Painting glass may give you more bang for your buck
Painting glass may not seem like a good way to cut energy costs, but it actually can be. Homes in the US use a variety of methods to generate heat. Gas, solar, electricity, coal, firewood, biomass, steam and hot water can all generate heat. Electricity, on the other hand, almost exclusively generates the summertime cooling we all know and love. As a fuel, electricity is more expensive than most. You can save money on heating by switching away from electricity, but there are few fuel alternatives for cooling.
Your only choice for reducing your summertime energy costs is to reduce your summertime energy consumption. In an enclosed space, heat builds up because infrared light gets trapped behind glass. IR light heats up surfaces in a way that allows them to retain and radiate heat.
Reducing light penetration is the best way to reduce heat buildup in an enclosed space. Blocking these light rays can help reduce heat buildup. Painting glass reduces the amount of visible light that penetrates a space. By itself, that can lower the interior temperature of a space and reduce the need for additional cooling.
Painting glass could be an option for windows that transmit a lot of light, but provide an unpleasant view. By painting the glass with a light-colored paint, you can preserve the transmission of visible light while reducing the heat buildup in the interior space.
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Photo Credit: Koizin, via Flickr.com