What's new in window technology?

Like a solid roof or an efficient heating system, good windows might not get the same oohs and aahs as an open-concept kitchen or new wood floor, but are essential to any home.

More than bringing in sunlight or offering up stunning views, windows provide much needed insulation and protection from the elements, and after a devastating hurricane season, people all over the country are interested in upgrading to stormproof windows, even if they live thousands of miles away from the coast.

If ever there was a time to invest in new windows, it’s now. The technology is simply astonishing. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the highlights in the world of cutting-edge window technology and why some windows might, or might not, be good for your home.

Gas-filled windows

Most people know that modern, energy-efficient windows are double-paned to keep the warm air in and the cold air out, or vice versa. Not everyone knows that many times, between those panes is a colorless, odorless, nontoxic gas known as argon. Homeowners choose argon-filled windows because the gas-filled panes offer the following advantages:

  • They are highly energy-efficient.
  • They are more soundproof than other windows.
  • They can block ultraviolet rays.
  • The additional cost of argon-filled windows can be quickly recouped in energy savings.
  • They reduce the occurrence of frost or condensation.

Even with these advantages, a downside of argon-filled windows is that, over time, the gas does slowly dissipate out of the window and you lose the advantages of having an argon-filled window.

A more effective alternative, though also more expensive, is a window filled with krypton gas, which can drastically cut one’s monthly energy bills. To offset the cost, but still reap the benefits of krypton, many consumers opt for an argon-krypton blend.   

Hurricane windows

There are impact-resistant windows and then there are hurricane-resistant windows. Pretty much all stormproof windows are made of two layers of impact-resistant glass that sandwich a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB). This means that even though the outer panes might shatter on impact, the inner PVB membrane will remain intact so the glass will stay in place.

On average, you can expect to pay around $40 to $55 per square foot for hurricane windows, including the frame. Of course, other factors such as window size, availability of material and the kind of membrane (which determines how impact-resistant a window will be) all contribute to pricing.

Such bomb-proof windows might not be necessary in Iowa, but with the cold winter winds coming, you’ll be reminded of just how nice it is to have energy-efficient windows to provide a great view and keep you warm and cozy. 

If you want to know more about home design trends, talk to a Coldwell Banker Hedges Realtor® today. They know the industry and can tell you everything you need to know about the Cedar Rapids housing market.

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