New technology helps make windows and door seals more energy efficient

Previously, property owners have not had as many choices as they do currently, thanks to technologies that have not only made energy loss unlikely, but have aided in other ways – from keeping your home furniture from fading to preventing moisture from creeping in under doors.

Windows have come a considerable way ever since the late 1600s, when plate glass was initially created and air flow openings in a house were called “wind eyes.” Plate glass became common and desirable for homes over the next few hundred years, and the words “wind eyes” transformed into “windows.”

The changes right now go far beyond double-pane (also referred to as double-glazed) windows, that have been around ever since the 1950s. 2 panes of glass are better than one when it comes to insulating, and today even more developments are making them a lot better.

One of many places throughout the Monterey Bay area to experience some of these developments is at Marvin Design Gallery by Truitt & White in Seaside, where displays boast high-tech features of windows and doors. The showroom opened in April within the Kitchen Studio of the Monterey Peninsula.

Area manager Jack Lamon stated doors and windows in recent times go through thorough testing to determine their degree of energy-efficiency, their ability to let in light but reflect solar heat, and other elements.

“They are all made to satisfy much higher performance requirements,” he stated.

Just as appliances are Energy Star-rated, so are the majority of windows, doors and skylights. According to the trade magazine Window & Door, above 80 % of windows are Energy Star-certified, and the accompanying tag will inform buyers how much money might be saved on their energy bills by installing various models.

Many people are familiar with low-emissivity, or low-e, windows but may not realize how much better they’ve become in recent times. Distinctive finishes give low-e windows the ability to decrease the degree of radiant heat that comes from the window glass. Less heat means temperatures indoors continue to be cooler when the weather is warm.

Low-e coatings were initially developed in the 1980s, and today many types can be bought, dependant upon what’s needed for a specific window. The thin metallic finishes let in visible light but stop the heat that would typically come via the glass.

Some other coatings can protect against heat from moving from inside the property to outdoors, keeping the home warmer in cold weather.

More recently, window companies have been designing low-e windows in which the space between the panes is filled with an inert gas, such as argon, which enhances the window’s overall performance.

“The gas prevents convection and keeps it from moving around,” mentioned Lamon, and the less the molecules move, the better the insulation.

Lamon and showroom manager Brian Borchert can help home-owners and builders choose the best windows and doors based on a number of aspects, such as climate, exposure to the sun and the amount of light desired.

Window shades and curtains have always been used to preserve more even temperatures within the house, but some freshly designed alternatives will give greater control where these are concerned.

Integrated interior shades are now obtainable that come included in the door or window.

“The shade could be light-filtering or light-blocking,” stated Lamon. “These have recently come out in the last few months and it’s a really in demand choice.”

Motor-driven exterior shades are also available, and can be raised and lowered either by remote control or set on a timer. These shades minimize heat coming via windows, and the shade “rolls up into a cartridge behind the trim detail,” Lamon mentioned, so they just seem to vanish when not in use.

As for doors, better manufacturing procedures and tough testing have produced models that seal much better and therefore are more weather-resistant. However as Lamon showed at Marvin’s Seaside showroom, these sort of doors will not sacrifice the way they look for the way they function.

A brand new variety of sectional sliding door seals better than old-school sliding glass doors while still offering beautiful views of whatever is outside.

sliding door seals

Even the sills of exterior doors help with energy-efficiency, with well-made sills assisting the door seal securely when shut, “so you’re not getting any air-flow or water coming in under,” said Borchert.