Energy Saving

Balcony glazing saves energy

One of the benefits of a Lumon balcony glazing is energy savings. 

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. Our balcony glazing system has also been shown to reduce the need for maintenance and repairs on outdoor balconies.

Extra space and energy savings. All in one. All with Lumon.

Under most conditions, the idea of weather protection and extra room is attractive, but balcony glazing also supports environmentally friendly, energy-efficient thinking. In fact, adding balcony glazing is one of the best ways to improve the energy savings in apartment building, says PhD Kimmo Hilliaho.

We’re talking about a single frameless balcony glazing unit, a ventilated space, but it builds up a buffer between the exterior and the interior. The buffer against weather, especially windy weather. Thanks to Lumon 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. While at the same time offering a pleasant space for the people living in the apartment to spend time on the balcony. 

Complex calculations, clear principles

The balcony glazing study

In August 2010, PhD Kimmo Hilliaho studied the energy effects of balcony glazing at the Tampere University of Technology.
The research was conducted in Finland 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 made in Finland

The results of the study show that taking compensation air from a glazed balcony increases energy savings from the glazing. In the best case, glazed balconies function as efficient windbreaks, enabling people living in the apartment to reduce temperature by as much as 1°C in the rooms adjacent to their balconies. This allows owners to save energy while maintaining comfort levels.

Glazing of recessed balconies (with walls on both sides) provides even more energy savings than glazing of protruding balconies (L- or U-shaped). Savings for south-side balconies are slightly higher than those for balconies facing other directions. However, the savings gained by both types are substantial. The study revealed that the size of the gaps between glass panes has little impact on energy savings.
In all cases, energy savings were maximized by keeping balcony glazing closed in winter and open in summer.

Results elsewhere in Europe and beyond

The study made in Finland was supplemented with energy calculations of balconies in Berlin that were comparable to the Finnish balconies monitored in the test. In Berlin heating energy savings thanks to balcony glazing varied from 5.6% to 12.0%. Energy savings were most significant with south-facing balconies and with air supply coming from the balcony.

Having air intake through the balcony, instead of directly outside, was the most significant factor. On average, heating energy savings in Germany amounted to 8.2%, which is even more than the energy savings calculated in the Finland study.

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 — surpassing the findings of the Germany and Finland case studies!

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%.

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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 according to Kimmo. 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.

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. 

However, Kimmo reminds us that a favorably located balcony heats up during a warm summer day just as on a cool but sunny day in the winter of autumn. For this reason, choosing Lumon binds is a good idea and recommended for improved temperature control and comfort.

READ MORE ABOUT LUMON BLINDS

Sustainability. Hard to spell. Easy to practice.

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Carbon footprint and CO2 emission payback time

The payback time of CO2 emissions, from mining to manufacturing, all the way to installation of a balcony glazing system can be paid back in 3-5 years, depending on different climate conditions, throughout the world. It’s a green act to get a balcony glazing system.
READ MORE ABOUT CARBON FOOTPRINT
 
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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. 

Balcony glazing reduces need for maintenance and repairs

Additional research, conducted by D.Sc. (Tech.) Jussi Mattila, demonstrated that balcony glazing has a protective effect. The research results showed that balcony glazing can postpone the need for balcony renovation by six to ten years!

 

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