Did you know that you can save up to 12% of energy with the right kind of balcony type? Adding balcony glazing is one of the best ways to improve the energy efficiency in apartment building. A number of independent groups have conducted studies of our balcony glazing systems. These studies have found that balcony glazing can help reduce heat consumption as well as provide remarkable energy savings.
- A single frameless balcony glazing unit builds up a buffer against weather between the exterior and the interior, especially windy weather.
- Thanks to balcony glazing wind pressure on the balcony is reduced, which is reducing energy costs in the heating.
- What it also does, on a sunny cool day, it heats up the balcony, again reducing the heating costs in the apartment.
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Complex calculations, clear principles
PhD Kimmo Hilliaho studied the energy effects of balcony glazing at the Tampere University of Technology and conducted a research in Finland in 2010, and supplemented by reference calculations from Germany. The heating energy consumption of glazed and unglazed balconies was compared by using field measurements and computer simulations. In addition, the study sought to ascertain how balcony type, thermal insulation and direction affect temperatures.
This is the sum of three things: living comfort, durability of structures and energy savings. They all support each other, but perhaps the most difficult to control is energy economy, Kimmo says.
Results of the study: Energy saving with help of balcony glazing is 6-7% on average
- The simulations showed that the heating energy savings in a typical apartment due to balcony glazing range from 3.4% to 10.7% in Finnish climate conditions.
- The same calculations were carried out in Berlin, where the heating energy savings through the use of balcony glazing varied between 5.6% and 12.0%.
- Similar studies in Canada have returned even more impressive results with savings of up to 18.3% in Vancouver and up to 15.9% in Toronto.
- Most of the energy was saved in apartments in buildings from the 1970s.
- In Finland, the saving was mainly achieved by reducing heat losses.
- In Germany, the savings instead came from heat gain from the sun-heated air behind the glazing.
The amount of savings depends on the location and design of the balcony
- While significant savings have been found for all types of balconies, glazing on interior balconies or loggias (with side walls) yields greater savings than glazing on exterior balconies with an L-shape or U-shape.
- Savings on south-facing balconies are slightly higher.
- In all cases, energy savings were maximized by keeping the balcony glazing closed in winter and opening it in summer.
- Good to know: the width of the gaps/seals between the glass panes only has a minor impact on energy savings.
More detailed information on the study and the results relevant for Germany can be found here: Energy efficiency with balcony glazing depending on German climatic conditions. Research in FINLAND - LINK??
The energy saving is at its best when the balcony receives thermal energy from the sun and from the building, but looses very little thanks to the glazing
Balconies on the south side of the building receive sun radiation and solar heating most effectively. If the balcony is "recessed", meaning its three sides are covered by an exterior wall, the balcony is optimal for glazing benefits. Protruding glazed balconies can be very energy-saving in suitable situations. For example, long balconies on the southern side will collect the building heat losses. Small protruding balconies in shady locations, are not necessarily the most energy efficient.
How effectively a glazed balcony works as an energy-saving solution depends on the temperature in the balcony. In addition to that thermal insulation external wall is another key factor. This is particularly meaningful when calculating energy savings benefits achieved through balcony glazing in a renovation project of an existing older building. The older the building is, the more the glazed balcony typically receives heat losses from inside.
However, a favorably located balcony heats up during a warm summer day just as on a cool but sunny day in the winter or autumn. For this reason, choosing Lumon blinds is a good idea and recommended for improved temperature control and comfort.
The table further below shows us what kind of energy savings can be reached according to simulated calculations in optimal situations in various European cities, in London as much as 17,3%.
More articles about energy saving & balcony glazing can be found in our PRO Blog here:
- PRO Blog: Lumon integrated and energy saving balcony systems
- PRO Blog: Balcony glazing saves nature and money
- PRO Blog: 4 ways balcony glazing promotes a sustainable lifestyle
- PRO Blog: Balcony glazing protects structures and reduce renovation needs
- PRO Blog: Using blinds to achieve the optimal level of temperature and protection
Conclusion: Balcony glazing pays off
In addition to comfort, properly designed and installed balcony glazing systems provide owners of single apartments or the whole property with financial benefits. In particular, in high-rise blocks built in the 1960’ and 1970’ adding balcony glazing is definitely one of the very best ways to improve energy efficiency of the building. Substantial savings could also be obtained in new high-rise blocks with replacement air intake through the glazed balconies.
Do you want to discuss about how you can improve the energy efficiency of your project? Lumon experts will help you to find a solution.