Whether you subscribe to the disaster scenarios of Global
Warming or not, there is no doubt that we in Southwest Florida will experience climate change, and soon! I’m talking about how quickly things heat up around here as we come into the summer months:
One of the extra benefits of having your home protected from storms is the ability to keep your home cooler and save on your electric bills by reducing the load on your air conditioning units. If you have roll down or accordion shutters, they can be closed to provide a very effective block of the heating rays of the sun. For rooms not being used, that receive direct sunlight on their windows, closing the shutters can easily reduce the heating effect of the sunlight by 100 percent.
A less obtrusive solution is to install impact windows with either insulated glass, or a Low-E coating, or both.
Insulated windows contain an extra layer of glass, in addition to the laminated impact glass panel. This glass is in addition to the laminated impact layer, and there is a small gap in between the layers, filled with an inert gas, such as argon. This gap serves as a very effective insulating layer, reducing the transmission of heat into the home by up to 50 percent over the window surface area.
Another technology available is the Low-e, or low emissivity coatings. This coating is placed on the inner surfaces of the laminated glass, and serves to minimize the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that can pass through glass without compromising the amount of visible light that is transmitted. The reduction in heat transmission varies with the coating, but can be up to 75 percent compared to uncoated glass. This technology can be effective in reducing the home electric bill during the hot spring and summer seasons by many hundreds of dollars annually.
Impact glass also has other ancillary benefits, besides storm protection. Besides temperature insulation, they also provide isolation from outside noise, with the reduction again in the 50 percent range – making the house much quieter. Impact glass also effectively eliminates the possibility of burglary by breaking and entering a window or sliding glass door. Laminated impact glass requires multiple strikes by a fire ax to be breached, an attention-getter that very few thieves would care to try.
In summary, the benefits of impact windows extend well beyond the storm protection they provide, saving money, and making the home a more comfortable and safer place to live, no matter what the weather.