Author: Polar Bear

Is it sunny enough for solar panels to work in the Northwest?

Yes. The technology has greatly improved to allow solar to be an economically feasible option even with our grey and gloomy skies. New generation photovoltaic systems are able to produce power from the UV rays that are present even on rainy and overcast days. While they are most effective in sunny weather, they can still produce a substantial amount of energy during the not-so-sunny months of Western Washington. When we design a system for your home we will consider your location and usage needs to produce some amount of electricity in the colder, darker months and an excess in the summer months. Through net-metering, the excess electricity produced during those brighter, longer days of summer will be credited back to you for those darker, shorter days of winter and fall to maximize your progress towards energy-indepence.

I have double pane windows already, why would I need to change them?

Double pane or “Therma-Pane” windows are not necessarily any more efficient than a single pane window. What makes glass options available today so much more insulating than the double-pane of years past is the coatings that they apply to the glass surfaces and the gases they put in between the panes. Low Emissivity treatments are coatings applied to the glass by applying a micro-thin layer of zinc and silver oxides that reflect heat and insulate much in the same way as an emergency blanket. Gases like argon and krypton are denser than air, and when pumped in between the panes of glass, they insulate by slowing down the loss of heat from conduction.

Are Triple-Pane Windows Necessary in Washington?

There are many common misconceptions out there regarding triple-pane windows. Most commonly you’ll discover it isn’t cold enough in our climate to require triple-pane windows which makes them a bit “over-kill.” However, needs vary from home to home and customer to customer. Some homes, for a variety of reasons, just tend to be energy hogs and require all the help they can get. Some individuals tend to get cold more easily than others too.

Another popular myth is that triple-pane is outrageously expensive. However when you compare a quality long-lasting, investment-grade double pane to its triple pane counterpart, the cost is fairly negligible. A triple pane glass unit does requires a reinforced, engineered frame to support the added weight, but we think in many cases a quality durable frame is good idea regardless of whether you want to choose a double pane or triple pane option. Our team of skilled specialists will work with you one on one to determine what fits best for your needs and overall plans for your home and budget.

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