Most commercial buildings and certainly all homes have windows in them, and these squares or rectangles of glass allow light inside and permit occupants to look outside if they want to, not to mention let in a fresh breeze. However, old and damaged windows may be a liability, and such old windows may even be a security hazard, on top of looking outdated and disrupting the home’s climate control. Solutions can be implemented for windows that admit too much sunlight or leak warmth in the winter, and electrochromic glass is one such option for homeowners. Today’s electrochromic glass offers a number of advantages over a bare window or a set of blinds, such as for a large office building where it’s impractical to coordinate everyone’s blinds. Dimmable electric glass windows and automatic window tint may a better option for a larger building that has a lot of windows, such as an office tower. These windows have electrochromic window film that can adjust automatically to outside light levels.
On Electrochromic Glass
Dimmable windows like these are a recent innovation, and as mentioned above, they are best used for larger buildings that have a lot of windows, such as skyscrapers. Why is this? While blinds can be used on windows, an office building may use electrochromic glass windows which automatically tint themselves against the sun, all in unison. This is an automated system, and it would be impractical to ask everyone in an office tower to adjust their blind at the same time. Many features in today’s buildings are automatic, and this includes even the windows. These glass panes are coated with films that react to electric currents running through them, and they can be activated manually with a remote whether or not the user is even inside the building. This allows the user to adjust the tint as they see fit, but of course other models are designed to change automatically, no human input needed. If the windows are tinted, this also makes it more difficult for outside parties to spy on the interior.
There are a few disadvantages to consider. For one, such glass is expensive to install, and homeowners may not like that. Even though this glass keeps out hot sunlight and thus eases strain on the electricity-hungry air conditioner, this may be too expensive for private homeowners’ taste. More often, such glass is used commercially, as mentioned above, such as on skyscrapers and the like. Such building managers will have the necessary budget for this tinted glass, and make the most of the air conditioning savings. It should also be noted that such glass may wear out faster than ordinary glass, something to keep in mind. And in some cases, the glass may take a few minutes to fade its tint in or out, and some users may not like that.
Windows and Air Conditioning
It is clear how this electrochromic glass works and where it is used. For those unaware, a home’s insulation and windows are tightly connected to its heating and cooling system and thus its electrical bill too. An average house will spend around 50% of its electricity on heating and cooling alone, and if the home has bad insulation or windows, the home’s temperature may be disrupted. Thin insulation may leak warm air in winter, and it may also lose cool air during summer. Windows, meanwhile, might have drafts that also leak air during winter or summer, making this problem worse. Finally, bare and unprotected windows may allow in a lot of hot sunlight during summer and winter, and this warms up the house and forces the air conditioning to work overtime to compensate. This, meanwhile, will drive up the electric bill as the system is overworked.
Thus, window protection blocks that hot sunlight and eases the strain on the air conditioning and allows any building, large or small, to save on its electric bill. Private homeowners may be more interested in using regular blinds on their windows, or even automated window screens if so desired. This can keep out hot sunlight and also block strangers from looking inside. Meanwhile, drapes are a fine choice for keeping warm air inside the home during winter, but they should be kept far away from open flames.