Evolution of Glass and Windows
Modern window technology is astonishing.
It is truly amazing how far windows have progressed when one considers the history of the evolution of glass and window making.
The first use of windows came from a practical matter. As humankind started to use inside shelters, that they constructed, typically a fire was burning inside to cook food and provide heat. Fires create lots of smoke, so before chimneys were invented, people cut holes at the top of inner walls to let the smoke out.
The problem was that the holes also let other unwanted things in, like the cold or even birds, small animals, and insects. The first solution for this problem was covering the windows with cloth, hides, or wood. Shutters that opened and closed, were used before glass, because wood was cheaper and available, with glass being a rarity.
The Romans first used glass to cover windows, starting around 100 A.D. They already had the technology of blowing glass into bottles that they were using, so the first windows were made of blown glass, flattened by hand. The glass windows let light in, blocked out unwanted things, and when put in wooden frames, opened like shutters.
Glass-making technology improved and by the middle of the 17th century, windows became popular all over Europe, especially for the homes of the wealthy. The Industrial Revolution during the 18th and 19th centuries caused windows to become widely available. Using steel rollers in glass production allowed the efficient manufacturing of glass, with a uniform thickness. Windows became less costly, so that for every type of home they became a possibility. Steel also made the walls stronger, so larger openings for windows became popular.
In the 1980s, window-making technology improved to make windows more thermally efficient and block out the cold, using double-paned glass. This trend of improving the energy-efficiency of windows continues to this day.
Application of Modern Technology to Window Making
Recent advancements in the design and production of windows creates windows with terrific advantages. The newest ones, block out harmful ultraviolet rays. Some change colors and darken in response bright exterior sunlight. Others have features that lock-in the heat for wintertime, by having a coating that reflects infrared light (the part of the light spectrum that causes heat) back into the room, not allowing it to escape through the glass. Some new windows actually create electricity from sunlight.
- Better glass production utilizing synthetic materials including microscopic-sized particles (nano-technology).
- Using rare gasses, hermetically sealed between two panes of glass, for sunlight filtering properties and insulation.
- Combining solar energy collection with window glass by using thin-film flexible photovoltaics.
What is low E glass?
Newest and most popular choice of window! One of the newest choices of windows, are those that have low emissivity. These are “Low-E” windows. Emissivity is the ability of any material to radiate heat.
The Glass Education Center sums up the benefits of Low-E windows, as follows:
- Sunlight, in the visible spectrum, passes through the glass unimpeded, to light up the interior space.
- Harmful UV rays, which are above the visible spectrum, are reflected back by the microscopically thin Low-E coating, so they do not pass through the glass.
- Infrared heat from the interior space, which is below the invisible spectrum, is reflected back into the interior by the Low-E coating, so that the heat does not pass through the glass to be lost to the outside.
Both residential homeowners and commercial properties benefit by using the newest window technologies in new construction, renovation, and window replacement. Improvements in energy-efficiencies offset the cost of investment in new windows made with better technology, so that utility bills are lowered and the comfort of the people inside the structure is improved. If you are suffering from high energy bills, consider a low e glass replacement.
Get a free bid from Advanced Window Products
Contact Advanced Windows Products, to find out about the exciting new window technologies and learn which windows are the best for any particular situation. Advanced Window Products is the #1 window replacement company in Utah, located at 3052 S. 460 W. in Salt lake City. Open Monday through Friday from 7am to 5pm, and on Saturday from 10am to 3pm.
Call us at 1-800-246-9355 for a FREE BID or use the Online Contact Form. Ask us and we will tell you more about the best low E windows.