Schedule a Free Consultation

PART 3: TECHNOLOGICAL TRENDS BRING YOU SMART WINDOWS – AND WE ONLY GET SMARTER

We conventionally use curtains to block out light and to serve as a barrier to keep heat in during winter. Curtains have also been useful for protecting our privacy. However, they haven’t always been an efficient means of conserving energy and light. Enter the smart window.

In Part 2, we talked about smart windows that use liquid crystals. The next technological innovation takes cues from earlier LCD technology and applies them to what is currently known as suspended particle devices (SPD), which are tiny light-absorbing microscopic particles that can make your windows go from dark to clear in mere seconds with the flip of a switch.

Suspended Particle Displays – To underst and how SPD windows work, think of SPDs as light valves that are placed in between two conduction-coated glass panels. The conductive coating transfers the electric current to the SPDs, which then line up to let light through, just as in LCD windows. The difference is, with an SPD window, you can adjust the level of current—usually with a remote and automatic device— and as the voltage goes down to zero, the windows darken further until they become completely dark. If you’re wondering how these windows can possibly be energy-efficient, consider this: Around 15 large SPD smart windows installed in your home will use up less electricity than a simple nightlight will.

Electrochromics – Electrochromic windows similarly work with electricity, but they work inversely to how SPDs work. They grow darker when there’s electric current and become clear in its absence. Like SPDs, they also allow varying levels of visibility. A chemical reaction (an oxidation reaction) takes place in the electrochromic material, which affects how it absorbs and reflects light. Essentially, the material changes from colored, i.e., reflecting light of some color, to transparent, or not reflecting any light at all. You can run the electrochromic windows of an entire house and spend only as much as you would to power a 75-watt bulb.

New Reflective Hydrides -This technology takes off from the same principles that work on electrochromic technology, but these employ thin films made of a nickel-magnesium alloy to switch from a transparent to a reflective state and back. These windows can switch by using either low-voltage electricity or by the injection of hydrogen and oxygen gases (gas-chromic technology). This material can potentially be even more energy efficient than st andard electrochromic windows are.

In the past, we’ve always been matter-of-fact when thinking of windows, but with recent advances in window technology, it now makes an awful lot of sense to consider our window choices in a different light. Smart window technology has matured into a full-blown consumer trend that is now making more people sit up and take notice.

Reviews

"This was one of the best experiences I've ever had with a company. I ordered the windows in November and was told they wouldn't be here until July. That kind of delay the new norm so I wasn't a bit upset with the timeline. I was given an early present when they called to say the windows would be in at the beginning of May. We agreed on the week of May 16th to do the installation, there were 30 windows and a sliding door to install. They arrived promptly on their scheduled install date, and got straight to work. By the end of day one, they had all the upstairs windows complete and their work was incredible. Day two came with more of the same, the crew showed up promptly, got straight to work, and when they left they had every window downstairs installed. The third day they again arrived on-time, and got to work installing the door. The door and windows are perfectly installed. The two lads that did the installation did a phenomenal job, and were friendly to boot. I would give them more business if I had any :) The service I received from the company was great. They kept me abreast of anything that was going on with my order. I appreciate my concierge, Christina, she was good at communicating timelines and getting everything scheduled."

Lane Maxwell
Jun 28, 2022

"The two installers were great! They were polite and hard working and they cleaned up all the outside and inside. It was like they were never here. As for the windows, I love them, not only looks great, they are efficient. Now every window in my home has Renewal by Anderson."

Mark Palsgrove
Jun 23, 2022

"We had the pleasure recently of having Andersen replace all of our windows. From the very first interaction with the office personnel through the completion of the project, they have been nothing but professional. From Brian our sales rep to Christina the appointment scheduler, they were a pleasure to interact with. Installers Keith, John, and Evan were fantastic to work with. They went above and beyond to repair an area which was slightly damaged during the removal of a window...caulked and painted it. They took extra precaution to ensure the floors were covered while working inside and cleaned up each day inside and out. We love the look of our new windows and can't wait to enjoy the savings in utilities they'll provide. Thanks so much Renewal by Andersen!!"

Kevin Corrigan
Jun 15, 2022

View All Reviews