Energy shutters? Well, maybe

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The Monitor had an article some time ago which said that Owens-Corning would market an energy-conserving shutter in the next year which would be cheaper than shutters now on the market. What about it? Susan Deering Newport Beach, Calif.

Owens-Corning did indeed investigate different types of energy-efficient window coverings but nothing has come of it so far.

"We did a test with cornell University and came up with some facts and figures," according to an Owens-Corning spokesman. The problem is to get the bugs out of such types of items and then to make them practical for the marketplace. In other words, a company has to look on a potential new product from a mass-merchandising point of view.

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Such a product would have to be competitive in price as well as performance.

The Owens-Corning product, if sold, would not necessarily be less costly than other products now around. It would have special properties that might have to override the price.

"It's very easy to develop something that is highly technical and specialized , but when you try to make it for every size of window in the country, it comes out to be a different story," says the Owens-Corning spokesman.

One of the things that the company looked at was a product for schools, hotels, and commercial buildings where there are large amounts of glass. "We had both a fixed and a movable shutter system that was developed out of a fiberglass insulation material and which was both flame-and smoke-resistant," he adds.

"We were trying to develop a fire-safe product."

If successful, such a product could be adapted for the home but, the spokesman adds, "we didn't even go that far." He concludes: "We're still investigating it, however."

There are energy-saving products on the market, of course, such as shades and drapes as well as plastic films which can be applied to the glass on doors and windows. Why don't you check them out.

Storm windows, especially if they're double-glazed and properly attached, will do a good job in cutting fue l costs.

Wood-framed windows are more energy-efficient than those with metal frames.

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