If I had to pick one criteria in looking for a house, what would it be? For me, it would be an Ocean View.
Great if it’s a Northern or Eastern view because you don’t generally have to deal with the hot afternoon setting sun, but if the view is towards the South or West, that’s a different story. South and West views give you lovely sunsets but very hot afternoons. You may be living in a glass oven by the end of the day. Not only does the sun heat up the room, it also fades furniture, flooring and can destroy your interior plants.
The most energy efficient windows are concrete walls…but they make for terrible views, so if you must have glass, ask if the seller or agent has any information about the emissivity of the windows.
Low E Glass
To keep the suns heat out of the house, a low emissivity (Low E) coating is applied to the inside of the outside pane (dual paned) of glass. The film is either dyed or metalized and rejects the solar radiation back through the glass to the exterior. All is not lost if these windows are not Low E. There is always “after market” film installation, however, it is never as good as when it comes from the factory.
Replacing windows is an expensive proposition if you are doing it to conserve energy or keep out the sun. If you are replacing windows because of an architectural need or because they are at the end of its useful life, here are a few tips.
Important numbers for us in Hawaii are the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) SHGC. This is the measure of the amount of solar energy that passes through a window. Very technical so all you need to know is that the lower the amount, the better. Energy Star recommends an amount of less than or equal to 0.27, so would the above window label beÂ an appropriate replacement for us……probably not.
If you get no information about the windows, the next best thing to consider is overhang/eave placement in relation to sun patterns.
If you are considering purchasing a South facing beach front property with no overhang, you better do some research on the type of windows installed before it is too late. Light is good but 5 hours of direct sun, maybe not. A trained real estate agent should point details like this out to you.
A very good site for all things concerning energy efficiency is Energy Star. Don’t be afraid to hop on and search.
Until next time, Peace – Out,