Windows have come a long way since the late 1600s, when plate glass was first developed and ventilation openings in a house were known as “wind eyes.” Plate glass became more common and desirable for homes over the next few hundred years, and the term “wind eyes” morphed into “windows.”
The improvements these days go far beyond double-pane (also known as double-glazed) windows, which have been around since the 1950s. Two panes of glass are better than one when it comes to insulating, and now further improvements have made them even better.

One of many places throughout the Monterey Bay area to see some of these advancements is at Marvin Design Gallery by Truitt & White in Seaside, where displays show off high-tech attributes of windows and doors. The showroom opened in April inside the Kitchen Studio of the Monterey Peninsula.

Territory manager Jack Lamon said windows and doors these days undergo rigorous testing to determine their degree of energy efficiency, their ability to let in light but reflect solar heat, and other factors.

“They’re all designed to meet much higher performance standards,” he said.

Just as appliances are Energy Star-rated, so are most windows, doors and skylights. According to the trade magazine Window & Door, more than 80 percent of windows are Energy Star-certified, and the accompanying label will tell consumers how much money can be saved on their energy costs by installing various models. Another informational label from the National Fenestration Rating Council (see sidebar) is also helpful.

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