Windows are notorious for being a weak link in a building’s envelope (its exterior) in terms of energy usage. Even the most efficient windows are poor insulators when compared to the walls around them. When a building has older windows the losses are even higher. Unfortunately, the savings from replacing windows are often not high enough to offset the initial costs.
According to the Department of Energy, you may soon not have to replace the windows to see increased savings. The DoE recently announced $31 million in funding for 14 projects as part of the Single-Pane Highly Insulating Efficient Lucid Design (SHIELD) program. This program seeks to develop innovative window coatings and windowpanes that could significantly improve the energy efficiency of existing single-pane windows in commercial and residential buildings.
One example of a new product is a flexible, transparent window film based on liquid crystalline phases of nano-cellulose aerogel that have low-emissivity properties. Another project is working on a transparent, nanostructured film that features unique nanoshell structures tightly packed to create a strong thermal barrier. Both technologies, applied to an existing single pane window would help prevent heat loss.
These products are most likely a few years out from being available for your building. If you would like to see what you can do now to improve your energy efficiency, please contact us and we will be happy to evaluate your existing (or proposed) structure and let you know what can be done to increase its efficiency and lower its costs.
If you are interested in reading more about these upcoming technologies, the entire article can be found here.