Solarfried

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Sometimes you look at things and don't have to think too much about what is happening.  Even when you haven't seen it before!

REFLECT - verb - to throw back light without absorbing it
REFRACT - verb - to make a ray of light change direction when it enters at an angle
MAGNIFY - verb - to intensify or exaggerate

Every kid knows that you can magnify light and focus it into a point so small it can heat up and explode an ant.  We might not think of a small, focused beam of light as magnification, but that is what it really is.  The beam is super intensified, but only at a specific distance and onto a specific point.

I have never seen this before!

When the deflector shades were moved away it revealed that sunlight had been magnified so much it actually charred the kitchen floor!

This is a double-pane glass door.

It is considered "energy efficient."

It is not.

It is said to be able to reflect heat.

It does not.

People unknowingly think that because a window or door is "double pane" it is "efficient."  Not so...

The double-pane glass is essentially acting as a magnifying glass, focusing light, and therefore heat, within a specific area beyond the door. 

Facing southwest, this certainly only happens a couple of months during the year, when the angle of the sun is perfectly suited to such focus.

Why do you think the left side is more charred than the right?

Simple!  The screen is usually closed.  That tiny, little screen provides enough diffusion of the light, not refraction, to break up its focus and therefore its heat.  Notice how the less charred area is exactly the same distance from the door?  It gets hotter than usual, but not THAT hot!

This is something of a close up of that charred area.

How old is this house?  FIFTEEN YEARS!

If we assume this happens 3 months a year, which is probably a very liberal assumption, but since not every day has sunshine, we are looking at much less than 4 years worth of heat.

I would be interested in just how hot this spot gets!

This same heat would/could affect window sills, kitchen counters, furniture, rugs - anything that sits unmoving within the zone of magnification!

What do you think it does to the efficiency of the HVAC system?

I don't know about you, but this is making me hungry.

For some reason I'm kinda feeling like a hot dog on the grill!  With lotsa fixins'!  Wanna join me?

My recommendation:  remember, oh remember, boys and girls, physics works every time!  Pay attention to control it, or you might get burned!

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Addicted to Active Rain
Adventures in Home Inspecting
Ask the Home Inspector
Professional Home Inspectors
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
Tags:
doublepane glass
flooring damage
flooring charred

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainer
170,162
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

I'll have mustard on mine, thanks Jay. (Hard to make you out in that photo.)

Double pane is efficient at breaking the conductive heat transmission cycle. Light though is radiation and all glass is a radiant transmitter so it's very good at magnifying light.

Great example Jay. I've seen faint discolouration but not true scorch marks like that.

Jun 28, 2011 04:02 PM #15
Rainmaker
1,253,655
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That is amazing, isn't it Robert!?  A first for me.  And you are welcome any time.  I have the best grill in town.

I autograph everything I grill!     http://activerain.com/blogsview/2038776/jay-brand

P.s.  That avatar isn't me, it's Mosby.  With a sword belt and scabbard!

Jun 28, 2011 05:07 PM #16
Rainer
56,903
Brad Gotham
Granite Peak Inspection, Inc. - Colville, WA

Wow very interesting. Up here in the Northwest we haven't had enough sun this year to do that.

Jun 29, 2011 11:06 AM #17
Rainmaker
1,253,655
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Do you ever get enough sun Brad?  The northwest is considered the least able to provide solar heating in any capacity.  Even still, here in the south I have never seen this before!

Jun 29, 2011 12:58 PM #18
Rainmaker
222,833
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

The blog title sounds like fried bologny at the state fair or something.  :)

WOW, I don't think that's a high quality door they've got there.  Just a guess, but I really get the feeling I'm right.

Jun 30, 2011 07:57 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,253,655
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

The house is 15 years old Jeremy, so it is not a very old door.  Double pane, but I can't speak to the U-factor or anything.

Jun 30, 2011 08:00 PM #20
Rainmaker
222,833
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

Yeah, I'm implying that door was NEVER high quality, even when it was first made.

We've had some windows around here that were made with glass that focused the reflection and melted the neighbor's vinyl siding (why does anyone like that stuff!?!).  The next windows were light DIFFUSING instead.

Jun 30, 2011 08:05 PM #21
Rainmaker
1,253,655
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I've seen that, where a house 40' away has melted siding!  Windows and reflection do a lot of things!  In this case they seems to focus the heat into a small area.  I have never seen this before!

Jun 30, 2011 08:08 PM #22
Rainmaker
222,833
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

I've never seen that on the door either.  I wonder if the manufacturer put some glass in backwards or something.

Jun 30, 2011 08:12 PM #23
Rainmaker
1,253,655
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Well, Jeremy, I honestly don't know if that would make a difference, but having never seen this before how could I discount it as a possibility!?

Jun 30, 2011 08:20 PM #24
Rainmaker
222,833
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

I don't know for sure either, but the local construction rumor mill has mentioned that diffusive glass in backwards used to be a problem.  But hey, it's a rumor until we can find truth to verify it.  :)

Jun 30, 2011 08:30 PM #25
Rainmaker
1,253,655
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I wouldn't know how to go about it Jeremy!  Especially on a house that has been there so long.  But these buyers were going to change a lot of things, especially with the kitchen.  Maybe they'll change the door.

Jun 30, 2011 08:39 PM #26
Rainmaker
222,833
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

If I was the buyer, I would absolutely change the door.  But yes, you're right, it's way to late to verify things, unless you have a lot of money sitting around and can pay someone to figure it out, full time!

If only I had a lot of money, I'd pay for them to have that door examined!  Maybe there's a grant for that...

Jun 30, 2011 08:43 PM #27
Rainmaker
1,253,655
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That's what the "stimulus" bill was all about Jeremy!  Getting money out there for "friends" to enjoy!  I think you should apply for some and have a blast!

Jun 30, 2011 08:49 PM #28
Rainmaker
222,833
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

Exactly!  That would totally stimulate me!

Jun 30, 2011 08:57 PM #29
Rainmaker
1,253,655
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I think you write to:

Some Old Lady's Taxes
Ohio

A simple request form should be included.  Don't forget the zip code.  That will get it there faster.

It's obvious people don't need their own money!

Good luck!

Do I get a cut?

Jun 30, 2011 09:02 PM #30
Rainmaker
222,833
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

Thanks!  I'll get on that right away!

Absolutely you do!  For the referral fee of stimulating me to wasting money!  What a great idea!

Jun 30, 2011 09:07 PM #31
Rainmaker
1,253,655
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Happy to help.  Lemmino how it goes.

Jun 30, 2011 09:09 PM #32
Rainmaker
229,465
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Home Inspections

Wow, I've never seen anything like that either.  Too cool.  Well, not cool... but y'know

Jul 04, 2011 08:47 AM #33
Rainmaker
1,253,655
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Cool works Reubs!  You catching up with my blogs?

I haven't seen it either.  It was too good to pass up for a post!

Jul 04, 2011 08:51 AM #34
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,253,655

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
You may contact me anytime...
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information