Wilden Living Lab Delivers Surprising Results.
– By Anber Rana & Piyaruwan Perera, Ph.D. Students at UBC-Okanagan
Windows play an important role in every home. They enhance the aesthetic appearance of the exterior, optimize views, and allow sunlight to naturally brighten the interior. Windows can also be a major source of heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer, which can jack up your heating and cooling costs.
It is already proven that improving the efficiency of window glass has a direct impact on the overall efficiency of any home. Statistics show that replacing conventional single-pane windows with Energy Star® rated windows can save homeowners up to 8% on energy bills.
Heat gain and loss through the windows of a house with conventional single pane windows
Energy Star® windows are equipped with a variety of features to improve energy performance, including double or triple glazing, warm-edge spacers, gas filling between the panes (argon, krypton, or a mixture of both), and a variety of coatings on the glass – all of which helps to limit solar UV rays, reduce energy costs, provide resistance to condensation, enhance indoor comfort and act as a good sound barrier.
So what happened in the Wilden Living Lab?
Double-pane windows were used in the “Home of Today” and triple-pane windows were used in the “Home of Tomorrow”. Here are the specific details:
State-of-the art sensors were installed on the inside and outside of windows on both homes to collect data. Heat gain and loss were measured over 3 typical summer and 3 typical winter days, and was analyzed along with the R–values as defined by manufacturers.
The results were truly surprising!
During the winter, the heat loss from the triple-pane windows in the home of tomorrow was substantially reduced – on average by 9.33%. However, we also noted that the triple-pane windows showed greater heat gains in summer as compared to double-pane windows. Further research is now being conducted into why this occurs and how it can be mitigated in the future.
For more information about energy-efficient window choices CLICK HERE.
Stay posted for more real life data results. In next month’s issue we will talk about how insulating concrete form (ICF) is used in a house and what benefits you can get out of it!