Americans are often inundated with smart gadgets. These devices and appliances might interact or be compatible with the Internet of Things which allows them to be controlled by voice commands, an app or even a virtual assistant. Smart appliances are typically energy efficient models, and they can help homeowners reduce energy use.
While homeowners might be familiar with smart appliances, there also are smart windows. What are smart windows and how can they help reduce energy waste and costs? Smart windows offer a different type of intelligence than standard appliances.
What Makes Smart Windows Smart
Smart windows aren’t just energy-efficient, some actually include AI. With the integration of artificial intelligence, the window glass reacts or interacts with the sunlight. Some types of smart windows allow for the building to omit curtains or other window treatments.
Think of a pair of eyeglasses that suddenly darken when out in the sun. This is a bit how some smart windows can work. According to View, which is a smart window manufacturer, the smart windows can reduce glare and heat. In this way, they also can help decrease energy use.
Intelligent Glass explains that some smart windows work by sending electrical currents through the glass. This current switches the glass into a more opaque design or makes the glass more transparent. Thus, the homeowner could control how much light enters the space.
While Intelligent Glass explains that electrical currents are used to transform the glass, View’s product appears to work differently (via AI). However, View does not include details on the window design—this could be a proprietary secret.
How Much are Smart Windows?
Homeowners might want to ditch the blackout curtains and opt for smart windows instead. While energy-efficient windows might be more of an investment, how much should homeowners expect to spend if they want to install smart windows?
According to HomeAdvisor, smart windows (or smart glass) can range from $25 to $100 per square foot. Thus, the project budget might depend on how many windows the homeowner wishes or needs to upgrade.
However, HomeAdvisor explains that, as of 2021, the materials for windows are on the rise. Homeowners might need a higher budget for this project.
On a Budget? Install Smart Blinds!
Homeowners who want greater control of the light that comes into their home might not have the budget for AI-controlled smart glass. However, blinds can be smart, too.
There are many options for different types of smart blinds or window coverings. These smart options let homeowners use an app to control the light in their space.
Smart blinds also can interact with voice assistants. Homeowners might sit on the couch and instruct Siri to open the blinds.
How much are these clever coverings? Thankfully, smart blinds are much more affordable than smart windows. Homeowners can find many options for less than $200.
However, the price of this project can depend on the number of blinds the homeowner needs and perhaps the measurements of those coverings, too. In addition, some blinds are battery operated while others are electric.
A DIY Project Can Help Reduce Energy Waste from Windows, Too
Some homeowners might not want to invest in smart blinds, but they still want to try to cut their energy use and their costs, too. Smart blinds and smart windows can help keep the hot rays of the sun from warming up a room, but blackout curtains could help, too.
Blackout curtains are fairly inexpensive. Homeowners also could make their own curtains. The benefit of blackout curtains is that they shade the room a bit better than standard window coverings. They can help a room avoid a midday heat-up during summer.
Since blackout curtains help block the sun’s rays, they also could help prevent upholstery and photos from fading.
Do Smart Blinds and Windows Really Reduce Energy?
Some smart blinds are operated via electricity. In addition, the power of smart windows could be from electricity, too. If these smart upgrades require energy, how can they save money?
Since the sun’s light adds heat to a room during hot summer days, these smart options could help the room from becoming warmer. This helps alleviate the stress on the air conditioning.
Heating and cooling accounts for more than 40 percent of a home’s monthly energy use. Thus, removing the stress from the HVAC could help reduce the home’s overall energy use and help homeowners save money, too.
Another Easy Way to Make Windows More Energy Efficient
There is another simple strategy that homeowners can use to help decrease the energy drain of older windows or windows that are not so energy efficient. Window film can be applied over windows to add an extra layer of insulation and to help rooms stay a bit cooler in summer and warmer during winter.
While this simple DIY project isn’t as energy efficient as investing in new energy-efficient windows or even smart windows, that inexpensive film could help homeowners save some energy and, hopefully, a little bit of money, too.