As you know last week Blaine and I had the opportunity to talk with the inventor and patent holder of a brand new type of window. We talked back and forth for more than an hour about an emerging window technology. The two of us were fascinated!
When ever a home is built the weak link in all types of homes are the windows. As we know insulation is measured in R-Values, the greater the Resistance to transferring heat the better. So the higher the R-Value the better. When it comes to windows their efficiency is measured in U-Values or, the U-Value is a measure of the heat loss through a given object, in this case the window. So, the lower the R-Value the better as it is allowing less heat to transfer through the window. R-Value, high score wins. U-Value, low score wins.
At Vermont Modular we typically use windows that are 30% to 40% more efficient that they typical double pane window. However, the U-Value which is 0.19, transfers over to an R-Value of about R-7.5 as compared to our exterior wall of R-40. Quickly you will see that the window despite its increased efficiency is still the weak link.
The new window technology takes that U-Value and replaces it with an R-Value that can easily climb as high as R-50. Now the window is no longer the weak link, it is in fact one of the strongest parts of the Building Envelope. By incorporating a series of "Micro-Bursts" of electrical energy in the window it actually becomes a source of heat rather than the weakest part of the building. These windows are described as a Premium Window that will cost more. However, not only will these windows stop heat loss it will allow your primary source of generating heat to work less.
This new window technology is fundamentally designed for fixed pieces of glass such as picture windows and large expanses of glass in commercial spaces. As far as Residential Construction is concerned this type of technology allows all kinds of design features that up until now would not be considered. Imagine huge expanses of glass looking out at Vermont's beauty while at the same time generating heat for the home rather than being a huge source of heat loss.
We are barely scratching the surface and have a lot more to learn about the new windows. We will keep you posted.