When it comes to home building, renovation, or improvement, windows are a massive aspect of the overall makeup of a home. Not only do UPVC windows allow light into a space, but they also work to insulate and ventilate a room to maintain a comfortable temperature. In the past few decades, we’ve come leaps and bounds in terms of window technology, meaning selecting your chosen window type isn’t as easy as it once was. To that end, detailed below are just some of the latest advancements in window technology, which is sure to make your home more energy efficient and bolster its market value.
Robotic Window Cleaners
Firstly, it’s all well and good having a quality set of windows; however, it’s of the utmost importance that you keep them clean. While clean windows show pride in your home, the act of cleaning windows can be a really tedious task. That’s where robotic window cleaners come in to help you keep your windows sparkling with minimal effort. These have recently broken into the mainstream market, meaning homeowners everywhere can get their hands on the latest technology to clean their windows. Robotic window cleaners come in many forms, so you’ll need to assess your personal needs ahead of your purchase.
We’ve all experienced that scare of the bang caused by a bird flying into a window. Not only does this have the potential to injure and, in some cases, kill the bird, but it also results in a smudged window that’s tricky to clean. Therefore, bird-friendly windows have been developed, which are coated in a pattern that’s visible to birds but not humans. This works as birds are able to see light in the ultraviolet spectrum, which creates a barrier that birds will not attempt to fly through. The coating has been approved by the American Bird Conservatory, so you can rest assured that it truly works.
Capturing solar energy is by no means a new concept, and these photovoltaic cell panels are being adopted for windows. Naturally, installing solar panels in place of windows would make for a very dark house; however, the latest technology allows for the creation of solar energy while keeping the windows clear. This is because small organic molecules absorb near-infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths. A glowing infrared light is directed towards thin strips of photovoltaic solar cells and converted to electricity, all while the windows remain transparent. This technology is still in the early development stages; however, it holds a lot of potential for the future.
In the absence of electricity, intuitive windows are able to transition from clear to dark with glass temperature change. This is achieved via the installation of a thermochromic filter that gets applied inside a double pane window combined with a Low-E coating. These then work together to provide year-round energy efficiency. Warm temperatures activate the filter tinting transition, which blocks the heat from the sun, reduces UV damage and glare, and maximizes cooling efficiency. Meanwhile, the windows aren’t affected by cooler temperatures, meaning the windows remain clear, meaning solar gain is also increased.
At just the touch of a button, electrochromic windows can change from clear to opaque to provide homeowners with privacy as and when they need it. In addition to privacy, they also allow for the reduction of cooling costs during the summer months. This technology has been used in airplanes for years; however, it’s being adopted for residential properties, too. Improved versions are still in the works, but electrochromic windows are likely to be rolled out more widely for residential properties in the near future.