Blinds Between the Glass and the Energy Efficiency Myth

“Blinds Between the Glass” refers to an innovative window system that features blinds or shades that are permanently sealed within a double-glazed cavity. Surprisingly, they have been around for a long time. According to Pella, one of America’s leading window manufacturers, they first introduced between-the-glass blinds in 1966. It’s only in the last few years, however, that they have surged in popularity to become a mainstream window option for homeowners who like a clean, modern look and the idea of minimal maintenance.

Companies that manufacture them cite their hygienic, maintenance-free convenience, their uniform and stylish good looks, and their innovative sun-shading and privacy features. As for homeowners with children or pets, their cordless design is a safety feature that is especially appealing. For allergy sufferers, eliminating dust-collecting draperies and airborn allergens seems like a pretty good incentive to purchase.

But are they energy efficient?In these days of soaring energy bills and dwindling resources, both personal and planetary, absolutely every homeowner is most concerned with energy efficiency when buying replacement doors or windows. It’s the one issue that probably trumps all others, because no one wants to see their hard-earned dollars vanish out the window.

So the question must be asked: Are blinds between the glass windows and doors really as energy-efficient as some claim? The only way to truly answer that question is to understand (a) what energy efficiency means in terms of windows and doors specifically and (b) how this type of window option is put together.

Window and Door Energy Efficiency 101

Modern windows are smart windows, and window science has completely changed how we understand energy efficiency. The measuring stick we use to gauge the energy efficiency of a window is sophisticated indeed.

We’ve known for some time that glass by itself is a poor insulator; however, double-paned windows created a revolution in the window marketplace. With double-paned windows, the two pieces of glass seal a layer of air between them, thus providing added insulation.

But there was another revolution in energy efficiency on the horizon, thanks to Low-E glass and argon gas. Low-E (low-emissivity) is a thin coating of transparent metallic material that’s applied to window glass for insulating purposes. The Low-E coating helps to prevent heat gain (or loss) in your home by acting as a kind of reflective shield, pushing radiant heat that tries to pass through the glass back to the source it originates from. Argon is a heavy, invisible, non-toxic gas that is a far better insulator than air-the weight of this gas dramatically reduces the amount of heat that can pass through the space between two panes of glass.

Today’s windows are in large part energy efficient because of the treated glass and the use of argon gas. Using stainless steel spacers for insulating performance and paying special attention to framing materials that permit only a low coefficient of thermal expansion so temperature variations don’t loosen the bond or create gaps are also important. But a Low-E coating is the critical element in making windows energy efficient.

How Do They Do That?

A popular TV ad asks, How do they get the caramel in the Caramilk bar? One could well ask the same question of blinds-between-the-glass windows and doors. How do they get the blinds in between the glass?

There are two ways in which these windows and doors are manufactured. First, many blinds-between-the-glass windows and doors are constructed like a glass “sandwich.” In other words, the blinds are inserted between two panes of glass. A Low-E coating is not applied, because silver oxide is especially sensitive to scratching. And there is minimal room in a glass sandwich with a blind for the maximum benefit of an argon gas fill. In comparison, there’s simply no way a window with between-the-glass blinds can reduce your energy bills as much as a sealed double-pane window.

The Triple Pane Option

With time, and in an effort to make windows with blinds between the glass more energy-efficient, some window companies turned them into triple-paned windows. That means they have three pieces of glass with two spaces in between: one space holds the between-the-glass blinds, while the other space has a Low-E coating and argon fill.

While triple-paned windows with blinds between the glass may be more energy efficient, just be aware that the extra piece of glass makes the windows bulkier. The biggest drawback to the triple-paned windows however is the cost. They are significantly more expensive because you’re basically paying for two windows-one with modern, energy-efficient technology, and one with between-the-glass blinds.

The Blinds Between: Innovation without the Science

One of the arguments put forth claims that the Low-E glass and the internal blinds together contribute to making the entire glass unit more energy efficient, that the internal blinds absorb solar heat gain. Let’s take a closer look at that claim.

There are no blinds-or window covering of any kind for that matter-that can significantly increase thermal efficiency and match that of a sealed glass unit with an argon gas fill and a Low-E coating. In fact, the blinds between the glass actually diminish the amount of argon gas you can put between those two pieces of glass, ultimately compromising the energy efficiency of the total package.

But most notable of all is this very simple fact: blinds, drapes, shades, and all other window coverings only marginally impact energy efficiency in one way: by blocking visible light transmission. In other words, sunlight! So even if your blinds are on the inside of the glass, it’s going to amount to the same heat reduction and light reduction that you would get from just pulling the drapes across or drawing a regular blind on a sunny day. You are simply blocking light, not increasing the actual energy efficiency of the window.

The Bottom Line

To sum up, this “augmented” energy efficiency derived from blinds between the glass is largely unfounded, and for two main reasons: internal blinds cannot absorb the solar heat gain and Low-E is absolutely essential for any sort of significant energy efficiency. It’s the only way to reflect radiant heat back to the source. Otherwise, heat transfers easily through the glass sandwich-blinds or no blinds. Inside or out!

You could save a lot of money and get equal or better energy performance from energy-efficient, double-paned windows with Low-E coatings and argon gas. But if you really love the look, then by all means go for it. Just know that your best energy efficiency option will be the triple pane solution.

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How to Become a Great Real Estate Agent

Becoming a great real estate agent is an ongoing process and you will be a perpetual “work in progress” (WIP). Your WIP begins from the moment you decide to become an estate agent, complete your basic real estate education, obtain your real estate agent’s license, and become affiliated with a real estate broker/agency. Hopefully, you remain a WIP throughout your real estate career.

Personality speaking

If you haven’t already decided what type of personality you have, now is better than later in your quest to become a great real estate agent.

The person who needs a predictable daily routine will probably feel uncomfortable with the variability and unpredictability of real estate work. Do you need predictability?

Great estate agents enjoy working with people – on the phone, via email, face-to-face, in groups, and one-on-one. Becoming an estate agent is not a therapy for overcoming shyness and introversion. You have to want to work with people to help them solve their property-selling or buying problems.

Time management and attention to detail are talents in some agents; others learn to master these skills. A successful agent’s hours are filled with administrative and income-driving activities that require effective time management. Study and learn from those agents (and others) who skillfully manage their time.

Many people claim they are detail-oriented but you must be detail-oriented. Your clients and your business success depend on your being detail-oriented. If this is a weak point in you skill set, consider hiring an assistant who is skilled at managing the details. This does not relieve you of improving your detail skills but good support can help you manage more effectively.

Education now, later, ongoing

First, get a good real estate education and your license. Next, find a good mentor – an experienced broker or other salesman with integrity as well as real estate accomplishments. Find ways to be of assistance to your mentor, helping with tasks or open houses, preparing advertising, etc.

Attend seminars and courses. As a licensed agent, you are required to complete continuing education courses so make the most of every industry-related course, including those related to estate technology.

Congratulations on receiving your real estate agent’s license. Now, start planning to get your broker’s license. Yes, this means you will have to have at least two years’ experience as an agent, AND more study. The benefits? You may receive higher sales commission percentage splits, be able to open your own brokerage office and keep all the commission, become a property manager if you choose, sell and broker loans, and more. Ultimately, you offer more skills and knowledge to your clients.

What else?

Clients expect their realtor to communicate regularly with them, using the forms(s) the client prefers (fax, phone, text, email, or a combination of modes). Returning calls and messages as quickly as possible can be the difference between a good agent-client relationship and one that is merely satisfactory or totally ineffectual. Make sure you have, or develop, excellent communications skills.

Many agents cited additional qualities and skills important to becoming a great real estate agent. In their estimation, a great agent should be:

Collaborative
Curious
Action-oriented
A self-motivated entrepreneur
A “hub of resources”
Legend has it that the actor born Archie Leach built a persona very different from the reality of his difficult and painful childhood. He borrowed qualities of behavior and style and patched them together, “wearing” that persona until it became a reality. He became a sophisticated, elegant and talented person and performer. Archie Leach became Cary Grant.

You might become a great estate agent by building your own persona much like Archie Leach did. Study, observe, add knowledge, skills and talents, and refine existing ones. Continue to be your own best WIP, and best wishes for your success.

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Improve Your Poor Credit Score and Secure Yourself a Loan

So you are thinking of getting some extra money to make some urgent home repairs, the porch door needs replacing, along with a new hot water system. Unfortunately you do not have the money in the bank, but neither do you have a secure porch door or any constant hot water.

Have you considered personal loans? A lot of people take out personal loans for this type of repair. Car repairs and even holidays are used by people with their newly acquired finances. Most people have heard that a poor credit score is not a good thing (However even those that have a poor financial history can still get loans). But how do you make a good rating?

One of thing major pieces of advice from experts, before you apply for finance it is best to get a credit report completed from a reputable source. This will give you an idea of the chance of getting your application approved. In the United States of America there are three levels of credit rating, basically the higher it is the better it is.

An excellent rating is above 760, a good rating would be between 700 and 759 and a poor rating would be between 640 to 699. if you are at the top end, 760 and above then there is no point in making your rating any better. However with other ratings it is worth trying to improve as it will help your chances of succeeding in the application.

There does seem to be a bit of a chicken and egg situation sometimes, you need finance but have a poor score,but to improve you need a lender to give you a chance. Well, luckily there are things that you and your family if you have one, can do to improve your rating.

Having a poor rating does not mean you have to be stuck with it, starting to pay the bills on time instead of late or not at all will start to get you on the right path. Some lenders will still give applicants loans even with a low score, but the total given will be lower than usually and the percentage rate will be considerably higher. So you will pay more over the period of the finance.

Families can help too. If a member of your family has a good rating then some credit card companies can add you to that family members credit card as an authorized user, this will help with any poor credit score. Also having a family member with a good rating co-sign the loan could help you get what you need.

Finding the correct lender for your score is a good way to make sure that you are getting what you deserve, if you have a high score you deserve some of the best deals on the market. Instead of going to your bank or card company you can go online and search for a matching company. Companies like this are a good place go to make sure you achieve the best deal.

What are a matching company and what do they do? You enter your details on their online program and your information will be fed to several of their approved lenders, in turn the lenders will then return to the matching company with a list of loans that they are able to offer.

Once the offers come back it is then up to the applicant to choose one and complete all the necessary paperwork. A check will then be received within a matter of days and your new boiler and door fitted soon after.

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Payment Options for Shopping All the Way

Everyone is busy. Busy in shopping online and in the malls. Popular online portals are breaking and making new sale records! All thanks to the convenience and the availability of easy payment options and funds!

Here are few of the factors that are making online businesses a success

Credit Cards: A credit card is plastic money. It is one of the easiest form in which a person gets a personal loan.

All online portals as well as retailers in malls accept credit cards issued by various banks.
Online payment becomes very simple and safe, thanks to the one time passwords generated for such transactions.
A PIN is sufficient for shopping using a credit card at any retail store.

Personal loans for shopping: When we apply for a personal loan, we don’t have to provide the financier with the details of what we want the loan for.

Thus these days’ personal loans are being used to finance shopping.
They can also be used as wedding loans, vacation loans and educational loans.

Payment Processing: As far as payment processing is concerned, the following factors matter to both the consumer and the online retailer.

Uncomplicated manoeuvring on website: It is important for the payment process to be step-by-step and easy to understand. Most websites work on this section very carefully and thus the online shopping experience is satisfactory.

Processing Costs: Processing costs matter to the retailers. More the processing fees they have to pay to providers of payment gateways like Visa, the lesser are their margins. So to have an effective business the processing costs need to be low.
Number of payment options: Multiple payment options should be available for the customer to make payment. This makes the shopping a convenient proposition.
Time taken to process transactions: Processing time not only tests your patience but sometimes also the strength of your internet connection!

Cash on Delivery: This is also known as “collection on delivery.” This is a very popular mode of making payments for shopping in the developing world.

It enhances impulse purchases.
A credit card is not an essential possession for the buyer.
The buyer can check the quality of the product and then pay

So this festive season, do not hesitate to shop and to gift! The availability of funds for shopping is not difficult anymore. Also the convenience of online shopping has brought various retailers to our doorstep. So let us shop all the way!

An easy way of shopping is using a credit card. It forms an integral part of most people’s financial planning. When used in the right manner, it helps reduce financial liability and optimizes financial resources.

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Are Online Personal Loans Good For People With Bad Credit?

While the rise of online lending in itself makes it more convenient for people to apply for finance, is this development a good thing for those who are already struggling? There are companies out there who charge expensive annual percentage rates (APRs), leaving many people in more trouble than when they first started.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the last few years, online lending has earned itself a bad reputation. The internet leaves many people vulnerable to fraud, so you should always exercise caution when inputting your financial details. The best way to make sure your information remains safe is to find a secure, reliable lending platform.

There is an unfair irony attached to lending today. Those with bad credit are often led to believe they have no financial options if they have made mistakes in the past, often making their situations seem more desperate than they actually are. This can result in people making bad decisions and can lead to borrowing through unstable sources.

Meanwhile, any lenders that do accept you with bad credit will charge extortionate interest rates because of your history, making it more difficult for you to meet your monthly repayment obligations – thus worsening your situation. This is a trap that many people fall into, and it gives online installment lenders a bad name.

However, this doesn’t need to be the case. If you can find yourself a reliable lending platform, you will be connected to a secure network of trustworthy lenders who can offer sensible solutions to your borrowing needs. Many of these lenders will assess your application, even if your credit file isn’t perfect or your income is lower than average.

Instead of (or in some cases, as well as) running credit checks, these lenders will take other factors into consideration, including your income and employment circumstances, and how long you have lived at your current address. They may even ask for references they can contact who will vouch for your character personally.

Even those who receive benefits as a form of income will be able to apply, giving everyone a fair and carefully considered chance of borrowing money. In these cases, applicants won’t be accepted for higher loans than they can afford to pay back, and interest rates will be low, meaning there is a better chance of managing repayments.

If you have poor credit and need to borrow money, consider a personal installment loan, but make sure the APR is advertised between 5.99% and 35.99%. There should also be a number of options in terms of flexible repayment, offering you the chance to pay the money back anywhere between six months and six years, depending on what you can afford to pay per month.

Small, carefully considered personal loans could actually help you build a financial profile making you eligible for better future borrowing. As long as the lender is responsible, and offers reasonable interest rates, online lending platforms can actually give people with more opportunities than many other lenders in terms of improving their situation.

With this in mind, personal loans can be beneficial to those hoping to improve their credit score, but only if some caution is exercised by both parties, and you only apply to borrow an amount you can afford to pay back.

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Five Reasons for Refusal of a Personal Loan

Don’t you wish personal finance were a mandatory course in college? Unfortunately, too many of us learn by mistake. When you need a personal loan and are rejected, you might be baffled as to what went wrong- and how to fix it. Here are some clues.

NO CREDIT

No credit is a situation where you have never used credit and therefore have no credit history for the bank to review. They have no way of making an educated decision on whether or not you will pay back a personal loan based on your credit history. No credit is worse than bad credit. Qualifying for and making regular payments on these types of introductory forms of credit can overcome a “no credit” score:

· Student Loans

· Secured credit card (includes a down payment amount)

· Being added to a parent’s or spouses good credit: card, car loan, etc.

LOW CREDIT

Low credit takes on several forms. If you’re using more than 30% of your allowable debt, it can negatively impact your score. Too many inquiries from shopping around for loans will also hit you hard. Lapses in payment, defaults, or bankruptcies are giant red flags and can take a long time to rebuild from.

Other things that lenders may look at are whether or not you have sizeable assets should you default on the loan. They also check to see if your debts are diversified or if you are only carrying one type of debt.

INCOME

Proof of income is generally required when applying for a personal loan. If you are unemployed or underemployed, it can work against you in the loan approval process. Lenders may also require a work history to see how long you have been with your current employer, and to determine if you typically have job stability. Frequent job loss or change will tell a creditor that your payments may not be reliable.

PURPOSE OF THE LOAN

Believe it or not, your application can be rejected due to your proposed purpose for the loan. Financial institutions have the right to set up the parameters surrounding their disbursements and can accept or reject your application based on what you want to use the money for.

BLACKLISTING

If you’ve defaulted on debt before, your name may be put on a list of whom not to loan to,’ also known as a “Blacklist.” This will follow you around for a long time and is difficult to erase. If you do resolve the debt issues, get documents to prove the resolution.

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How Can A Personal Loan Improve Your Credit Score?

When it comes to a personal loan, you have to first learn to use it responsibly. Because if you miss a repayment, your credit score will be impacted adversely. And remember, that a credit score is an indicator of how well you manage your personal finances. Also, it plays a defining role when you apply for any kind of loan – secured and unsecured. It is suggested to apply for a loan slightly larger than what is needed so that you will be assured to have enough money to pay all bills necessary and still have some money left over to ensure that your bank account stays current.

A credit score can be defined as a number which reflects the financial situation of a person. If the person is well-off when it comes to financial matters, then he or she is said to have a high credit score. On the other hand, if a person is the exact opposite of this, then they possess a low credit score. There are a lot of factors that are considered by financial institutions for the purpose of evaluating a person’s credit score – usually, the credit scores of people vary from 300 to about 850.

A personal loan is a type of loan that is given by digital lenders, banks and credit unions to aid you in your plans, be it starting a small business, or making a big purchase. Personal loans tend to have an interest rate(s) lower than the credit cards; however, they can also be put to use for combining several credit card debts together into one monthly lower-cost payment.

Now, your credit score is built by keeping in mind various parameters from your credit reports. These reports serve the purpose of trailing your history of utilization of the credit across the duration of seven years. These credit reports are comprised of information, including how much credit you have utilized to date, the type of credit in your possession, the age of one’s credit accounts, whether one has put in for bankruptcy or liens filed against them, actions of debt collections taken against them, one’s total open lines of credit as well as recent inquiries for hard credit.

Like any other type of credit, personal loans are very capable of affecting your credit score. This can be done through the process of applying and withdrawing a personal loan. If you are curious as to how personal loans can end up affecting your credit, then read on to find out more about the context. There are many ways in which your credit can be affected by personal loans and some of them are listed below:

The ratio of your debt-to-income and loan

Debt-to-income ratio is considered to be the measure of your amount of income that you spend on the debt repayments. In the case of lenders, the amount of income that you receive is said to be one of the major factors proving that you are able to repay your loan.

Some of the lenders have come up with their own debt-to-income ratio so that their proprietary credit scores may make use of it in the form of a credit consideration. Do not fall into the kind of mindset that possessing a high amount of a loan would hurt your credit. The most damage it can do is raise the ratio of your debt-to-income so that you won’t be able to apply for loans anymore without it getting rejected or denied.

Paying loans on time will make credit scores soar

The moment your loan is approved, you have to make sure that you settle the payments of each month on time and in full. Delay in repayment may significantly impact the state of your credit score. However, on the other hand, if you make the payments on time every month, then your credit score will soar high, leading to an overall good score. This will not only make your name to the preferred borrower’s list, but it will prove to be beneficial for you in the long run.

Since your payment history is comprised of almost 35% of your credit score, paying loans on time is essential in cases like these so that your credit score can maintain a positive status.

Variety is built into your credit type

There are about five factors that are responsible for determining your credit score. These are composed of the payment history, the length of the credit history, the utilization ratio of the credit, the credit mix and new inquiries of the credit in accordance with FICO®.

The credit mix only accounts for about 35% of your total credit score, whereas when it comes to a personal loan you can have a varying mix of the credit types. This mix of all types of credit is viewed at a high level of approval by the creditors and lenders.

Origination fee charged by loans

Most of the lenders end up charging you an origination fee. This fee cannot be avoided at any cost and is instantly taken off from the amount of the loan payment. The amount of origination fees depends upon the amount of the loan you are about to borrow. Late payments can lead to an overdraft of fees and late expenses. Therefore, make sure that you pay complete repayment for each month before the deadline.

Avoiding penalties when it comes to payments

Some of the credit lenders tend to charge an additional fee if you end up paying your part of the loan earlier than the agreed date. This is because they are looking for moderate amounts of interest on your loan. Now, seeing that you have paid off your part of the loan before time, they will miss out on that interest that they could have possibly made if you had not cleared the debt soon enough before the deadline.

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