Today’s savvy homeowner is always looking for the latest trends and innovations to make their home safer, more comfortable, more energy-efficient, and of course more attractive. While advanced technology has certainly impacted the appearance and energy efficiency of windows and doors, you might be surprised at what the future holds for these important home components.
Here we look at some of the new innovations in windows and doors as well as trends you can expect to become mainstream in the not-too-distant future.
New Innovations In Windows And Doors
Triple-Glazed Window Technology
Triple-glazed windows have three layers of glass separated by a spacer. The spacers create a “pocket” between the layers of glass where inert gas is inserted. The gas allows the sun to pass through the glass without interfering with views or light, while reducing and slowing the transfer of heat through the window. The airtight seal prevents the gas from leaking. Triple-glazed windows offer many benefits, including:
- Improved insulation/energy efficiency by reducing heat loss and maintaining comfort levels in your home all year round
- A reduction in condensation by allowing the inner glass of your windows to retain heat and stop the cold external temperature from interacting with internal warm air
- Less outside noise by reducing sound waves
As a result, you enjoy a quiet home, with improved energy efficiency and less risk for mould and mildew caused by moisture.
Vinyl windows are a low-maintenance solution that helps your home remain comfortable year-round while improving curb appeal. Vinyl offers the following benefits:
- Interior warmth retention in the winter and improved cooling in the summer
- Smoother operation so you can open and close your windows with minimum effort
- Improved security with a Night Latch allowing you to keep windows partially open for ventilation while keeping intruders out
- Child safety latches to prevent accidental opening
- Improved weather resistance with drainage flaps to drain water only as required to prevent leaks
- Energy efficiency with LoE glass coatings and spacer technology
- Wide variety of colours to customize your curb appeal
- Low maintenance vinyl with solid colour and coatings to reduce sun fading and cracking
- Reduced energy bills with increased home value thanks to the Transferable Lifetime Warranty
Vinyl windows are a huge improvement over wood or even metal frames.
Energy Efficient Doors
Custom-built entry doors are designed with a tight and secure seal to keep out the extreme heat and cold. As a result, they can be more energy efficient than older door models. Steel and fiberglass won’t bow and the frames won’t warp. Energy Star certified doors also provide improved security. When installed with grip sets, deadbolts and knobs, or digital smart locks, your entry doors help reduce the risk for break-ins.
Sliding Glass Doors
Where homeowners can really see energy improvements is with a new set of sliding glass doors. Today’s sliding doors use the same technology as windows, providing improved insulation. Because these doors are so large, you can see energy improvements by as much as 55% compared to older doors.
Looking To The Future
Some future innovations to watch for include:
Darkening Windows: If you think your remote-operated window blinds are convenient, wait until to you see the new technology. Windows that can transition from clear to opaque are the latest innovation to help keep homes cooler in the summer while also providing privacy. With the touch of a button, homeowners will be able to tint their windows on demand. This technology takes its cue from airplane windows that have used the special treatment for years now.
While residential use is still a few years off, once the slow process is perfected, the transition will allow homeowners to enjoy the benefits of automated blinds, without the need for the blinds themselves. Currently, the process takes seven minutes for the transition to complete, with a newer version reducing that down to three. However, research using electrolyte gel and a transparent conductor in the glass is aiming at making the transition quicker. The transition occurs when an electrical voltage is applied, changing ions to form a solid metal that darkens the glass.
Warmth-Triggered Transition: Another darkening technology underway is a glass that works much like transition sunglass lenses. Instead of using electricity, the windows darken based on temperature changes as opposed to light-like transition lenses. This will make a major difference in energy-efficient windows and will combine what is called a thermochromic filter and the existing Low-E coating used on windows today.
When the window warms, it will activate the tinting, transitioning the glass into a tint suited to help block heat, reduce UV damage, and also improve the window’s ability to cool the room. The window remains clear, and there won’t be the need for wiring like the darkening windows mentioned above.
Solar Energy Windows: This is a brilliant and exciting prospect for window technology. Windows used to capture solar energy instead of panels will collect sunlight and turn it into electricity. The windows would not be dark like solar panels but instead are designed as transparent luminescent solar concentrators.
The windows remain clear, so views aren’t obstructed, but still create solar energy using small organic molecules to absorb ultraviolet and near-infrared wavelengths. Window transparency remains intact while glowing infrared lights send the energy to the photovoltaic solar cells. These windows are still in the early days, and will eventually be the window of choice for residential buildings and new build homes.
Energy Collecting Coatings: The design of special electricity-generating spray coatings can also become popular. The coatings can be applied to glass and plastic surfaces using hydrogen-carbon-based substances to create organic photovoltaic (OPV) solar array to generate electricity. The coatings are designed to maintain transparency and can be applied on existing windows for building retrofit projects.
As you can see, continuing new innovations in windows and doors will make our homes more energy-efficient and comfortable.
To learn more about the new innovations in windows and doors available today, click here to get a quote from our team.