How many customers are in the dark?
When the house that I've had my eye on for some time went up for sale, I was among the first in line to take a peek. It was a great place, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls and lots of fixed and operable windows. At first glance, it appeared to be a perfect example of how one can use glass to bring the outdoors in and maximize interior light. Upon closer inspection, however, it revealed itself to be an energy nightmare. Every piece of glass in the home—and there were many—was single-pane.
As I calculated the cost of replacing the glass and windows with energy-efficient units, the home quickly exited my price range. A couple of days later, another buyer snatched it up.
Which led me to consider: How many homeowners and building owners are in the dark when it comes to the energy costs associated with single-glazed windows?
Now maybe the buyer just had deeper pockets than me and could afford to replace all of the glass. But maybe, they simply weren't aware of the costs associated with heating and cooling a single-glazed structure.
In a recent interview with Charlotte Broussard, president and CEO of Universal Window and Door, she said her company sees buildings with single-glazed, malfunctioning windows. "With these single-glazed units, the amount of heat transfer is unbelievable. They are heating the outside of the building!" she said.
My question is, do they know it? And if so, how can we convince them to upgrade their units? According to Broussard, tightening codes and standards is essential, as is educating owners about the return on investment. According to NFRC CEO Jim Benney, an industry-wide effort is necessary to communicate the value energy-efficient windows bring to the table. And then there is the R-value versus U-value debate and how we can best speak to customers in a language they understand. What do you think? How many customers are in the dark, and how do we show them the light?
The author is editor of Glass Magazine. Write her at email@example.com.