The world is moving toward a more environmentally friendly way of doing things, in industry and business as well as individual home ownership, and energy efficient windows fit perfectly into that effort. Most homeowners have by now heard of the potential cost-savings on power bills these products afford, and of various government incentives that promote their purchase and installation.
According to Energy Star, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program designed to assist businesses and individuals in saving money while protecting the environment, replacing older windows with Energy Star rated counterparts can reduce the gas and electricity bills of an average household by as much as 7-15 percent while simultaneously lowering a building’s carbon footprint. The consumption of fossil fuels, and its resulting carbon dioxide emission, is significantly improved by taking advantage of environmentally friendly building and design components such as energy efficient windows , the organization states.
How do they work? In simple terms, the principles of heat conduction can be explained by exploring the concept of insulated coffee cups. Touching an insulated cup and the resulting sensation on one’s hand depends on numerous factors: the temperature of the liquid, the amount of skin in contact with the cup, the length of time one holds the cup, and the quality of the insulation in the cup. To avoid burning one’s hands, insulated cups are often made of at least two layers, with air or gas functioning as an insulator between the layers.
Correspondingly, one way to create energy efficient windows is to layer multiple sheets of glass. It is one of the techniques manufacturers apply to eliminate temperature conduction, and the loss of heat and cold, to the greatest extent possible. Heat transfer is often additionally limited by the injection of gas in-between the glass panels. The product is generally available in layers of two or three panels, with each sheet of glass offering a higher efficiency rating by decreasing heat transmission. In some cases, fiberglass material is the preferred option to achieve maximum environmental and financial friendliness due to its low conductivity.
Manufacturers now also consider the framing to be an important aspect of creating efficiency. Traditionally, metal frames were the product of choice for most U.S. homeowners. But these days, thermally-efficient spacers are another way to promote insulation and thwart condensation as well as conduction.
An additional measure to ensure utmost environmental and budgetary friendliness (in terms of electricity and gas bills) is the application of a low emissivity coating, also called low-E coating. This type of transparent film reflects as much as 65-96 percent of long wave radiation that would otherwise penetrate glass and subsequently broach the interior of a home.
One leading vendor of energy efficient windows is Soluxe Savings. The company states that environmentally friendly glass not only conserves non-renewable resources, but also saves the homeowner up to 15 percent on their electric bills. In addition, window replacements add to a home’s curb appeal and, as a result, improve resale value. Film-coated glass is also said to help prevent or contain the shattering of glass during burglary attempts or natural disasters.
Most importantly, energy efficient windows and their temperature-regulating properties add to the comfort of the home’s occupants year-round.