The Perks of Thermal Insulation

How to choose the right window systems to maintain an ideal microclimate and improve the energy efficiency of your home

Have you ever thought about how your window systems impact on keeping the house warm in winter and cool in summer?

Among the things that contribute to good thermal insulation, doors and windows are undoubtedly key elements, because they can contribute significantly (up to 30%) to heat loss.

An old window with poor insulating properties, built with low quality materials or non-hermetically sealed, for example, can often be the cause of huge heat losses.

This is why it is essential to choose the right materials and the most suitable technologies to be reasonably certain of minimising heat dispersion, an essential condition for maintaining a good microclimate inside the house, saving energy and consequently cutting your household bills.


How do you measure the thermal resistance of you windows?

Is there a way to estimate the insulating capacity of a frame?
Yes! The so-called ‘thermal transmittance’ measures the rate of heat transfer through matter, i.e. a window or a door.

In most countries, Thermal transmittance (“U”) is expressed by the formula “W / (m2K)”, which relates energy (W stands for Watt), surface (m2 stands square meters) and temperature (K stands for Kelvin ).

The lower the value of the transmittance, i.e. the heat that transfers through the window, the higher the insulating power of the window.


What are the advantages of insulation?

Good thermal insulation is undoubtedly a significant advantage in all seasons, because it greatly contributes to keeping the house warm in winter and cool in summer.

Beyond the most evident effect, that of a more pleasant microclimate, a well insulated house is also a house with a higher energy efficiency, which allows for a lower heating and air conditioning consumption and significant savings in terms of energy and bills.

Last but not least, insulation also guarantees a lower rate of humidity and condensation, preserving the house from molds and all the problems connected with this issue.

Simply put, a well-insulated home is a more comfortable, efficient, and healthier home.


What other aspects do I need to consider when choosing a window system?

While good thermal insulation undoubtedly offers many advantages, it is still true that every house is unique. Upon choosing the right window systems, it will therefore also be necessary to take into account the specific features of your home, such as space organisation, context (i.e. house or apartment), exposure and so on. An expert installer will undoubtedly be able to provide you with all the right information, taking into account the laws and regulations establishing the minimum thermal transmittance thresholds to observe when installing new windows in a private home.


DC82: Noval’s latest heat management solution

Freshly presented to the market, the new DC82 series by Noval has been designed to offer thermal performances that guarantee very high savings on home heating.

This series has excellent water, air and wind resistance and an overall thermal transmittance (Uw) ranging from 1.30 to 1.02 in windows with airgel. DC82 lends itself to the construction of casement windows in various configurations. If you are looking for an innovative solution for the thermal insulation of your home, take a look at the technical data sheet or contact one of our experts for advice!

Approaching the Future with Strategy and Innovation

Latest generation products, cutting-edge services and tech evolution have been are at the heart of Noval’s most recent innovations, recently presented in Naples 

Innovating products, strategies, services and communication: this has been the main topic under the spotlight at the presentation event by Noval Group the took place on November 20 in Naples, against the backdrop of the magnificent Gran Salone Margherita.

Before an audience of 220 clients and stakeholders, the speakers took turns in presenting the latest market trends, illustrating the company’s new products and services and demonstrating some major technological innovations.

The event has been a momentous occasion to take stock of the current situation and discuss the upcoming projects, as well as to share the ideas that will shape the future of the company and of the entire industry.

Click here to watch the TV report on the event


Green & Digital Transformation: Improving Products and Services through Sustainability and Technology

Among Noval’s sustainable solutions for thermal insulation and energy efficiency is the new DC82 series, designed to offer performance that guarantee very high savings on heat consumption.

Digital transformation, on the other hand, is the main goal of the new, increasingly customised services that Noval has created for final customers, installers and showrooms: the App allowing individuals to experience products and configure their new home window systems via augmented reality; the online Configurator to get a hyper-realistic preview of the installation in a given space; the Quotation Tool designed for Noval consultants to quickly estimate the costs of a new project.

Finally, in collaboration with tech partner Netminds, Noval Group will be the official demonstrator of a brand new service that leverages the latest virtual reality, augmented and mixed reality technologies: Noval View. 
Thanks to an advanced viewer and immersive technology, this tool augments the showroom space allowing anyone to customise the features of their ideal window systems by choosing the materials and experiencing the result in real time through virtual reality.

Let’s dispel a myth: condensation

We face a problem that involves many people: Condensation.

What are the causes?

In winter, heated rooms have an excessive vapor content (produced by activities such as sleeping, cooking, showering or with normal household activities) compared to the outside, this pressure difference causes the migration of steam from inside to outside through the walls. This is why the temperatures of the internal walls must stay above the so-called dew point to avoid condensation on the walls and therefore mold on the surfaces.

If a wall is poorly insulated , or there are thermal bridges (for example a reinforced concrete pillar), and the surface temperature of the walls drops below a certain value, condensation is guaranteed.
The old windows made people stay cold due to their poor sealing, but thanks to the drafts they ensured a slow but constant exchange of the internal air and a disposal of the humidity of the house, which now no longer happens. The new windows in fact they block drafts, thus causing an increase in the degree of internal humidity .

A simple remedy to this unpleasant phenomenon consists in the correct ventilation of the premises .

Replacing the air indoors is very important.
If we do not do this, the humidity we produce – by cooking, washing or simply breathing – accumulates and facilitates the appearance of mold on the walls. The concentration of pollutants also tends to increase, for example the carbon monoxide generated by the incomplete combustion of gas stoves or the formaldehyde released from some building materials.

Therefore, in the absence of a mechanical ventilation system, it is advisable to open the windows about every two hours (in residential areas occupied by people).

How long should the window stay open? It depends on several factors:
• hinged or flap opening
• season, because in winter the difference in temperature between inside and outside speeds up recirculation
• presence of wind, which favors the turnover
• air flow in the room, which accelerates the recirculation.

The drawing below (source: IBN – Institut Für Baubiologie + Ökologie Neubeuern) summarizes the opening times.

Materials used and sustainability: the tests

Aluminum , wood, PVC. Three materials that are profoundly different in origin, production processes, performances and design solutions, each of which boasts large groups of supporters who, considering the technical, economic, ecological and aesthetic aspects each time, pronounce on the alleged superiority of one respect to the other. In recent years, studies, and the resulting assumption of alleged advantages to be weighed commercially, have opposed each other and those who expected the confirmation of their theses – or at least the denial of those of others – from the study “ Sustainability assessment of windows and curtain walls ”certainly were disappointed by the final report of the research: none of the materials analyzed demonstrates a clear supremacy. But precisely this result allows us to focus attention on the undoubted methodological value of the study, to underline some fundamental aspects related to the sustainability of windows and transparent envelope systems.

Commissioned by the European Aluminum Association , the research was carried out by the German engineering company Drees & amp; Sommer Advanced Building Technologies , in collaboration with PE-International , an organization of sustainability experts.

The study, conducted in Germany and published in January 2015, takes its cue from the observation that the studies available so far on the subject do not analyze how the type of material that makes up the load-bearing structure of the frames affects the performance of windows and facades. Consequently, the researchers evaluated the sustainability aspects of types considered “standard”, namely:

  • double-leaf and single-leaf windows (residential building) using frames in aluminum , wood, wood-aluminum and PVC;
  • portions of structural facade with mullions and transoms (office building) using profiles in aluminum , wood and wood-aluminum.

The first part of the study dealt with the assessment of environmental and economic impacts. Here are the steps of the methodology used:

  • calculation of thermal comfort and energy consumption, by means of a thermal simulation software, for each of the two different climatic zones considered (Berlin and Rome);
  • calculation of the economic cost of life cycle (LCC) according to ISO 15686-5;
  • life cycle assessment (LCA) according to ISO 14040 and EN 15804.

In the second part, the overall sustainability performance of the various window and curtain wall systems were compared with a quantitative methodology, based on the criteria of the Deutesche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (DGNB) and the Green Building Rating Scheme (GBRS), including: environmental impact, economic quality, social quality, technical and process quality.

In fact, according to the main building sustainability protocols, the building envelope is a fundamental component in the overall environmental assessment as it contributes on average 10% to the sustainability of the entire building. The assessment was based on sustainability criteria derived from EN 15643/1 (Building life cycle stages), widely used in Europe in the real estate sector.

The relative phases are as follows:

  • comparison with environmental certification protocols of building sustainability (only for the part relating to windows and facades);
  • in-depth development of a set of indicators to assess the sustainability of different materials.

Since holistic evaluation identifies a large set of indicators (including sensitivity analysis), the research focused on the most relevant scenarios for the evaluation, in order to provide reliable results. Finally, the research was submitted to leading industry experts in order to understand their views and criticisms.


In a nutshell, here are the evaluations resulting from the analyzes listed above and detailed in the 80 pages that make up the study.

Energy aspects

The comparison of performance in terms of comfort and consumption of thermal energy required during the operating phase did not show substantial differences between the various materials. In general, the differences in terms of performance are the result of the different dimensions of the profiles used and, in the same climatic zone, the variations found did not exceed 1.5%.

Economic aspects

According to the Life Cycle Costing, PVC windows for residential use show a lower investment and operating cost than other materials. Aluminum is the best among the materials considered

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