Since the beginning of time human beings have had the need for natural lighting in their homes. The way we acquire this light is through the use of a window. It is pretty safe to say that windows have evolved immensely since their origins when they were nothing more than a hole in the wall.
The evolution of the window has been a very gradual process and for a long time the only thing that used to protect a window from the cold was a wooden shutter. From here people used to use cover their windows with flattened out animal hide, cloth or wood. For many years paper windows were favourable in China, Korea and Japan as these were economical and allowed sufficient lighting into homes. They also used wood cut into patterns or bamboo which was fairly secure and effective for light but poor at defending against different weather conditions.
Glass from the Past
The history of glassmaking dates all the way back to 3500AD but it was the Romans that were the first know to use glass on their windows but this glass was small and thick, similar to that of blown glass jars. Most homes could not afford to have glass windows and made do with other materials such as animal hides which they soaked in oil to make as transparent as possible to allow light into the room. Cathedrals around Europe, however, were using stain glass for their windows.
In the 14th Century French glassblowers developed crown glass which resembled a sequence of the bottom of a bottle which made up a full window. These windows were only affordable to the very wealthy so most people were unable to have such commodities.
In the 17th Century it was fairly common for ordinary homes to have glass windows and this was a great deal better for keeping heat in and allowing light.
Introduction of Double and Triple glazing
Double glazed windows are windows that contain double glass window panes separated by an air or other gas filled space in order to reduce heat transfer. The glass is separated by a spacer. It wasn’t until the 1930s that double glazing was invented and it was very popular in the US. In the UK double glazing didn’t become popular until the 1970s because there was no incentive to improve the efficiency of your home and also it was very costly.
Double glazing has been improved countless times and now today you can guarantee the best efficiency possible. Many home owners invest in the latest window technology because they save so much money with energy bills and improve their carbon footprint. Other advantages are that noise pollution is kept to a minimum.
Very recently, triple glazing has become available and this too has been made very effective to give you maximum efficiency of heat control. This is also one way of ensuring that noise pollution is practically undetectable.
Window technology has come a long way and there are certain materials used in the frames of windows that also add to the efficiency of the overall window. Also the evolution of the window means that houses are a lot safer as they are built to keep intruders at bay.
These windows that are available today are leaps and bounds ahead of those of the past for efficiency and keeping a house warm and comfortable.
There are constantly plans to improve window efficiency and some things that have come from this research are glass coats that can be added to windows to provide better insulation without blocking any light. Also solar windows are a fairly revolutionary invention and they work like a normal window but at the same time they convert sunlight into electricity.
I’m sure sometime in the future we’ll have windows in our homes that change colour to best deal with certain types of light!