Go Green: Environmentally Friendly Windows, Doors, and Beyond

Whether you want to do your part to protect the earth or cut energy costs, eco-friendly windows and doors make a good choice because they do both for your home.

And when you’re shopping around for windows and doors, you’ll find a wide array of options. Every year manufacturers offer more choices for homeowners. But not all are good for the environment and as energy-efficient as the next.  In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of eco-friendly doors and windows. We’ll learn about the materials available on the market and which materials save the planet and save money.

Why Go Green

These days, climate change awareness is at the forefront of our minds. Most of us are conscious that we need to play our part to save the environment. No matter how small our contributions may be. We contribute when we make purchases.

The choices you make when building a new home or updating our existing windows and doors affect the environment. From saving money on energy costs to reducing our home’s carbon footprint, we can make sustainable choices when building or remodeling. Energy from air conditioning units and our heating systems escape through our windows and doors when they’re not insulated properly. Or they contain air leaks. In fact, up to 30 percent of heat loss from our homes comes from our windows.

Sustainability and Energy Efficiency: Two Sides of the Same Coin

When comparing products labeled as energy efficient doors and windows, it’s important to compare materials before we make a purchase. Each material has its unique qualities. And these differences affect sustainability. One might think metal doors are less sustainable than other materials. But in reality, many metals are made from highly sustainable materials. Let’s take a look at aluminum and three main materials and compare their differences.

  1. Aluminum

 You like the sleek modern look of aluminum but worried about the environmental impact? Aluminum often referred to as green metal is more eco-friendly than you may know. You can recycle it. And it’s more sustainable than many other industrial materials.

According to Stanford University, recycled aluminum redeems 95 percent of its energy needed to produce the metal from its raw materials. Aluminum also resists corrosion. Aluminum with a powder-coated finish makes cleaning easy.

One advantage of aluminum for windows and doors: its durability. While it’s light in weight, it’s rock-solid strong. This makes aluminum ideal for installing glass in big openings.

  1. Timber

When looking at timber for eco-friendly doors, it’s important to know if they come from a sustainable source. And whether they’re made of a material that can be recycled. Also, ask if the window or door frames are FSC certified.

The FSC certification guarantees the timber was harvested by forests that provide social, environmental, and economical benefits. Timber features insulated qualities that come from nature, making it energy efficient. High-quality windows contain a U-value of approximately 1.2W/m2.  You’d think timber would be a monster to clean since it’s made of wood. But the new stains and paints make maintenance a cinch. The finishes extend the longevity of the wood.

But do the paints flake off? Apparently, not because they absorb into the wood. You’ll need to maintain them once every eight to ten years.

  1. Windows and Doors Made of Glass

When you hear the word energy-efficient in relation to windows, I bet the first thing that comes to your mind is double and triple glazing, right? Not at all.

Manufacturers make glass doors and windows in a wide variety of styles. This enables you to strike a balance between thermal efficiency and solar gain.

Solar Control Glass

This type of glass draws and reflects the sun. That’s especially significant if your windows and doors are installed on the south side of the building.

Solar Control Glass draws solar gain with large glazing expanses. This makes this kind of glass a good choice.

Low E Glass

Low E glass, aka low-emission glass, reduces the rate of heat-absorbing into the glass. Low E Glass regulates the optimal indoor temperatures.

It’s a super all-around glass providing energy efficiency and high performance. This enables the glass to feel warmer in the wintertime and cooler in the hot summer.

Low Iron Glass

Low Iron glass works well for north-facing homes. This type of glass boosts solar gain.

It allows more of the energy that’s drawn from the sun. This means it helps draw more heat into your house.

  1. Composite Frames

Composite frames, also called Alu-clad frames, offer triple-duty for windows and doors. They insulate your home. They offer high energy efficiency, and they provide durability.

Composite frames originated in Scandinavia, so you know they had to keep out the frigid cold winter winds.  On the outside of composite frames, you’ll find aluminum. The inside of the frames contains similar properties to timber.

But before you make your purchase, ensure they contain an FSC certification because not all timber does. The Forest Stewardship Council provides homeowners around the globe with the “gold standard” in sustainability. You’ll know your windows and doors come from managed forests protecting the ecosystem.

A Reflection on Eco-friendly Windows and Doors

Now you know more about eco-friendly windows and doors. By reading our guide, we hope we helped you to make the right choice in choosing sustainable materials ideal for your home while you save on energy and save the planet.

Looking for more informative articles on home improvement topics? You’ll find more helpful content on our blog.

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