While getting yourself a tan in the summer sun on the beach or by the pool might seem like a fun option, the heat of the sun in your home is not a very pleasant feeling. That of course, depends on where you live. Even in the US, there are areas that are yearning to catch a glimpse of the sun for most part of the year while others are quite sick of the sight. Accordingly, you can choose the best way to heat and cool your home. Windows are always the weak point in the building construction, both in terms of security as well as insulation. You need to know how to make windows more energy efficient if you intend to save yourself from the sun and the massive energy bills.
Feel the ‘Pane’
Insulation is an absolute must whether you live in the colder regions or warmer regions. They help keep the indoor warmth trapped indoors in the winters and help keep the outdoor heat outside in the summers. That is the reason nearly all windows in modern houses are double-paned. Double paned windows have a layer of air between two sheets of glass. This layer of air acts as an insulator. There are also triple pane windows that are even better at saving power. Of course they cost more, but the kind of savings you get on your energy bills makes up for it in the long run. You see, when there is least outside interference, whether you are cooling the home or heating it, you are getting the best results quicker.
Air is only a moderate insulator, but of course you cannot stuff the same kind of insulating materials that are used in the walls. They will look ugly and completely defeat the purpose of having a window, thanks to its thick, fluffy nature. But there are ways to improve the insulation conditions. There are plenty of gases that can be used instead of air that are thicker and are better insulators. Argon, Xenon and Krypton are the popular replacement glasses. Another thing to note is that although floor to ceiling windows look great, especially in highrise buildings, they do no good in the energy efficiency so take your pick wisely.
Windows can be made even more energy efficient if you can get a low e-coating on your paned glasses. Low emissivity is the tendency of emitting lower levels of radiant thermal energy. A thin, transparent coating of metal is applied on the inner walls of the paned windows, where there is the layer of air. Now the position of the coating is determined on the intended function. In the colder regions, the coating is applied in such a way that it reflects the heat emitted inside the house, back inside. In the warmer regions, the process is reversed.
Summer-proofing your windows are essential if you do not want sun tans indoors, or have faded carpets and furniture. There are plenty of ways to do it.