Technology changes quickly in areas like electronics and cell phones but it also advances in windows. Windows have evolved from inefficient single panes to current energy-efficient coated, inert-gas filled and triple-glazed glass.
Introduced in the 1860’s, windows with insulated glazing were created to reduce the transfer of heat. At the time of invention the technology wasn’t immediately available to the public and was not considered commercially viable because of the increased cost. Today, insulated glazing has been improved to the point that they are the minimum window technology in both commercial and residential buildings.
Double and Triple Glazing
The introduction of double- and triple-glazed windows dates as far back as the 1940’s. Developed initially for railroad cars, double-glazed windows were later adopted for commercial and residential buildings. Manufacturers later introduced triple-glazed windows that were even more energy efficient than their predecessors and were designed for any purpose.
The first window coating technology can be traced to the 1960s. The first coated windows were manufactured using the same technology that was used to create mirrors. The coating technology was improved with the addition of reflective features that are still in use today. Coated and glazed windows are popularly used for their efficiency rates and cost savings.
Low-E Coating Technology
Low-E (low emissivity) coating technology was introduced in the 1980’s following on the coat tails of the the 1970’s energy crisis. The first windows utilizing the technology were manufactured using very thin layers of gold that guaranteed low emissivity. However, the coatings had a green hue thus prompting the manufacturers to create the colorless low-e coating technology that same decade. By 1988, the technology had already been commercialized thus leading to at least 20% use in the United States for commercial and residential buildings. Today, the technology has incorporated the use of silver layers that reflect UV and infrared rays from the sun.
Window Shades and Fins (Window shades have been around as long as windows have been around, so unless you are referring to a specific type of shade this doesn’t really hold true)
Around the 1990’s the first window shades and fins were introduced. Their purpose was to limit the amount of glare and solar heat getting into the building through the windows. Since the technology reduced cooling needs, it has been adopted together with other window technologies to improve energy efficiency.
Introduced at the same time as the window shades and fins, electro-chromic glazing incorporates coating of the glazed windows with ceramic layers. With this technology the windows darken when lithium ions move across the thin ceramic layers thus reducing the amount of sunlight getting inside the building.
The start of the new millennium saw the introduction of thermo-chromic window technology. Here there are no electrical components or wires required. Rather the coating is immediately and automatically tinted when in contact with direct sunlight.
Other Window Technologies
Finally, the double-glazed facades, window framing and thin-film photovoltaics were introduced in the new century.
In conclusion, there is no excuse for spending huge amounts on utility bills if you can count of energy efficient windows. Today, most manufacturers have combined most of these technologies to comes up with the most energy efficient windows for both commercial and residential buildings.
To keep your windows shining bright call Charity Window Cleaning for residential and commercial window washing in Utah.