4 Points to Look for in Eco-Friendly, Energy Efficient Windows and Doors

By: Architectural Visions

Marvin Replacement WindowsSpring is the greenest time of year, a perfect time to think about energy efficient, green products. Here are 4 points to look for in energy efficient windows and patio doors:

  1. What materials are used in the window frames? Energy efficient window manufacturers will be able to show you how much recycled material is used and whether the materials themselves are earth-friendly and/or responsibly harvested.  At the end of their life cycle, can the windows and doors be recycled or must they be land filled?
  2. Are the windows made to last? Some of the least expensive windows (often vinyl priced under $100/unit) are built to only a few years. The quality of engineering and design varies between window brands. Look for windows engineered for quality.
    Besides the hassle, you’ll endure having to replace windows and doors more than once, a second window replacement project will generate a great deal more waste than installing long lasting products the first time.
  3. How energy efficient are your new windows? Since windows account for 10-25% of your home’s total energy consumption, it’s worth being careful which ones you choose.*New windows can be up to 45% more energy efficient*. Windows that are 20 years or older can make 5.3 tons more greenhouse gases per year than new windows*. Look for energy efficient windows that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® guidelines† to be sure you’re getting true energy efficiency.
  4. How much waste and recycling resulted from the process of making your windows? Every year, manufacturers produce tons of solid waste and emissions and use up natural resources. Can your manufacturer tell you if they recycle production wastes, and reuse or reduce the resources need in their operations? Some common green practices are burning waste in high-efficiency furnaces to heat their plants, recycling of solvents, and incorporating scrap back into products through recycling. Windows made in America stand a better chance of being Earth friendly.
 *   According to the Window and Door Manufacturers’ Association (WDMA)
†   ENERGY STAR is a set of standards defined by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.