When most people think of “going green,” they think of recycled materials or reusable products. Actually, “going green” is as easy as choosing products that will conserve energy consumption and save you money. According to the Energy Collective, in the United States residential homes waste 20% of the energy they consume. Much of this energy waste comes from inefficient heating and cooling. As you spend money running your AC or heater, your temperature-controlled air is leaving your home through your windows. Here’s some questions you need to ask when searching for energy-efficient windows.
Will this window curb my energy consumption?
For window frames, the most common materials are vinyl, aluminum and wood. At Peoria Siding and Window, we’re a huge fan of vinyl. That’s because we love products that require little to no maintenance and last a long time. Vinyl is the best material for energy efficiency because it is a poor conductor of heat. When you pay to heat your home, your hot air won’t be leaving through your vinyl windows.
Aluminum, on the other hand, is a great conductor of heat and cold. That’s why many aluminum home improvement products come with the qualifier, “great for mild climates.” Aluminum products are not well suited for Illinois’ extreme temperatures, and will lower your home’s energy-efficiency and drain your pockets. Wooden frames are great insulators. However, they expand and contract with changing temperatures. This creates gaps in your window system that can reduce your home’s energy-efficiency.
How soon will I have to replace this window?
Your window’s durability has more of an impact on the environment than you think. Every time you purchase new windows, the earth’s natural resources must be depleted to create a replacement, and your old window will likely end up in a landfill. Purchase a window that will last a lifetime. Vinyl window frames are known for being more durable than their wooden counterparts because they are impervious to moisture. Plus, the durability of PVC materials gives some vinyl window an edge over other green alternatives. Aluminum windows have the greatest impact resistance, which can be helpful if you live in an area prone to tornados or hurricanes- but their conducive properties can be a nightmare if you live in an area with wide temperature ranges. Wooden windows have poor durability because of their vulnerability to moisture. They tend to rot, warp, expand and grow mold.
What will it take to maintain this window?
Surprisingly, many people don’t consider the cost and labour it will take to keep their replacement window in top condition. Low maintenance windows don’t just save you time and money- they also save the environment. Traditional wooden windows need to be repainted, re-stained and stripped occasionally. Many paints, stains and stripping agents release volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) into the air, which contribute to atmospheric pollutant levels. Instead, but a window that will last forever and won’t take much to maintain. Your wallet and the Earth will thank you.
If you’re searching for green home improvement products, give us a call at (309) 717-0105 or fill out this form. Our experienced sales team will walk you through our expansive product line and all of their energy-efficient features.