There are many misconceptions about eco-friendly windows, and it is about time that we figured out exactly what we are talking about when we speak about eco-friendly windows and doors. This is quite a generic definition, and thus we are going to look to dive into this a little more.
Generally, eco-friendly windows refer to the full window unit that is eco-friendly. Frame wise this means a frame that is constructed with a lower transfer material such as wood, composite or vinyl, and that is resistant to water or structural damages with thaws or freezing temperatures outside. For the panes themselves, you should be looking for double pane windows. Double pane windows are constructed to have two single pane glass panes with an air gap. This air gap ensures that hot air does not exit and makes the window resistant to fogging up or frosting. Finally, the finish or glazing of the window also affects the eco-friendly nature of a window. Most eco-friendly windows have what is called a low e glaze which works to limit the impact that UV rays have on the home, and the surrounding furniture. So, what does this all mean?
Well for the new construction business, eco-efficient windows are not a new concept, and the clear majority of new builds have either these windows as the base or an option for homeowners. On the other side, renovation experts have started to move towards eco-friendly replacement windows due to the benefits both on the planet, and on people’s chequebooks.
Simply put, eco-green windows are a window solution that ensures that warm air in the home, stays in the home, and minimises air loss, and heat loss within the house. These window solutions can be made from a variety of materials, but the important thing is to have them properly installed and sealed to ensure they properly work. So, you may be asking what types of eco-friendly building materials are there?
2) Types of eco-friendly windows materials
When you consider the number of eco-friendly window materials, you can see that as a homeowner, you have a vast amount of options moving forward. No matter if you are looking for a wood look, or want something that is cheaper but will last forever, you have the flexibility to find something that will match your budget and design motif. In this section, we will detail some of the types of eco-friendly window frames, and touch on some common questions we have heard during our tenure as window professionals.
How to choose eco-friendly window frames?
When you are looking to choose your eco-friendly glass windows, you need to start with your window frames. Window frames are not just about a look, but they are also for functionality. Window frames secure the glass into the wall and ensure that the home is sealed to the outside world. Proper frames will go a long way to ensure you have an eco-efficient home, and here are the most popular options, and some pros and cons about each one.
Wood is the traditional choice for many, and no matter if you are looking for a cheaper option, or a retro look, wood is excellent. However, wood frames are not recommended for wetter or humid climates due to the risk of rot, or warping.
Aluminium is one of the widest used window frame materials due to its strength and durability in practically any weather condition. Naturally, it is a lighter metal and will start to warp and twist over the years, but for a cheaper and great option, aluminium is always a safe window frame material for a home.
Once considered the gold standard in window frames, vinyl frames continue to be known as a great budget option that does not sacrifice usability. One of the significant downsides with vinyl is you are limited in colours and textures, but for those who are looking to complete a job on a budget, you will be hard pressed to find a better deal than vinyl.
Composite window frames are considered one of the top green, sustainable window frames in the market today. Made from wood shavings and recycled plastics, this durable, and yet, popular frame options will ensure you get the wood look you have always wanted, without the hassle of maintaining it!
Considered the best of both world approach, wood-clad combines a tough exterior such as vinyl or aluminium with a wood interior for a great transfer option. However, due to the hybrid approach, you will need to do a few extra steps in an installation including rubber waterproof seals and a sill pan.
One of the most expensive options on the market, fibreglass framing is often considered one of the longest lasting, and most eco-impact window framing material on the market. You can repaint it multiple times, and the material itself is warp and twist resistant.
Eco-friendly Window Treatments FAQ
Are vinyl windows eco-friendly?
Vinyl windows are eco-friendly are often considered one of the best budget options when you are looking for new or green replacement windows.
Are double glazed windows eco-friendly?
When you are looking for solid eco-friendly window treatments, double glazed windows are the norm. With two panes of glass, the eco-efficiency of this kind of window has become the gold standard for both replacement and new windows.
How are triple glazed windows eco-friendly?
Triple glazed windows are considered one of the top sustainable window treatments due to their three-pane approach to windows. Triple glazed windows are even better at being eco-friendly than double glazed windows, but you will pay for the eco-efficiency.
3) How much do low E glass windows cost?
Low E glass is one of the most popular options in today’s high-end eco-friendly windows. The technology is, in fact, a microscopic layer of metallic alloys that create a barrier between your home and harmful UV rays. This glass helps prevent wear and fading of furniture that happens to be near a window and limits the amount of light that gets through at night to ensure your home is dark. This technology is not cheap, but for those who are completing a new build or are looking at replacement windows, they might be worth the cost. These eco-friendly windows cost roughly $14 per square foot, but this price will fluctuate depending on the manufacturer and area you are within.
4) Pros of eco-friendly windows for homes
The pros of eco-friendly windows for a home are many, and here are just a few
- Saves on electricity and heating costs
- Adds resale value to a home
- Allows you to get a better night sleep due to low e glass cuts the amount of light at night
- Muffles outside noise including conversations, sirens and loud music
- Less maintenance of panes themselves as they do not fog or frost
5) Which eco-friendly window cleaning products are the best?
When you are looking for non-toxic window cleaners, the list is quite long. However, when you are looking for the best eco-friendly window cleaning products, the list gets even longer! So, therefore we have brought together our favourite environmentally friendly window cleaner brands to ensure that you and your family will be in good hands moving forward.
Method is one of the most popular brands in the world and can be found in practically any supermarket within North America. The brand is unique as it is cruelty-free, made in a plant that is powered by renewable energy and is shipped and stored in recycled bottles. Simply put, Method is a real win-win-win and is one of the most sustainable window cleaners on the market.
Grove is a great company that ensures you are going to enjoy a leisurely time cleaning. The company sells concentrated cleaners, including for glass, that your simple empty into a squirt bottle and add 16 oz of water and mix. It is simple, effective, and gives one of the best shines on the market.
Make your own
One of the best things about trying to find eco-friendly window cleaner is you can make it yourself. Mix equal parts vinegar, water and isopropyl alcohol, and you have yourself a streak-free, and easy to make cleaner that you can use around the house and ensure you have non-toxic windows.