New Windows Are Your Way to a Reduced Environmental Footprint
Updated: Jul 29
Did you know that the heat and electricity used in our homes is a leading cause of climate change? A majority of the energy that supplies our growing demand is produced by burning fossil fuels, which is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. That’s why reducing your individual energy consumption is so important and can make all the difference in helping the planet – and ourselves. Replacing old windows is a simple but effective way do this since advanced ENERGY STAR windows can seal out drafts, maintain a consistent temperature, and lower our overall use of energy. Many are also manufactured using PVC and vinyl which are recyclable. If you’re looking for actionable ways to reduce your impact on the environment, here’s more about how new windows are your way to a reduced environmental footprint.
ENERGY STAR® Certified
Today, you don’t have to guess whether or not the windows you’re buying are energy-efficient – you just have to look for the ENERGY STAR® logo. ENERGY STAR® is the standard for energy efficiency, and the higher the ratings are, the better the insulation properties will be. Unlike older models, energy-efficient windows can lower heat loss, reduce air leaks, and greatly reduce the amount of energy your HVAC system uses to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. In return, you can experience significant cost savings and reduce your overall carbon footprint.
Newer window materials like vinyl/PVC are 100% recyclable. So once the windows have reached the end of their lifespan and need to be replaced, the materials can be sent to a processing facility to be recycled. The recycled PVC can also be made into new products or reconstituted as PVC for other windows. Vinyl can be recycled many times over. That means there’s less waste sitting in a landfill and fewer toxic chemicals being released into the environment.
Eco-Friendly Glass Materials
The gas used inside modern windows and the coating placed on the outside can also decrease your carbon footprint. Argon gas not only provides optimal window performance by preventing the transfer of air from the outdoors, but it’s also non-toxic.
Fewer Toxic Applications
Older window materials often require regular painting, staining and refinishing treatments that are toxic and damaging to you and the environment. Many new window materials don’t require similar treatments. Modern vinyl windows, for instance, don’t need any additional coatings for moisture protection. The vinyl already has moisture blocking properties, is virtually scratch and rust-resistant, and will hold its color well without any applications. So you don’t have to worry about using toxic chemicals that contain VOCs or lead-based paints that can seep into the environment.
More and more window manufacturers are incorporating sustainable practices into their production processes. This includes following strict ISO certification standards, reducing waste, increasing recycling, and lowering energy usage in the formation process. Before purchasing, ask your supplier whether or not they source their products from a manufacturer who takes sustainability seriously.
It also pays to go green. When you upgrade to ENERGY STAR® rated windows and doors, you can participate in a number of rebate programs in Ontario or in your local area and get money back! The Enbridge and Union Gas Home Reno Rebate program, for example, will give you $40 per door or window that’s rated for Zones 1 and 2. This can equate to huge savings if you’re doing a full replacement or renovation project!
If you’re looking to reduce your environment footprint, purchasing new windows is a simple and effective way to do it. But that’s not the only reason to purchase updated ones. You’ll also save big on heating and cooling costs, experience an increase in your resale value, and you’ll give your home an immediate face lift.