong with your windows they’re a great (and cheap) option. If you do go down the double glazed road though, getting that thermal break on the frames is vitally important.

As for cavity wall insulation, like all products there’s pros and cons. Pros – it works really really well when done properly and doesn’t need your house to be torn apart in order to install it. Cons – is a pain though not impossible running cables in the future, you can’t see the installers work as its hidden behind the wall (we use a thermal camera to check) and in most cases you aren’t allowed to have as much power running through the power cables when completely surrounded by insulation so there’s often electrical work involved. When it’s -5 outside and you don’t realize until you walk outside its pretty easy to live with the cons 🙂

Antagonist 11:31 am 07 Jul 16

pink little birdie said :

… some aluminum double glazed windows are no better then single glazed wooden windows, as without thermal breaks the cold goes straight through the frame.

Bingo. This is the most common mistake people make with double-glazing. It adds a bit to the cost, but without thermal breaks you are just throwing away your hard earned money.

Zan 9:24 am 07 Jul 16

Do not look for or click on Winter Windows as that website was hijacked. It is now called Clear Comfort which is in my earlier post.

Maya123 8:24 am 07 Jul 16

Depending what your present windows are made of be careful replacing them. I can remember being told in a lecture I went to on making your house energy efficient that some aluminum double glazed windows are no better then single glazed wooden windows, as without thermal breaks the cold goes straight through the frame.
In my previous house I used ‘winter windows’; a plastic film over the wooden frame, leaving a gap between it and the glass. I had some aluminum windows too, but I couldn’t use this film on them, as the gap wasn’t enough. I had no problem with moisture.
Honey comb blinds are good too.

Des 7:39 pm 06 Jul 16

I’ve tried a few things in my house. Our extension has new double glazed windows with a thermal break (wood inside, colorbond outside) which we love but the old part of the house has single glazed windows.

I’ve tried the following:
Thick curtains with pelmets: Really good but you need to keep the curtains drawn and curtains/pelmets aren’t cheap.
Magnetite: A perspex window is added to the inside of the window using a magnetic frame. It is expensive but cheaper than putting in double glazing. We are happy with the result- no condensation and it looks like the original window.
Clear comfort: Probably the cheapest option. You stick this clear film over the window architrave coated with double sided tape and get the high dryer and pronto, ‘double glazing’. If you want a more flexible solution, make a wooden frame and put the clear comfort on it. You can remove this during summer and saves removing the double sided tape residue and you can replace it in winter.
Thermal blinds: This apparently have the same thermal properties as double glazing but cheaper. The effectiveness of this depends a lot on your window type. Our windows are not suitable for this being sash windows but there are ways around it.
We have rockwool in our walls and it is great. Everyone assumes we have double brick.

BTW, we have the required insulation in the roof but with the combination of time and a temporary possum tenant, it has flattened and needs to be replaced/covered with a new one.

Zan 11:11 am 04 Jul 16

We had new ceiling insulation put in some years ago as the original was very old and thin. Live in an ex-Govie. At the same time had wall cavity insulation pumped in via the roof tiles next to the wall. Where the windows are they drill a hole into the cement between the bricks and pump it through that, then they put cement into the whole. It made a great difference.

We also made our own double glaze with perspex which stops the cold coming through as it covers the whole metal frame. It also had stopped street noise.

Another way of doing it if you have wooden frames is using heat shrinkable wrap or get it from here http://www.clearcomfort.com.au

kean van choc 11:05 am 04 Jul 16

After much quote gathering and internet research, we’re about to sign on the dotted line with Architech Windows (Queanbeyan) to retrofit uPVC double glazed windows and doors to our 60s era duplex.

So far Architech’s customer service has been excellent. They have been far more responsive than other Canberra providers.

Our expectation is that installation wil commence in September.

Will keep you posted.

rommeldog56 8:46 am 04 Jul 16

I would also like to investigate retro fitting of wall insulation and double glazing of existing windows. Though I’m not new here, I’m feeling the cold more and more the older I get I’m afraid.

You do not mention whether you are looking for ceiling and/or wall insulation. Whether your existing windows are wood framed or metal ?

Had some friends retrofit “stick on” double glazing to existing metal framed windows. Not cheap but much cheaper than replacing windows. They said poor result – including moisture from condensation forming inside the panes leaving light stains. Not good. Hopefully someone on here has had a better experience with retrofitting double glazing and can recommend a good/effective solution.

I’m also looking to retrofitting of wall insulation (which would have to be “pump in”) but the supplier I have spoken to hasn’t exactly filled me with much confidence Im afraid – + it was hideously expensive. I’m also worried about how pump in wall insulation will get into all wall cavities and the impact of that on future electrical/cabling work – such as additional power points.

Not sure if there are any subsidy schemes available for these retro fitted energy saving initiatives either – probably not.

Any comments on these issues from people who have been there and done that, would be greatly appreciated.

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