Ultra Efficient Windows Turning Houses Into Death Rays

Remember how annoying it was when your neighbour blasted Katy Perry at 3am? Now just imagine if his windows were literally melting the side of your house off. Low-E insulating window panes look like they’re doing just that.

The incredible Low-E technology imbues glass with insulating properties on par with a thick brick wall, thanks to a thin vacuum layer between panes. This manages to save homeowners a nice chunk of change on heating bills. But what else does Low-E do? It looks like it might be concentrating sunlight like big magnifying glass, reflecting scorching heat toward neighbouring properties and causing serious damage to vinyl siding.

A news report out of Boston has highlighted the problem, interviewing shocked residents now faced with expensive repair jobs. An employee of Infrared New England, a thermal imaging firm, observed “this looks like someone took a blow torch to it”, adding that “we had temperatures that were 248 degrees Fahrenheit (120C).” Ouch!

Inhabitat argues that the Low-E coating isn’t to blame, but rather the curvature of replacement windows, which these days are pervasively of the high-efficiency variety. At any rate, it’s probably only a matter of time until infuriated neighbours begin a passive aggressive arms race, placing mirror shields between their homes in what will surely end in the fiery destruction of the Greater Boston area. [ArchPaper via Inhabitat]


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