Energy Efficiency in the Home
From advance HVAC systems to kitchen appliances, the drive to save energy in our homes is giving rise to all manner of new household products with a focus on conservation. With engineers hard at work to deliver the greenest products available, homeowners are seeing more and more opportunity to reduce utility costs and protect our natural energy resources. Here’s a glance at a few new items to help tighten the belt.
Windows are more than meet the eye. Not just glass and a frame, modern energy-efficient windows include spacer systems, glass and gas fillings that are vital in the thermal efficiency of a window. And, the framing material also plays a role in how energy efficient a window is once it is installed in the home. Premium vinyl is an excellent insulator with thermal properties far superior to aluminum, steel and stainless steel. Multi-chambered frame construction and fusion-welded corners of vinyl windows provide homeowners with superior energy-efficiency capabilities. This keeps the air from infiltrating into the home through the window.
Spacer systems inside the window also play a major role. For example, most Simonton windows and doors feature unique spacer systems as part of an insulating glass unit built into the construction of the window frame. Made of materials that help prevent air infiltration, spacer systems are placed between the glass panes and further reduce temperature transfer. The unique U-channel design of Simonton’s Intercept spacer system flexes and contracts, reducing seal failure in the insulating glass unit. Simonton’s Super Spacer system utilizes solid silicone foam to provide superior thermal efficiency.
One of two kinds of glass are typically used. Low E (Emissivity) Glass has a transparent metallic oxide coating applied onto a glass surface. The coating allows short-wave energy to pass through but reflects long-wave infrared energy, which improves the U-value. Laminated Glass is specially designed glass where two panes of glass are bonded to a durable interlayer, providing increased safety, UV protection and noise reduction. If the window or door gets broken, the laminated glass will adhere to the plastic interlayer-preventing glass fallout in the home. This glass can be found in the Simonton’s StormBreaker Plus product line.
Additionally, the space inside an insulating glass unit—between the glass panes—may be filled with Argon gas, an odorless, colorless, non-toxic gas that is six times denser than air. This acts as an added barrier to prevent harmful UV rays from entering the home. Gases in a window work to help keep the interior of the home more comfortable by preventing heated and cooled air from escaping the home. Combined, this leads to reduced energy bills for homeowners. Visit www.simonton.com.
About Simonton Windows
Simonton Windows produces ENERGY STAR® qualified replacement and new construction windows and doors, including a line of impact-resistant products. The company was ranked #1 in quality in the 2007 Brand Use Study sponsored by Buildermagazine and has won two consecutive Best In Class Awards for being ranked “Overall Top Rated Vinyl Window Brand” in unaided industry studies.
Founded in 1946, Simonton’s hallmark has been to deliver its made-to-order products in seven days. Simonton is a founding sponsor of The Weather Museum and a corporate partner of Homes for Our Troops. For information, call (800) SIMONTON or visit www.simonton.com.
Advanced Comfort Control
ICM Controls now offers the CC750 Comfort Control Center, an advanced motor speed control that promotes effective humidity control for enhanced comfort and improved indoor air quality—all with the added benefit of reduced energy costs. When connected to your existing single-phase air conditioner or heat-pump system, the CC750 offers advanced air-moisture removal and control, resulting in drier, more comfortable conditions, even during long spells of humidity. Its default settings can also be easily customized using its menu-driven programming screens to meet specific conditions unique to each home.
By creating drier conditions, the user can raise the set point temperature on the thermostat without sacrificing comfort. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, for every two degrees that you raise your thermostat set point in the summer, you can save 5 to 7 percent on your summer cooling bill. Additionally, by slowing down the fan motor speed by as much as 75 percent, the CC750 dramatically reduces energy consumption that can lead to even greater energy savings.
The CC750 also offers certain health benefits. Due to reduced blower speeds, the CC750 enables air to remain in contact with installed air-filtration devices, helping these devices more effectively clean the air being breathed, especially beneficial for individuals suffering from allergies and asthma. With reduced humidity levels, the CC750 also aids in the defense against mold and fungus growth, a health hazard that can also lead to structural damage. For further information, call 1-800-365-5525 or visit www.icmcontrols.com.