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The History Behind Energy Efficient Windows

You may already know the many benefits that come from energy efficient replacement MN windows, whether they are in a newly constructed home or by replacing old ones in your existing home. However, did you know that the history of this newest invention is one that is relatively short and sweet, but those windows leave you with a better managed energy bill every month?

Through around forty years of technological advances, energy-efficient windows have been introduced into the market. As the US tried to find new and more effective ways to reduce the costs and consumption of energy, it was quickly found that windows are one of the largest contributing factors to heat loss and high energy bill prices. About 25% of all heating costs were the balance that was caused by the loss from these non-efficient windows.

Most windows throughout the US are single paned windows, which are wooden frames and one piece of glass. During the 70’s, multi-paned windows were introduced to the market, and they were more energy-efficient than other windows previously used.  If you’ve got a home that was built prior to 1970 and have never had the windows replaced, your home most likely has those old energy-wasting windows with only one layer of glass.

Multi-Paned Replacement Windows 

This technique was introduced in the window industry in the 1970’s.  The gap between the layers of glass is used as insulation, to keep the cool or warm air inside the home, and to keep the outside weather temperatures outside. At first the insulation came from just trapped air.  But while the technology was being developed, these gaps between layers were filled with static gases and other argon to enhance their insulation abilities.

At first window frames were basically made from wood.  Other frames were quickly introduced to make the windows much more efficient. Aluminum was one of the first to the market, but it was determined to be a poor insulation factor in the manufacturing of windows. In the 80’s wood frames with vinyl cladding window frames were developed. Both reduced the transfer of heat, and boosted the overall effectiveness of the windows. Metal spacers that were once used were replaced with plastic and foam spacers.

Low-E Glass Introduced 

Low-E (low emissivity) glass first hit the window market in 1983.  It is a technology used to create a better, more efficient windows. It makes use of a slim sheet of metal oxide that is what acts as the barrier of infrared radiation. Visible light is able to pass through the glass but Low-E glass prevents heat from entering or leaving the home.

Currently, new coatings are being developed for windows to make them even more energy efficient as time moves forward. The coatings are intended to alter according to the external conditions. The shade of the window is changed due to a small electric current placed inside the sheet, as well as an added light sensor.

Check out the FAQ about energy efficient windows here for more information.

Knowing what you’re getting from the energy efficient windows you choose to have placed in your home is a great way to select the best ones. Speak with us here at Window Outfitters, so we can ensure that you find the perfect MN replacement windows.

We are a licensed MN home remodeling contractor serving the entire Minneapolis metro area with services such as replacement windows and doors, siding, gutters, and more.


Window Outfitters is a premier Window Replacement, doors, siding contractor and installer. As Contractor in the St Paul, Minneapolis, (Twin Cities) Minnesota (MN) metro, we proudly serve, but are not limited to, the following areas: Minneapolis Energy Efficient Vinyl Windows, Replacement Window Contractors Minnesota, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Savage, Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, Eagan, St Paul, Hastings, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Eden Prairie, Farmington MN, Chaska, Shakopee, Chanhassen, Victoria, Mendota Heights Anderson Windows Minneapolis, Marvin Windows Minneapolis.