Sep 032014
 

High performance windows.

Thermal windows

Windows form part of a green home’s thermal envelope, its outer shell which protects it against unwanted temperatures from moving in or out of it. The movement of energy through standard windows is caused by three main factors:

  • Air Infiltration – Windows that don’t fit properly allow air to move around them. Just a small 1/16 of an inch gap around one window is equivalent to an entire brick missing from an external wall. Through it, escapes indoor conditioned air, while hot and humid or cold outdoor air enters from outside.
  • Conduction – There is a reason cooking utensils are made from glass, aluminum or metal. Just like standard window frames that are made from the same materials, heat travels easily through them. This movement of energy through solids is called conduction.
  • Radiation – When you stand near to fire, you feel its heat radiating towards you. The same transfer of heat through air takes place through standard windows, which moves unwanted heat into a home during summer and out of a home during winter.

All three, independently or together, result in additional energy being consumed by the home’s heating and cooling system in an attempt to maintain occupant comfort.

We are told by the U.S. Department of Energy that in standard homes, this problem alone can be the cause of 25% of their energy bills.

High Performance thermal windows address these problems by incorporating the following green technologies:

  • Low-E glass – Is an invisible coating that is applied to the glass during manufacture. It reflects heat trying to radiate out of the home during winter months back onto the home. It also reflects heat trying to radiate into the home during hot summer months.
  •  Multiple panes of glass – For the same reason that aircraft windows don’t accumulate condensation on the inside, high performance windows also have multiple panes of glass with spaces in between them. This prevents the conduction of heat through them.
  • Argon gas – Is a colorless, invisible gas that acts like insulation when trapped between panes of glass.
  • Vinyl window frames – A material that does not conduct heat, besides also being super maintenance free because it does not crack, chip, rot or warp, is pest resistant and does not need to be painted.
  • Laminated glass with a vinyl interlayer – Similar to the windshield of a motor car, a transparent vinyl layer is laminated between two sheets of glass, which adds to the window’s thermal insulation characteristics, as well as preventing shattering when struck by storm flung debris or intruders.

As a result of these unique technologies, high performance windows:

  • Maintain cool temperatures during hot summer months.
  • Maintain warm temperatures during cold winter months.
  • Heating and cooling systems don’t have to work as hard.
  • Less energy is consumed.
  • Less equipment maintenance and replacements are needed.
  • Homeownership costs are significantly reduced.

Where can you see these high performance windows in action?

High performance windows are standard features in some of our green home models. If you would like us to direct you to our nearest model where you will be able to see, touch and feel this energy saving green technology, PLEASE REGISTER and we will respond to assist you.

Thank you for visiting. Please leave a comment below and then check out the rest of our BLOG. We look forward to making Green Home living your reality.

Marius J Smook – Licensed Real Estate Eco-Broker, LEED AP for HOMES, Home Energy Rater.

 September 3, 2014

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