These days, just about everything we own has been transformed and evolved into a “smart” variation.
There are smart TVs, smart homes, and even smart fridges, so it makes sense that our household windows are the next thing to get the smart treatment.
Smart windows are relatively new on the scene, but what they offer for the home trying to be more energy efficient is exciting. Whether you’re building a new home or hoping to retrofit yours with technology and features that reduce your reliance on unsustainable resources, they could be a good choice for you.
What are smart windows, though?
At its most basic, a smart window is one that can both insulate and block sunlight, and it does so at different times, allowing you to never worry about curtains or shades again.
The purpose of the smart window is to autonomously control how much light, heat, and privacy your home receives, and like other smart technologies, they can also be controlled by the user.
The smart window still has some way to go before it’s as efficient as its developers hoped, but it’s capable of making real change in the average household that has them installed.
We’re doing a deep dive into smart glass windows cost, pros, cons, and features so you can decide whether they’re on your path to energy efficiency at home.
- 1 What Are Smart Glass Windows?
- 2 How Much Do Smart Glass Windows Cost?
- 3 Benefits of Smart Glass Windows
- 4 Disadvantages to Consider
- 5 Are They Worth It?
- 6 Related Questions
What Are Smart Glass Windows?
Smart glass is a broad term to describe a type of glass that offers both insulation and light-blocking capabilities.
The glass is capable of switching from transparent to translucent, and everything in between, and as it does, it blocks wavelengths of light and adds a tint to the look of the windows.
The purpose of a smart glass window is to block out the sun and provide insulation without the need for traditional window treatments like curtains and blinds. They can automatically ensure privacy, heat control, and protection from direct sunlight, giving you a greater range of control over the final effect.
The glass used for these windows has light transmission properties that are changed with either electricity, heat, or light, depending on the type of glass used. These windows are used for a range of applications, and not just at home, including large scale businesses and even hospitals.
Electrochromic glass is the most common type of smart glass, and it comes in different varieties. Some of them go dark, others become mirror-like, and others become translucent, and the way they do this depends on the type.
A smart glass window can be powered by electricity or rechargeable batteries, with each of them offering their pros and cons.
How Much Do Smart Glass Windows Cost?
Before you can determine whether smart glass windows are right for your home, you’ll need a good idea about what they cost.
There are a few variables that can impact the final cost of these windows, like how many windows you have, the size of them, the type of electrochromic glass, and other special features they have.
Because the technology is relatively new and its use not widespread, you can expect to pay around $100 a foot for new windows to be installed.
Otherwise, there are options of adhesive treatments you can apply to your existing windows with the same benefits and these cost upwards of $100 per sheet.
Although there are lots of benefits to using smart glass windows, especially when it comes to energy efficiency and convenience, these high costs are enough to turn people away.
However, it’s hoped that as technology improves, materials become less costly, and their installation is more widespread, smart windows become something that every home can afford to use.
Benefits of Smart Glass Windows
If you’re considering installing smart glass into your household windows, you’ve probably already heard of the many benefits.
These are just some of the advantages that technology offers for the average eco-friendly home.
Windows are one of the biggest culprits for letting out heat during winter and bringing it in during summer, and they can play a major role in affecting our heating and cooling costs.
Smart glass is designed to reduce this heat load and heat loss, giving you an easy way to insulate the home.
These windows can save energy costs, with manufacturers estimating around 30% of your usual bills that would otherwise be used on heating and cooling.
They’re able to work with minimal electricity themselves, so the savings are even more noteworthy.
Blocks UV rays
The harmful UV rays that can make their way into the home can be blocked with smart glass, so it’s a safer option for your family.
Some estimates claim it can block up to 95% of UV rays which is pretty impressive without taking away from the natural sunlight that you need in your house.
There’s no need to use curtains, blinds, or shades when you have smart windows.
These windows can change their effect from opaque to translucent to tinted, either automatically or with the push of a button, and offer a much more modern look than most window treatments.
Light settings on demand
You have total control over how much sunlight comes into your home, and all without risking heat loads or UV rays.
These windows come with a control panel that allows you to adjust it, even when you’re not at home, and give you the optimal amount of light in the house.
Disadvantages to Consider
There are a lot of advantages to having smart glass at home, but it’s not always such a good choice for everyone.
There are a few cons to consider before going ahead with the installation of smart glass at home.
As the technology is not yet widespread, the average cost for installing smart glass at home is very high.
There are savings possible on things like household insulation, heating and cooling, and energy use, but it’s not yet at a stage where these can fully be recouped.
Still uses energy
The overall energy efficiency of this glass is admirable, but the fact that it still relies on the power grid to do its work makes it less sustainable than some people realize.
When battery-operated and solar-powered smart windows become more prevalent, this problem will hopefully be solved.
Installation is difficult
Depending on the type of glass and where it’s being placed, the installation process can be lengthy and not generally recommended as a DIY project.
Are They Worth It?
Smart glass windows come with several benefits, but it’s up to the homeowner to determine whether it’s a good fit for them specifically.
Although they are better for the environment, they still rely somewhat on the power grid, so it’s not the greenest option out there if you’re looking for insulation or heating options.
If you’re interested in installing smart windows but find the costs are still too high, you can rest assured these prices will come down in the future.
With new eco-tech like this, it’s common to find that the initial cost of installation or purchase is high, but as it becomes more mainstream, its affordability is within more people’s reach.
Smart glass windows are a cool way to save energy, and they allow you the best in insulation, natural light, and privacy, without having to rely on dated window treatments.
If you have questions about smart technologies like this that are used to reduce our impact on the planet, we’ve answered a few of them to give you some insight.
How Do Smart Homes Help the Environment?
Although the primary goal of a smart home or smart appliance is to make life easier for the user, they can also reduce your reliance on energy.
Many of these devices can be linked to a system that regulates their use and turns them on only when they’re needed, hence saving you a lot of household energy.
What Are Some Sustainable Technologies?
New and efficient technologies are being developed all the time to reduce our impact on the planet.
Some of the most commonly developed recent technologies that are now being used in the mainstream market include solar power, cool roofs, green insulation, smart glass, and low or zero energy house designs.
What is a Green Building?
A green building is used to describe either a structure or a process of development that aims to preserve natural resources while providing a comfortable and high-quality way of living.
During its construction, design, and operation, the building has a positive impact on the environment and uses fewer natural resources to function.