How Much Do Smart Windows Cost?
The evolution of smart home technology continues to happen every day. Smart home technology plays a huge role in residential homes. It helps make your home comfier and easier to manage. It also improves security and safety–all things that homeowners deem crucial. Smart technology doesn't only apply to electronics. You can install it in almost every place in your home, including the windows. When thinking of window renovation projects, more and more homeowners are gearing towards smart home window solutions.
This article takes a look at the various types of smart window options in the market today and also outlines the benefits of these smart solutions.
What Are Smart Windows?
Smart windows are those windows that comprise smart or switchable glass. This glass utilises advanced technologies to insulate your home and block light. Its light transmission attributes can be affected by heat, electricity, or light. This means that the glass can change from translucent to transparent, barring wavelengths of light. You can apply this technology to control any establishment's heat, light and privacy. Smart windows offer cleaner environments and higher control levels than manual solutions like shades, curtains and blinds.
Types of Smart Windows
Several types of smart window solutions are in the market today, each offering unique functionality.
When selecting the option that best suits your home, consider the following factors:
• Location of the windows
• Window sizes
• Type of windows to be replaced
• Amount of heat and light you wish to block
• Project budget
• Privacy needs
Below are the types you are likely to come across:
These use electricity to enable homeowners to control the quantity of light and heat that can pass through. The system needs a little electric power to change the opacity. However, it doesn’t require additional electricity to maintain the set level. While this change happens slowly, settings can be altered to suit the user's preferences. You can use electrochromic smart glass as rearview mirrors and museum display cases. Also, most of the windows on buildings are made of this glass. Electrochromic glass can easily tint within minutes. Its only downside is that it can shorten the lifespan of the glass.
Photochromic Window Tint
This is also referred to as smart window film or transitional film. Photochromic tint changes when exposed to UV rays. During the day, it renders a darker shade to offer maximum UV shade. When it darkens, the tint appears clear and transparent. A common application of this technology is in optical lenses that change shades when you transition between the indoors and outdoors.
Like photochromic tint, the tint in this glass is influenced by external elements. In this case, heat is this particular element. As the external temperature exceeds the transition threshold, the thermochromic filter on the glass is activated. Resultantly, the tint is transitioned in minutes.
This form of glass lies in the technological category called suspended-particle devices (SPDs). It leverages nanoparticles suspended in a liquid. When voltage passes through these particles, they align, enabling light to traverse. However, when the current is withdrawn, the particles become haphazardly organised, absorbing and blocking sunlight.
The proportion of light that can pass through varies depending on the voltage. Therefore, you can automatically or manually tune this technology to control glare, thermal transmittance and light. This way, the homeowner has full control.
Micro-Blind Smart Glass
Micro blinds are located on the window glass. They are thin and rolled metal blinds that you can control using electricity. When voltage isn't applied, they are rolled, allowing light entry into your space. However, with the application of electricity, an electric field is formed between the blinds and the glass. This unrolls and flattens the blinds, which start blocking out light. Like regular blinds, micro blinds can be adjusted to regulate the amount of light entering your home and enhance privacy.
Polymer-Dispersed Liquid-Crystal Glass
You can find this kind of smart window in hospitals, offices and bathrooms. It blocks outside light by utilising the liquid crystals on the glass. When these crystals harden, they scatter the light, giving off a milky appearance. When electricity is applied, the crystals align to allow light to pass through.
Smart Windows Cost
Generally, smart windows are more expensive than traditional glass. While you can get the former from $50 to $150 per square foot, regular windows are available from $10 to $15. Although smart windows are a huge investment, they are worth it in the long run. Because of their energy-saving abilities, they can significantly improve your ROI. Most smart glass manufacturers design for luxury home projects. This is why most people find it hard to access these smart solutions. However, it is expected that in the years to come, this may change as traditional window manufacturers are looking to incorporate smart glass technology into their product collections.
Benefits of Smart Windows
No matter your choice, smart windows come with many benefits. However, they also have a few setbacks.
Some of their advantages include the following:
• Energy Efficiency: Your windows are among the major points of air entry and exit. Smart windows ensure the interaction of internal and external air is minimal. Experts argue that these windows reduce energy wastage, significantly reducing energy bills.
• Convenience: With smart windows, the need for shades, blinds or window treatments is eliminated. They also offer you more control over the amount of light to let inside your home.
• Privacy: Exterior-facing smart windows offer privacy just like curtains or blinds. However, smart windows within rooms provide privacy in areas where curtains or blinds may not be ideal.
• Cost: Because smart windows are a new technology that is constantly evolving, they come at a hefty price. They are way more costly than blinds, curtains and other conventional window covering methods.
Smart windows are a huge investment that will prove worthwhile in the long run. There are various options available depending on the glass technology. Compared to regular windows, they are more expensive. However, their role in improving energy efficiency and privacy is invaluable.