Power-of-the-Sun

While this may sound like something out of a Greek myth, harnessing the light and heat freely emitted by the sun is one of the best ways we can increase the energy efficiency of our household, and it’s incredibly environmentally friendly too.

I don’t mean solar power, for most of us the amount of time it takes for it to pay itself off is a little too long, who knows where they might be living 5 - 10 years from now? No, instead I mean taking advantage of the modern technology available in the wonderful world of glass, I’m talking windows and doors.

It’s Elementary, My Dear Watson

Not only is it one of the first scientific things we learn in school, but it’s also a commonly accepted fact that light and heat can quite easily penetrate glass and both brighten and warm up a home. For as long as glass has been used for our household openings, humankind has struggled with the sheer amount of light and heat coming in.

A myriad of solutions have come to solve this problem over time, namely curtains and blinds. Curtains are great for blocking all forms of light (not just sun, also street and moonlight) and can also function well in keeping heat out during the day or during the night. Blinds are good for manipulating the angle at which the light enters our home, and like curtains can function keeping the heat in or out. Both of these require opening, closing, adjusting, and cleaning over time, and can seem to have minimal effect on trapping heat in or out of the house. So therein lies the problem, but wherein lies the solution?

Energy Efficient Glass Doors and Windows

Thankfully, some brilliant engineers have found a way to manufacture glass which can allow or limit the transferral of heat, without noticeably affecting the amount of light that can enter a building. This part is for those wondering how “energy efficient patio doors” work:

Low-E.

Let me give you the low-down on Low-E: low emissivity (Low-E) glass has a special coating of particles on its surface which can reflect heat energy, this reduces the amount of heat that transfers through the glass. This not only means that during the sweltering summer months your house will stay cooler, but also in the baltic winter months any electrical heating you use inside will (mostly) stay inside due to less heat transferral. This almost seems too good to be true, but there are further benefits to Low-E glass over standard.

Low-E glass helps to protect your furnishings and general interior from UV fading, and all the tint that comes with it is hardly noticeable. 

Now, as exciting as all this may seem, before you go out buying up energy efficient french doors, make sure you consider all possible glass openings in the house and which ones to replace to truly take advantage of your new energy efficiency. And for those of you in hurricane-impacted areas, many modern hurricane french doors, patio doors, and windows are able to incorporate Low-E technology, so why not have both the security and savings in one?

Author's Bio: 

Harnessing the Power