10 Neat Facts About Windows You Might Not Know

They let natural light into our homes, allow us to enjoy the outdoor views, and keep the house cross-ventilated. Windows are a fundamental part of our lives, but we so often hardly notice them — that is, until we need to clean them or one gets broken! We thought it’d be fun to do a little research and learn more about the history of these essential home elements.

We never suspected windows could be so fascinating!

The History of Windows

The first use of glass windows dates back to 100 A.D. and is typically credited to the Romans. Before then, different civilizations used cloth, paper, animal hides, or even thin marble slices as window coverings. It wasn’t long before glass for windows became the norm, with the process continually evolving into what we’re familiar with today. It wasn’t until the 1800s, though, that double glazing came into use when the Scottish wanted to combat their perpetually harsh winters. The version in use today dates to around 1940.

Fun Facts About Windows

Ready for some more fun and handy facts about windows? Here we go.

  1. The English word “window” is derived from the Old Norse word “vindauga,” a combination of wind and eye. It was first recorded in the early 13th century and described as a roof hole. The Old English version of window literally translates to eye-hole or eye-door.
  2. There was a window tax in England until 1851. Homes with fewer than 10 windows were exempt from the tax. When people started boarding up their windows to avoid the tax, it was repealed. In Amsterdam, homeowners were taxed based on the number and size of their front windows.
  3. A window’s R-value reflects its resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the more efficient the window.
  4. Windows make up about 15% of the average home’s wall space! That might not sound like a lot, but it starts to add up when you consider how much energy you lose through poorly insulated windows.
  5. England’s Buckingham Palace has 760 windows in 775 rooms. The U.S. White House has 147 windows in 132 rooms. The tallest building in the world, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, has over 34,000 windows!
  6. Stained glass windows get their unique colors from added metallic salts incorporated into the glass.
  7. When glass breaks, the cracks move at 3,000 miles per hour. That’s five times faster than the average airplane! Shatterproof glass in windows gives your home an extra level of security.
  8. Glass is a sustainable material that can be endlessly recycled without losing its purity or quality.
  9. When you Google “windows,” the top results are for Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Be sure to type in “Zen Windows” to get all the information you need!
  10. Windows have a long life, but most experts agree you should replace them after about 20 years or so. Failing window signs include draftiness and interior condensation buildup.