Replacing your windows allows you to do something good for yourself while doing something good for the environment. New windows are often more efficient than the old, offering better insulation as well as glass that can either trap heat or reflect it away. This manages the temperature in your home, which reduces heating and cooling costs.
That’s a win for you, and a win for the planet.
Because there is an eco-friendly component to replacement windows, it’s not surprising that many potential buyers are taking a closer look at what goes into them. Window buyers are asking questions about sustainability and recyclability, as well as more traditional ones relating to energy-efficiency and longevity. More and more often, window buyers are liking the answers.
Wood windows have long been a favorite among eco-minded buyers. When managed and harvested responsibly, wood is a sustainable product. Wood windows can last for many, many years, which means that fewer of them end up in landfills. Wood can also be recycled and repurposed into new forms – even other windows.
Many windows are now using reclaimed or recycled wood. Some are more traditional wood windows; some blend wood with materials such as vinyl or fiberglass; these windows can also be eco-friendly. Renewal by Andersen, for example, blends PVC with recycled wood to create windows that are long-lasting and energy-efficient; unlike wood windows, the Renewal by Andersen versions are maintenance-free.
While few would make the claim that vinyl windows are eco-friendly, they’re not as detrimental as some suggest. Vinyl is a capable insulator, which aids in energy-efficiency. While vinyl windows don’t last as long as wood, they are built to last – keeping them out of local landfills. While not as readily recyclable as wood, vinyl can be ground into small pieces that can be repurposed into new forms.
Much of the same can be said for fiberglass. While fiberglass yields well-insulated, durable, energy-efficient windows, recycling options are very limited. Perhaps by the time today’s new fiberglass windows reach the end of their lives, more recycling options may exist.
Some might say that their energy-efficiency alone makes new windows good for our planet. Others hold windows to a higher standard, by valuing sustainability and recyclability as well. Either way, most would agree that windows are working harder than ever to make the world a better place.