Aluminum windows have some useful advantages. They are strong and lightweight, and they don't need a lot of maintenance. However, these windows aren't always great from an energy efficiency perspective. Like any metal, aluminum isn't an effective insulator. It conducts heat and cold too well. So, your windows could feel too hot in summer and too cold in winter. This affects your home's thermal efficiency.
To make things more manageable, you can buy aluminum windows that contain thermal breaks in their frames. How do these breaks work and how do they help make aluminum more energy efficient?
What Is a Thermal Window Break?
A regular double or triple-glazed aluminum window simply contains glass panes inside aluminum frames. Any spaces in the window's structure are filled with gas or air.
If you add a thermal break to the mix, you fill the gap between the internal and external sides of the frame. For example, a window might contain a rigid plastic or polymer bar or strip that sits between the outside and inside of the frame. The bar or strip fills and insulates the space between the two sides of the metal.
How Does a Thermal Break Improve Energy Efficiency?
If you install regular aluminum windows without a thermal break, then the gap between the inside and the outside of your frames is uninsulated and, therefore, a source of energy loss. Temperature changes to either side of the frame transfer quickly to the other side because aluminum is such a good conductor.
So, if the sun heats the outside of a window, the metal frame carries the heat through to the inside. If it is cold outside, you feel the cold on the inside of the frame. Even if you have double or triple glazing, your windows won't work as efficiently as they should.
If your windows have thermal breaks, then you effectively insulate the metal. This prevents it from transferring extreme temperatures from either side. While the frames will still heat up or get cold, the break blocks the transfer and slows it down.
This makes the frames more energy efficient and gives you more control over internal temperatures. As an added bonus, thermal breaks also reduce noise transfer, so you should notice less external noise coming in through your windows.
To learn more about thermal breaks and how they help you create more energy-efficient windows, talk to local window replacement companies.