If our only concern was energy savings, we should all live in concrete bunkers underground. Why? Windows are very inefficient. Windows don’t just admit natural light and views into your space. They also admit heat in summer. This is called solar heat gain. And, they lose heat in winter. The measure of this is called the U-value. Most windows up into the 1990s had no R-value, or insulation value. Instead, we measure windows by how much heat they allow to transmit through them. Heat transmission is energy loss. Up to 30 percent of a building’s winter heating costs are due to energy loss through windows. Underneath the earth, the temperature remains constant. No need for heating or cooling. Even above ground, modern construction techniques and materials yield high R-values for walls. However, once you penetrate the building envelope with windows, you compromise the energy efficiency.
Most people don’t want to live in a dark box underneath the earth. All of us need natural views and daylight. So, what’s the solution? One solution is to upgrade your existing, pre-1990s windows with new double-glazed, argon or krypton gas-filled, low-e windows. These windows have a much higher up-front cost, but will save energy and money over time. These windows reduce the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) by at best two-thirds and the U-factor by four-fifths. That’s great, but it’s still not perfect. Even if you don’t incur the expense of upgrading your windows, energy saving blinds and shades are a good investment. Blinds, shades, and curtains reduce solar heat gain in summer and to a lesser extent reduce heat loss in winter. You can have natural light and views when you want, and save energy when you don’t.
With automation, motorized blinds and shades can save even more energy. When you forget to lower the shades or close the curtains, the automation system remembers. You don’t need natural vies and daylight when you’re gone. When you leave the home, energy saving blinds and shades automatically lower to reduce energy loss while you are away. Saving energy is saving money, so invest in upgrades that will give you a return on your investment. You don’t have to live in a box underground to save energy. Consider energy saving blinds and shades for your next upgrade.
Fulkra can help make your home the most energy efficient place in the neighborhood. Call 877.738.5572 today for more information.