In this busy world we live in, nothing it seems, ever stands still. Even the humble window is subject of new product innovations, some of which are sure to impress.

We were intrigued to read about a new stained glass window that absorbs solar energy and converts it into electricity to charge small computer devices. The process derives from photosynthesis, with each coloured panel converting sunlight into energy. We’ve heard about solar powered clothes before to charge mobile phones, but solar powered windows complete with USB sockets is something new again!

Even modern windows for the home have moved on, so we can all benefit from new innovations in glass, reduce energy bills and let in more light.

Low emissivity (low E) glass has a thin metallic coating that reflects heat in the summer, and retains heat in the winter. It improves your home’s energy efficiency rating whilst reducing bills in the winter. Low E glass is also designed to block UV rays so that furnishings and window dressings are protected.

Why block out the light in downstairs cloakrooms with window blinds or curtains? You can opt for special frosted, opaque or bubble glass to prevent visibility, yet capture all available light.

Exposure to natural light is proven to improve health and wellbeing and quality of sleep. You can increase the amount of light entering your home by opting for larger expanses of glass, sliding glass doors and floor to ceiling glass ‘walls’. Modern innovations ensure that they retain heat and do not compromise on the energy efficiency of your home.

Large glass panes are now shatterproof too. They have plastic sandwiched between two panes of glass and have the same properties as car windscreens so even when subject to damage or penetration, will not shatter. They offer added security too. 

Self cleaning glass

Pilkington developed the world’s first self cleaning glass – much to the delight of homeowners across the land. No one likes cleaning windows, yet it’s a chore that has to be done if you want to carry on enjoying your view from within and gain the maximum light exposure. Self cleaning glass is treated with a coating that reacts with daylight to break down organic matter. Then as rainwater hits the glass, it spreads out evenly, washing the dirt away.

Self cleaning glass is excellent for conservatory roofs, skylights, dorma windows and in fact any windows that are difficult to reach.

When to consider replacement windows

Around 25% of heat from your home can be lost through energy inefficient windows. If your windows are old, have condensation between panes, are letting in drafts or are single pane windows, it’s time to look into replacements.

Overall you can look forward to increased security, reduced energy bills, a warmer, cosier home and added protection from outside noise. Oh yes, and it will be better for the environment too! Plus of course, your new windows will look great and reflect your lifestyle in the way that you choose.