House of Panes

More panes, more problems… WINDOW panes that is!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Crazy weather lately, right? My furnace and my AC have been working hard! But is all that temperature-regulated air just flying out the window? 

Nathan Youngblood and team from the University of Pittsburgh and Oxford to the RESCUE! 

They applied three different chemical glazes on windows. Then they heated and shined light at the windows. Using a tool called a spectrophotometer, the scientists measured how much light was absorbed or reflected.

AND? The BEST coating was made out of chalcogenide based material. Chalcogenides are compounds that include elements from the oxygen family. This coating reflects sunshine in the summer AND absorbs the sun’s energy in the winter. That’s one SMART window! Bonus? You can’t even see the coating – clear as ever!

Most houses use double-paned windows to save energy. But these single-paned, smart windows are even BETTER. They can save up to 23% in energy usage annually!

Sure, it may be a hassle to switch out your windows. But, wait for it —


Reference: Youngblood, N., Talagrand, C., Porter, B. F., Galante, C. G., Kneepkens, S., Triggs, G., … & Bhaskaran, H. (2021). Reconfigurable Low-Emissivity Optical Coating Using Ultrathin Phase Change Materials. ACS Photonics.