The latest window innovations offer much more than just a pretty view. New windows are more durable, energy efficient and safe than ever. If you haven’t replaced your windows in the past 20 years, you might be surprised by how much has changed.
“Years ago, windows were just something to plug a hole, let in light and keep out the elements,” says Dave Lincoln, a home improvement expert for Sears Home Services.
While windows today still cover the basics, new innovations in window design mean they’ve also come a long way in terms of safety, energy efficiency, durability and aesthetics.
“Typically all windows manufactured today will do a better job reducing sound when compared to windows of a decade or century ago,” Lincon says.
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Here’s a deeper look at how windows have improved.
6 Ways Windows Are Better than Ever
1. MULTI-PANE WINDOWS
Double- and triple-pane windows help maximize energy efficiency and reduce noise.
2. ARGON GLASS FILLER
Argon gas—a dense gas that helps reduce heat transfer, drafts and cold spots—is now commonly encased between the layers of glass on multi-pane windows.
3. SOUND REDUCTION
New vinyl windows reduce more outside noise than ever before thanks to increased insulation and the chambered construction of the frames.
TIP! Double- and triple-pane windows help to provide an additional buffer.
4. ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Low-e coatings on glazing or glass can reduce energy loss by as much as 50%, the Department of Energy reports.
TIP! Low-e coatings can also prevent fabrics from fading.
5. INCREASED DURABILITY
Improved technology helps prevent windows from warping, and seals are better at resisting the elements and keeping in the insulating gas.
6. SAFETY FEATURES
High-impact windows have laminated glass with an inner layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) resin adds an extra safety level: Glass shatters but won’t break because the laminate holds the shattered glass together, similar to a car windshield