17 Things

Windows such as WERS rated windows and double glazed windows are specifically designed to stop heat entering or leaving the home in particular seasons. They work in much the same way as the insulation in ceiling, walls or floor.

No 8. Windows

The 17 Things

What Is It?

Windows can be an important factor in achieving comfort in your home working in the same way as the insulation in the ceiling, walls or floors to stop heat entering or leaving the home.

Double-glazed windows have a sealed air space in between the glazing layers which acts like insulation allowing less heat out in winter and less heat in during summer. Therefore this barrier increases the performance of the window system. There are also improved glasses such as low-e glass and advanced window frames that can improve the insulating aspect of windows. There are also secondary glazing solutions which can transform an ordinary single-glazed window into a double-glazed window.

wers certifcate

The WERS certificate.

The main thing is to make sure the window systems you choose have a high WERS rating. The Windows Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) allows you to compare different window choices for their energy efficiency performance and according to the climate zone of your property.

Members of the WERS scheme can also provide consumers with a certificate that certifies the window performance of their window system. The certificate displays a simple star rating system. There are two sets of stars which allow comparisons to be made between products and their performance in heating, cooling and mixed climate zones. In a cold climate, where heating is used most of the year, the more heating stars the better. In a hot climate, where cooling is used most of the year, the more cooling stars the better. In a mixed climate, where heating and cooling are used equally, a balance of heating and cooling stars is preferable.

This certificate is important proof when you come to sell your house as you can’t tell the WERS rating just by the way a window looks.

How will it help me reduce my running costs and increase my comfort?

Double-glazed windows have two panels of glass with an air gap in between.

Double-glazed windows have two panels of glass with an air gap in between.
Image credit to ©iStock.com/ BernardaSv

As most of the heat gain and heat loss in a home comes from the windows it’s important to make sure they are either double-glazed windows or WERS rated. These windows systems have the ability to insulate the home.

Energy rated windows allow the efficient use of energy to cool the house, while also increasing the cross-ventilation, ensuring a comfortable environment and increased amenity of the home.

Energy efficient windows reduce energy bills, allow cross-ventilation, provide a comfortable home and increase natural light.

Energy efficient windows that have been WERS rated will reduce the running costs by ensuring that heat is not admitted to the home. This reduces your reliance on artificial heating and cooling devices and reduces the fluctuation of the interior temperature of the home, ensuring that the temperature does not rise outside of comfortable levels.

What professional should I talk to about this?

The Centre for Liveability Real Estate always recommends you consult further with any relevant specialist design or building consultants or assessors before making any decision regarding your specific property based on the Liveability Property Marketing Features™.

To discuss the options with a professional you should contact a:

Is there anything I need to know before I meet with them?

Before you meet them you should decide what you wish to achieve: whether you want to block heat in summer, keep the warmth in during winter or make the best of existing windows.

Installing shading is generally much more cost effective than adding specialised glass coating or changing to a new window system to perform the same task. Check that the shading design you have is working for you as the first step.

If you are building a new home or completing a renovation you should have a copy of the development requirements for the building so that the window manufacturer can provide products that meet the development approval plans.

What is the price range I can expect?

Some professionals may give you some very preliminary advice for free, others may only indicate the sorts of solutions they may provide, so you will need to work this out when you first speak to them. Generally, you get the advice you have paid for, so don’t be afraid to pay a moderate amount (at least some hundreds of dollars) for a site-specific advice for your home.

Good advice of this sort could make many tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of difference to the value of your long-term investment. Ask a WERS member or Windows Film Association of Australia and New Zealand licensed WERS Film Installer for more details.

You should check if the window system or glazing you want to purchase and install is eligible for a government rebate or incentives from your retailer. Check out our list of Current Energy Rebates.

Where can I find more information?

More information can be found on the Australian Window Association (AWA) WERS website and Window Film Association of Australia and New Zealand and Efficient Glazing website.

Sustainability Victoria’s Smarter Renovation also provides great tips on how to select energy efficient glazing and more information on secondary glazing solution.

If I already have this feature, is there anything I need to know about using it effectively?

If you already have energy efficient windows they can be enhanced through the use of exterior shading such as louvres, blinds, garden plantings and verandahs.

Energy efficient window systems can also be enhanced with pelmets, interior blinds, curtains and louvres. If they are used in sync with the climate and time of year (such as closing when the sun goes down in winter or closing when there is direct sunlight on the windows in summer) they can greatly boost the efficiency of your window system.

Operation of window systems can also increase the liveability of a home. This can be done by closing window systems in winter to keep the warmth in, and by opening windows in the evening in summer to use cross-ventilation to naturally cool the home.

Does this work better when combined with any of the other 17 Things™

Efficient windows systems work best when they are well shaded (see No. 9 Shading or Sun Control) to block the heat from directly entering the home. Ideally, the top of the window should be at least 30% of the height (from underside of eaves to sill) below the eaves. Otherwise, that window area will be permanently in shade i.e. receives no solar gain in winter. See the table below for how the rule is applied.

In general, the eave width should be about 450mm – 600mm.

Height of window, door or main glazed areaWidth of eave
900-1200mm450mm
1200–1350mm600mm
1350–2100mm900mm
2100–2700mm (floor to ceiling height window or glass doors)1200mm

See our short animation on how orientation and shading come together to create passive heating and passive shading for more details.

No. 8 Windows, No. 6 Insulation and No. 7 Density of Building Materials also work together to form more effective structural climate control.

Will this feature be recognised when I sell my property?

Yes; Liveability Real Estate Specialist sales agents and property managers have been upskilled to identify an additional 17 Things™ on top of a standard property appraisal. So if you have invested in any of the 17 Things™ this means your property will be appraised and marketed with real skill and with the best marketing resources for online and print media.

You can book a free property appraisal with a Liveability Real Estate Specialist any time you’re ready to sell or even if you’re not planning to sell for a couple of years. Each of the 17 Things™ has appraisal benchmarks (relevant to existing and new homes) which have been set by relevant industry partners to make sure we deliver a high standard of property marketing. So your Liveability Real Estate Specialist will work through this appraisal checklist with you as they move through your home. It’s a great chance for you to let them know about all the property features you have invested in.


Any questions?

We’re here to help! Just send us your enquiry.

What Is It?

Windows can be an important factor in achieving comfort in your home working in the same way as the insulation in the ceiling, walls or floors to stop heat entering the home.

Double-glazed windows have a sealed air space in between the glazing layers which acts like insulation allowing less heat into the home and preventing cool air (from air-conditioning) from escaping. Therefore this barrier increases the performance of the window system. There are also improved glasses such as low-e glass and advanced window frames that can improve the insulating aspect of windows. There are also secondary glazing solutions which can transform an ordinary single-glazed window into a double-glazed window.

wers certifcate

The WERS certificate.

The main thing is to make sure the window systems you choose have a high WERS rating. The Windows Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) allows you to compare different window choices for their energy efficiency performance and according to the climate zone of your property.

Members of the WERS scheme can also provide consumers with a certificate that certifies the window performance of their window system. The certificate displays a simple star rating system. There are two sets of stars which allow comparisons to be made between products and their performance in heating, cooling and mixed climate zones. In a cold climate, where heating is used most of the year, the more heating stars the better. In a hot climate, where cooling is used most of the year, the more cooling stars the better. In a mixed climate, where heating and cooling are used equally, a balance of heating and cooling stars is preferable.

This certificate is important proof when you come to sell your house as you can’t tell the WERS rating just by the way a window looks.

How will it help me reduce my running costs and increase my comfort?

Double-glazed windows have two panels of glass with an air gap in between.

Double-glazed windows have two panels of glass with an air gap in between.
Image credit to ©iStock.com/ BernardaSv

As most of the heat gain and heat loss in a home comes from the windows it’s important to make sure they are either double-glazed windows or WERS rated. These windows systems have the ability to insulate the home.

Energy rated windows allow the efficient use of energy to cool the house, while also increasing the cross-ventilation, ensuring a comfortable environment and increased amenity of the home.

Energy efficient windows reduce energy bills, allow cross-ventilation, provide a comfortable home and increase natural light.

Energy efficient windows that have been WERS rated will reduce the running costs by ensuring that heat is not admitted to the home. This reduces your reliance on artificial heating and cooling devices and reduces the fluctuation of the interior temperature of the home, ensuring that the temperature does not rise outside of comfortable levels.

What professional should I talk to about this?

The Centre for Liveability Real Estate always recommends you consult further with any relevant specialist design or building consultants or assessors before making any decision regarding your specific property based on the Liveability Property Marketing Features™.

To discuss the options with a professional you should contact a:

Is there anything I need to know before I meet with them?

Before you meet them you should decide what you wish to achieve: in a tropical climate the priority is usually to block heat all year round.

Installing shading is generally much more cost effective than adding specialised glass coating or changing to a new window system to perform the same task. Check that the shading design you have is working for you as the first step.

If you are building a new home or completing a renovation you should have a copy of the development requirements for the building so that the window manufacturer can provide products that meet the development approval plans.

What is the price range I can expect?

Some professionals may give you some very preliminary advice for free, others may only indicate the sorts of solutions they may provide, so you will need to work this out when you first speak to them. Generally, you get the advice you have paid for, so don’t be afraid to pay a moderate amount (at least some hundreds of dollars) for a site-specific advice for your home.

Good advice of this sort could make many tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of difference to the value of your long-term investment. Ask a WERS member or Windows Film Association of Australia and New Zealand licensed WERS Film Installer for more details.

You should check if the window system or glazing you want to purchase and install is eligible for a government rebate or incentives from your retailer. Check out our list of Current Energy Rebates.

Where can I find more information?

More information can be found on the Australian Window Association (AWA) WERS website and Window Film Association of Australia and New Zealand and Efficient Glazing website.

If I already have this feature, is there anything I need to know about using it effectively?

If you already have energy efficient windows they can be enhanced through the use of exterior shading such as louvres, blinds, garden plantings and verandahs.

Energy efficient window systems can also be enhanced with interior blinds, curtains and louvres. If they are used in sync with the climate and time of year (such as closing when there is direct sunlight on the windows) they can greatly boost the efficiency of your window system.

Operation of window systems can also increase the liveability of a home. This can be done by closing window systems when the air-conditioner is running, and by opening windows in the evening to use cross-ventilation to naturally cool the home. This is particularly most important in the tropical climate where cross-ventilation is one of the most important 17 Things™.

Does this work better when combined with any of the other 17 Things™

Efficient windows systems work best when they are well shaded (see No. 9 Shading or Sun Control) to block the heat from directly entering the home.

In general, the eave width should be about 600mm – 1200mm.

No. 8 Windows, No. 6 Insulation and No. 7 Density of Building Materials also work together to form more effective structural climate control.

Will this feature be recognised when I sell my property?

Yes; Liveability Real Estate Specialist sales agents and property managers have been upskilled to identify an additional 17 Things™ on top of a standard property appraisal. So if you have invested in any of the 17 Things™ this means your property will be appraised and marketed with real skill and with the best marketing resources for online and print media.

You can book a free property appraisal with a Liveability Real Estate Specialist any time you’re ready to sell or even if you’re not planning to sell for a couple of years. Each of the 17 Things™ has appraisal benchmarks (relevant to existing and new homes) which have been set by relevant industry partners to make sure we deliver a high standard of property marketing. So your Liveability Real Estate Specialist will work through this appraisal checklist with you as they move through your home. It’s a great chance for you to let them know about all the property features you have invested in.


Any questions?

We’re here to help! Just send us your enquiry.

The 17 Things

The 17 Things

The 17 Things™ are property features that have the potential to reduce running costs and increase comfort if used correctly. You can discuss incorporating these into your renovation with with your architect, building designer or builder. The real estate industry is now identifying these Liveability Property Features™at point of sale or rent through agents that have completed additional training as Liveability Real Estate Specialists.

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