Home’s Carbon Footprint with New Windows and Doors
With increased focus on living green, many homeowners want to be environmentally friendly but aren’t sure where to begin. Switching to an alternate energy source like solar power is time-consuming and expensive, but small changes such as turning off electric items when not in use may not feel like enough. Replacing new windows and doors with environmentally conscious versions is a good compromise.
Why Replace Doors and Windows?
Windows and doors can increase your carbon footprint, or the amount of carbon dioxide your activities put back in the air, without your knowledge. Traditional single-pane windows, especially old models, leak air when left open too long. The same goes for doors – if left standing open, older doors let too much air out of the home. Depending on the season, this leaves homeowners feeling too hot or cold, so they adjust the thermostat, wasting energy on air conditioning and heat.
Older doors and windows may not be made from environmentally friendly materials. For example, wooden doors seem like the “greenest” doors you can have, but wood cracks and chips easily. It’s often an open invitation to wood-destroying insects. Insect infestations in your home lead to exterminators, which often lead to environmentally unfriendly chemical spraying.
What are the Benefits?
Several prominent companies now manufacture green doors and windows. These windows are built to retain warmer surfaces in winter. Double-pane models can reduce “heat gain” in summer, keeping your home cooler. Certain windows, such as Energy Star qualified windows sold at Indian River, are labeled according to climate zone. That is, each window has been tested and found to perform best in different U.S. regions. Using the energy-efficient window and door option allows you to choose specific products that have performed well where you live.
Savings are another big benefit. Keeping the appropriate doors and windows shut tight to keep air in will also help you hang onto to more money but letting your thermostat run more efficiently.
Is Energy Efficiency Expensive?
In the case of doors and windows, choosing energy efficient models can be fairly cheap, and returns on the investment are great. If you replace fifteen-year-old vinyl windows with Energy Star double-pane models for example, you can recoup about 73% of the money you spend. Your energy bill savings will build as you use windows that don’t leak air and keep you from constantly adjusting your indoor temperature.