WincovER – Everything you need to know.
We all do what we can for the environment and are constantly looking for a way to reduce heating and cooling costs. WincovER was developed to assist homeowners in making more environmentally sustainable decisions.
Up to 40% of energy used in the home for heating or cooling is lost through windows.
Window furnishings such as Roller Shutters, Plantation Shutters, Outdoor Blinds and Louvres can make a massive difference when it comes to reducing your environmental footprint and reducing electricity bills.
We all have those rooms that heat up (or cool down) more than others. The ones that get too much early morning or afternoon light. For those of us who do not have double-glazing or perfect insulation the options available have been limited, and any decision made was an educated guess – at best.
WincovER is a new star rating system developed by the Blind Manufacturer Association of Australia to help guide homeowners towards finding the most suitable window furnishings. This system matches specific window furnishings with quantifiable benefits, for saving energy and insulating your home.
Modern is proud to be the first product on the market with WincovER rating.
What is WincovER?
Developed by the Blind Manufacturer Association of Australia (BMAA), along with the guidance of industry-leading environmental scientists, WincovER is a star-rating system that compares the energy performance of window coverings and outdoor shades. This makes it easier for homeowners to make informed decisions when it comes to choosing sustainable options for their homes and projects.
WincovER uses an intuitive 10-star system that rates both the heating and cooling impact of a window covering or shade.
This is calculated based on a huge range of parameters, including: the materials, fabrics, the design elements that have been used and how effective they are at insulating your home. Since 40% of a home’s energy for cooling or heating is lost and gained through the windows, improving the insulation of your home has huge environmental benefits and also substantially impacts energy bills.
WincovER rated products can also increase the overall value of your home. When purchased, WincovER products are available with a unique certificate, clearly stating the opening’s specific energy star rating, which will contribute to the energy efficiency and overall resale value of the home.
How does WincovER Work?
For a manufacturer to get a WincovER rating, they must follow a strict testing protocol. Materials are assessed by international laboratories and databases to provide them with two measures of performance, the U-Value of the product and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) for the entire window, frame and window covering.
The product is then put to the test with a whole-of-house simulation which provides energy values to be assessed by the WincovER algorithm to determine the star rating for each product. The ranking is out of ten stars, with a separate ranking provided for heating and cooling. The higher the number of stars, the better the performance of the product!
After being independently audited, the product is then listed on the WincovER Certified Products Hub. This means that all ratings are honest, unbiased and there for consumers to make the best decision possible for their homes.
What is a “U-Value” (Uv)?
When learning about WincovER, you might see the phrase U-Value appear. This is similar to the R-value used to determine how insulative walls, floors and ceilings are. The U-value measures how well the assembly and materials used prevent heat from passing through. Generally, for Australian products, U-Value ratings fall between 2.0-10.0W/m2 – with the default for single-glazed, clear-glass window in an aluminium frame having a U-value of 6.7. Products with certified low U-values keep heat inside during winter and outside during summer – or at least take a lot longer for the temperatures on both sides of the rated material to equallise.
If the cost of cooling or heating is a concern, paying attention to a product’s U-Value will be an important factor to consider!
What is a “Solar Heat Gain Coefficient” (SHGC)?
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient is a way to measure how effectively a product can block heat generated by sunlight. An example of this is how colour can change the way heat and light create and lose heat in the home. Different colours have different capacities for reflecting radiated heat and therefore different insulation benefits. Lighter colours reflect the energy falling from the visible spectrum and black absorbs it. White is the gold standard when it comes to heat reflection and keeping your home well insulated. Depending where the product falls on the scale between white and black, will affect its overall rating.
SHGC is represented in a number between 0 and 1. WincovER products with a lower SHGC will prevent heat gain in your home, keeping it cooler and reducing air conditioner costs. While a higher SHGC will help keep heat in the home, easing the pressure of heating costs.
What is “Visible Transmittance”?
Visible transmittance (VT) is a way of measuring how much visible light can penetrate the product. VT is represented with a number between 0 and 1. The higher the number the easier light can move through the product. This also generally means that you will have better visibility through the product.
There is so much to be gained with the understanding of WincovER and how simple choices can make a big difference to the environment and your back pocket. Making the right decisions now will have a huge impact in the future.
For more information on WincovER, Modern’s WincovER rated products and how we can help you reduce your environmental footprint and lower your heating or cooling costs, contact us or give your local service team a call on 13 11 78!