When you think of energy-efficiency for the home you often think of the electrical systems, heating and air-conditioning units, and of course insulation. But there is another element to an energy-efficient home that we are seeing first hand at The Greenwich House. The windows.
The windows and exterior doors at The Greenwich House are made by Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors. Aside from benefiting from the beauty and quality of being an all wood windows and doors, possible by their proprietary Auralast treatment, these also have a UV coating along with standard convection and conduction features (double pane and argon gas) that is having a major impact on energy-efficiency in the home.
Convection and conduction efficiency has really become a standard as most homes have at least double or triple pane windows that reduce the convectivity of heat and cool in and out of the home. And argon gas is usually found between panes to reduce the amount of heat and cooling that is convected through the windows.
However, the UV coating, or Low-E coating as it’s often called tackles a third component which is solar radiation. The key here is reduction in solar heat gain on the inside of a house.
We have all felt the heat when the sun streams through a south-facing wall. Heat gain is the result of UV light from the sun shining into the house which in turns gives off heat. You notice this when you walk past a window on a sunny day. The light wave that causes this is the ultraviolet spectrum and it can really negate the work your air-conditioner is doing on hot summer days.
The UV coating effectively blocks the ultraviolet spectrum from entering the home allowing you to enjoy the benefits of all that natural sunlight without the extra heat that comes with it.
This coating is a very thin, transparent metallic coating that is applied to insulating glass at the factory. It is usually put on the exterior surface of the interior pane of glass (between the panes). A Dual Low-E feature has an additional coating on the interior surface of the interior pane. The coating reflects radiant heat (infrared light) away from the interior spaces of the home.
Essentially in cold weather, the coating reduces the amount of heat loss to the outdoors by reflecting radiant heat back into the house. In warmer weather, the sun’s energy is reflected back outside and prevented from entering the house.
This technology along with other energy-efficient measures have allowed The Greenwich House to see an overall energy savings of approximately 66%. That’s big money over the life of a home in energy costs.
Next time you are looking at new windows, think carefully about a UV coating. If you are wanting to maximize energy-efficiency, this is definitely the way to go.