This week the team at Crystal Clear were talking windows, like we do most days, when a couple of interesting facts were thrown about the office. So, we thought we’d share these with you in our latest blog so you too can appreciate the wonders that are windows!
The Invention of Glass
The earliest known glass artefacts are Egyptian and date back to 1350BC. The earliest known glass objects were beads, believed to have been accidently created and remained a luxury material for hundreds of years to come. But it was the Romans who first produced transparent glass as it enabled them to admire the colour of their wine.
Here’s another little fact for you… You may have heard many say that glass is a liquid which has cooled but not yet crystallised. They suggest that instead it flows incredibly slowly. Well, however fascinating that may be, this little snippet of knowledge it nothing but a myth. Glass is of course solid, more specifically a amorphous solid.
The Romans First Welcomed Windows
Believe it or not our beloved windows haven’t been around all that long. In fact, before the days of double glazing windows started off as simple holes in the wall. Not exactly great for keeping the cold out. Soon after people began covering these up with shutters; the only problem being that if you got chilly on a winters day and closed up the shutters you’d be left in the dark. You might be surprised to hear that among other creative solutions we used paper, flattened pieces of translucent animals horns and even thinly sliced marble.
After using glass primarily for the production of vessels, during the 1st Century CE the Romans saw the introduction of glass blowing and the dominance of colourless glasses. By the end of this Century CE large scale manufacturing resulted in the establishment of glass a commonly available material in the Roman world.
However we didn’t have glass windows in England until the late 17th Century when glass became more affordable and began to appear in windows on a universal scale.
The Arrival of Double Glazing
Surprisingly there is some evidence that few houses in Scotland had double-glazed windows as early as the 1870s. Although their version of a second sheet of glass puttied to existing windows isn’t quite what we’d see today.
The modern version of Double Glazing with 2 layers of glass bonded together in a single frame was invented by C.D Haven in 1930. Such a concept was considerably expensive to produce in the 1930s and it wasn’t until 1941 that a manufacturer was willing to take on the idea. However, due to the nature of this era as the USA soon joined World War 2, double glazing didn’t enter the market until 1952.
Up to 26% of Heat is Lost Through Poorly Insulated Windows
It sounds like quite a lot doesn’t it?
When you replace your old single glazing with double make sure you watch out for energy ratings which determine the efficiency of the product. They will measure its efficiency in 3 ways:
- How much heat the window loses over time – Along with the glass pain, the frame and casing is measured. Your windows are required to lose as little heat as possible which makes it cheaper and more efficient to heat up your property
- Solar Gain – The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures how much hear the windows allow in. Allowing heat into the home again is a key element in reducing heating bills.
- Finally, how much air is lost through the windows, which is referred to quite simply as Air Leakage.
No More Window Washing with Self-Cleaning Glass
Yes this is an actual thing. Self-cleaning glass is actually available. So you can finally forget about the time-consuming and costly act of cleaning your windows.
Self-cleaning glass has a transparent coating which works to break down dirt and spread water evenly across the surface of the window. The special coating is both photocatalytic (reacts with UV rays) and hydrophilic (water-loving). The glass reacts with the sun’s rays to break down dirt forming on the outside of the window. When it rains the decomposed dirt naturally washes away as rain is attracted to form a sheet of water over the glass rather than droplets forming which leave unwanted rain marks.
If it doesn’t rain then you can simply hose them off; so I suppose they’re not completely self-cleaning. So we’ll keep dreaming…