Spring is Here! So Welcome the Sunshine

natura light

Several years ago I was driving through the British Properties in West Vancouver on my way to see a client early in the afternoon. It was a lovely, sunny spring day, and most of the homes in this area have great views of the ocean, city, or both; because they face south/west. These amazing views are a large part of what makes this area so desirable and the building lots so expensive. Why then did almost every home I passed have the window blinds or curtains pulled, blocking out these gorgeous views and making the rooms dark, even though people were at home in many cases. It made no sense: why buy an
incredibly expensive lot, build a lovely water facing home with large windows, and then close out the view and the natural light! This was about 15 years ago, and many of the homes I was passing were only a few years old.

I knew the reason for turning these beautiful dwellings into dark caves on a sunny day, but it made me wonder about the wisdom of the builders, architects, and homeowners. The cause of course is one we have all experienced…the sun’s heat. The amazing part of this situation though, is the fact that window glass that dramatically reduces the negative effects of the sun’s rays was readily available, but had not been used. This type of glazing has been around for a long time, but on this day was not yet mandated as part of the building code. At Long Life we have been using it in the windows we install since we started business in 1989. Most of you probably know that this is called LOW E glass, and you know this because it has been standard in windows as part of our building code now for several years. In simple terms, LOW E lets in most of the sun’s visible light while keeping out most of the heat and damaging ultraviolet rays. There are different types of LOW E, and some are more effective than others at reducing the unwanted rays, but the concept is the same. LOW E also does a great job of enhancing the insulation value of windows, and this is the primary reason it was added to the code. The added benefit of keeping out unwanted heat and ultraviolet is a bonus. Unfortunately, many of the homeowners I drove by that sunny spring day either weren’t informed by the builder of the benefits of LOW E, or chose not to pay the small additional cost for this huge benefit.

I talk to customers all the time who have had us upgrade their old regular glass windows, and they can’t get over how much cooler their home is in the summertime with LOW E glazing. I know in our home that making this upgrade means we can sleep in comfort in upstairs bedrooms that used to be unbearable on hot summer days. The trick is to keep our windows closed when the sun is on them so the glass can do its job and keep the heat outside. So, if you like the longer sunny days that spring brings, and want to let in the light without the heat or damage to your furniture and flooring, LOW E glass in the answer.