A Quick Look Into Green Energy Windows

A Quick Look Into Green Energy Windows

Sustainability
Windows
By Dikran Seferian February 14, 2022

There is a culprit that secretly widens an average homeowner’s carbon footprint. It causes them to waste more energy than needed, often without noticing until they’re hit with a huge bill. This culprit is none other than the window.

Nearly a third of household energy consumption can be traced back to heat seeping in or out of windows. This forces homeowners to crank up their heater or air conditioner, thereby consuming more electricity. Switching to more sustainable windows not only benefits the balance you have in the bank but is also good for the environment. Now, what exactly is an eco-friendly window? Getting familiar with green energy windows and weighing the pros and cons involved can be helpful when switching to a more sustainable lifestyle.

What Makes a Window Sustainable

Double-Pane Windows Are Excellent at Conserving Energy

Double-Pane Windows Are Excellent at Conserving Energy

What makes a window sustainable? Energy efficiency is usually the first factor that comes to mind in this case. For a window to conserve energy and limit waste, there are several criteria it needs to meet. Proper installation tops that list.

It goes without saying that poorly installed windows can cause a lot of headaches for homeowners. Not to mention the possibility of building code violations, cracks, and gaps along the frame will very likely result in air and water leaking in — each of which can cause problems of its own. Re-installing windows to fix these issues can be costly, which is why it’s important to get it right in the first place.

Besides proper installation, high-efficiency windows generally refer to the whole unit. This includes both the frame and the panes. In terms of frames, a sustainable window will consist of low-transfer materials such as wood, vinyl, and composite. These materials will also need to be weather-resistant. A common choice that meets most of the criteria is aluminum. Not only is it durable, efficient, and sustainable, aluminum can also be recycled.

As for the panes, it is usually best to go for double-glazed windows. The two glass panes are assembled with a gap in between. This gap helps in conserving energy by minimizing the air transfer between the inside and outside while preventing the window from fogging up. The window’s glazing is also responsible for limiting the impact of UV rays on the interior living spaces.

Benefits of Green Energy Windows

There isn’t any shortage of reasons as to why eco-efficient windows are truly must-have features in any living space. The handful of benefits that these windows offer make them a worthwhile investment.

Reducing Utility Costs

How Energy Efficient Windows Help With Insulation

How Energy Efficient Windows Help With Insulation

Green energy windows typically consist of a layer that contains argon. This serves as a great form of insulation, keeping the heat inside and blocking outside air from entering through the window. Such windows also contain a thin film that blocks harmful UV rays while letting in the warmth from the sun. Your household budget welcomes this advantage with open arms.

Your savings may also depend on the window you’re looking to replace as well as the climate of the area you live in. Switching out single-pane windows for double-pane ones can allow you to save up to a quarter of the heating and cooling expenses. Besides that, energy-efficient windows also add value to your home. 

Enhancing Insulation

Energy-saving windows are known to serve as a perfect boundary between the inside and the outside. You may not notice much of a difference from regular windows at first glance. However, sustainable windows will limit the household energy requirements by conserving heat during the winter and keeping the cool air inside during the summer. In terms of insulation, the surface of an energy-rated window can heat up almost twice as much as an ordinary window.

Blocking Outdoor Noise

If you live in a noisy neighborhood, one of the biggest advantages that double-pane energy-efficient windows provide is isolating outside noise. These windows will block out anything from sirens to car engines, conversations, and other disruptive clamors. This is especially crucial in largely populated areas with high traffic and houses that are built close to each other. 

Keeping the Environment Safe

Eco-Friendly Windows Reduce a Household’s Carbon Footprint

Eco-Friendly Windows Reduce a Household’s Carbon Footprint

As green energy windows help insulate living spaces, you won’t need to crank up your HVAC as much to achieve the desired indoor temperature. This allows your household to minimize the use of non-renewable energy sources while reducing exhaust gas.

Besides the benefits that eco-friendly windows have on the environment, they also help to protect your indoor spaces as well. Ultraviolet rays from the sun will no longer be able to reach your carpets, flooring, furniture, and other interior elements that might otherwise fade or discolor.

Limiting the Need for Maintenance 

Windows that can’t handle the energy transfer can and will result in condensation. This, in turn, causes other issues such as a buildup of mold and mildew which high-efficiency windows can actually prevent. The extra layer of glass protects the windows from an accumulation of dirt and watermarks, saving you hours of maintenance.

Experts suggest that wiping the frames and panes of your eco-efficient windows on an occasional basis should be enough. You may not even need to use any special detergents to keep your sustainable fenestration in good shape. Such windows are designed to be weatherproof and can withstand a wide range of climate conditions.

The only task that you may want to carry out on a more frequent basis is to oil the locking mechanism of the windows. This is to ensure that they open and close properly without getting stuck.

Energy-efficient windows tend to reduce maintenance requirements in other parts of the house as well. This is due to the special coating that reduces 75% of the UV rays which can otherwise damage rugs, artwork, fabrics, and wooden elements. With sustainable windows, you won’t have to worry about having to reupholster your furniture or reseal your hardwood flooring every couple of years or so.

Allowing for a Better Sleep

Effects of Coated Windows on Your Well-Being

Effects of Coated Windows on Your Well-Being

Certain eco-efficient windows come with a tinted or darker covering. This can be ideal if you enjoy the occasional mid-day nap. Although such windows can reduce the amount of natural light in your bedroom, they can help to improve the quality of your sleep — which is, in turn, beneficial for your health. The noise-absorbing properties of the windows also contribute to helping you get a better shut-eye.

“Cons” of Green Energy Windows

As great as they are, eco-friendly windows do have a few drawbacks to bear in mind. These “cons”, however, shouldn’t in any way discourage you from switching to the more sustainable option. If anything, you can consider them as tips on how to get the most out of your investment.

Having to Replace All the Windows

There’s no point in replacing only a few of your windows, even if you go for double-paned ones with the best material on the market. You won’t see much of a change in energy consumption because the existing windows will still be allowing heat to escape and draft to seep in. It is, therefore, best to replace all your windows at the same time so that you can enjoy the full results of your investment.

Upfront Costs Can Be High

The upfront costs you will be paying might be on the expensive side. The price tag will depend on the size, the materials, the quality, and the number of windows you will replace. Although the total may vary, you may still want to be generous with your budget. In any case, the return on investment will eventually outweigh the initial cost.

Having to Mind the Quality

Homeowners usually tend to shy away from widening their budgets when cheaper options are available. It’s important, however, to bear in mind that good quality normally comes with a bigger price tag. In other words, you get what you pay for. This is especially crucial in the case of long-term investments.

Green energy windows that are poorly manufactured can only cause more issues. It is also a good idea to make sure that the windows you’re investing in are actually energy-efficient and not just marketed as such.

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian