The Future of FlooringThe Future of Flooring

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The Future of Flooring

When I replaced the flooring in my home recently, I was surprised to find out that one of the options available to me was a cork floor. I’d always thought of cork as nothing more than the way to top off a bottle of wine. However, it turns out that cork is a great flooring option. It has many of the benefits of hardwood, but the texture and give of the material also adds some of the benefits of carpeting. I decided to start a blog about flooring so that I could share some of the benefits of interesting and lesser-known flooring options. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you only have a few choices. There are lots of great directions you can take with your home flooring that will perfectly suit your home and your needs.

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The Best Windows For People Who Live In The Cold North

If you live in the north and northeast where the climates tend to get cold, preventing heat loss from your home will be of the utmost importance. Installing the right windows on your home can go a long way towards ensuring your home stays nice and toasty while keeping your energy bills under control. Here are a few window types you want to consider investing in if you live in a cold climate.

Triple-Pane Glass Windows

Triple-pane windows are exactly as they sound. They have three panes of glass separated by two spacers that are typically filled with gas. These windows are good for northern climates because they do an excellent job of sealing heat inside the home, which help you save money on your energy bills. Additionally, triple-pane windows do a better job of preventing condensation from forming, a common problem with single-pane and some double-pane windows that can damage your home (i.e. cause rotting and mold growth around the window).

However, these are premium windows and priced as such, costing 10 to 15 percent more than their double-paned counterparts. On the plus side, though, they can reduce your heating bill by 2 to 3 percent a year, and their premium status may increase the market value of your home and let you net more money from future homebuyers. Be aware, though, that triple-pane windows won't dampen exterior noise, so they're not a good option if you're looking for something to reduce road noise or other sounds outside your home.

Passive-Solar Glass

Another way to reduce your energy bills is to use the sun's rays to heat your home. However, there are several drawbacks to letting the sun shine directly into your home, namely the fact that this can cause color fading on furniture, curtains, and flooring that happens to be in its direct path. There's also the issue of glare, and non-treated windows can let in too much light and heat.

Passive-solar glass helps address some of these issues by letting in the sun's heat but blocking out the UV rays responsible for causing color fading. Additionally, windows made from this type of glass tend to be well-insulated, which prevents the captured heat from escaping and cold air from getting inside the house. You'll enjoy natural sunlight and heat gain without the drawbacks associated with untreated windows.

It's important to note, though, these windows are best installed on the south-facing side of your home where you get the most sunlight. They are also a good option for skylights that face the south.

Smart Glass

A third option for cold northern homes is smart glass. This type of window has technology embedded into it that lets you control the glass' opaqueness. Though there are several different ways the glass is manufactured to achieve this outcome, the best of the bunch is electrochromatic glass that uses small amounts of electricity to change the glass from light to dark and back.

Smart glass lets you warm up your home in the winter by letting the sun in during peak times of the day. However, it also helps keep your home cool in the summer by darkening the glass to keep the sun's rays out, letting you save energy and money year round. Smart glass can also be connected to a home automation system that regulates when the glass lightens and darkens, providing a truly hands-off experience.

The major drawback to this type of window is the change in opaqueness can take several minutes. Additionally, these windows currently only last about 10 to 20 years before they need to be replaced. However, their durability may increase as the technology matures.

For more information about these windows or other options for keeping your home warm during winter, contact a window replacement company, such as Jerry Newman Roofing & Remodeling, Inc..