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Choosing Eco-Friendly Windows

posted on January 12, 2022 in Global Blogs

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Living a more eco-friendly lifestyle is on the rise for an increasing number of households these days. Here’s why it matters when it comes to your windows.

Why Eco-Friendly Matters 

There are many benefits to choosing eco-friendly windows, including enhanced energy efficiency, reducing your carbon footprint, and experiencing a more consistently comfortable home. 

Energy Efficiency 

The more energy you save, the less you’re spending monthly on utilities. Increasing your home’s efficiency can also come with tax perks and incentives from your energy company. Many energy companies offer discounts on your bill or one-time tax credits and rebates.  Increasing the energy efficiency of your home, especially with major improvements like heating, cooling, windows, and doors, can be the start of a lifetime of savings. 

Greener Living

Choosing eco-friendly windows for your home can reduce your family’s personal carbon footprint.   This is because installing eco-friendly windows in your home reduces greenhouse gas emissions. 

Traditional single-pane windows are notorious for letting precious heat or cooling escape from your home. It’s estimated that 15-22% of a home’s heat is lost at the hands of single-pane windows. When you’re losing that much heat, you’re likely turning your heater up a few notches, or keeping it on for longer hours during the day. All of these small actions have a negative impact on your ecological footprint, not to mention your utility bills. 

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Better Comfort

Another crucial benefit eco-friendly windows provide is increased comfort. When your windows insulate your home more efficiently, you reap the cozy rewards. A dual-pane window or other well-insulated choices will keep your home’s temperature from fluctuating, giving you consistent control over the ambient temperature. 

Even better, an eco-friendly window installed properly will greatly reduce the amount of leakage and drafting you experience in your home. 

In short, choosing eco-friendly windows for your home is a win-win-win. It increases your home’s overall energy efficiency, decreases your ecological footprint and keeps your family more comfortable year-round. 

The Difference Between Eco-Friendly and Energy Efficient

During the search for eco-friendly windows, many homeowners will see the terms eco-friendly and energy-efficient used interchangeably, However, an eco-friendly window is more than just energy efficient. 

Sustainability That Goes Deeper Than Windows and Doors

Unfortunately, there are a number of companies that seek to capitalize on the green movement without doing the work   If you’re eco-conscious and desire to truly make an impact with your choice, then selecting energy-efficient window options is  only part of the equation 

At Pella, we believe that eco-friendly windows are about more than just the product. We have always been dedicated to running our business sustainably. We practice responsible forest management, maximize our recycling opportunities, and take a comprehensive approach to incorporating sustainability in all of our products and services. Our commitment to sustainable business practices offers us a unique perspective when it comes to understanding how to apply these practices in your home. 

How to Know if Your Window Is Eco-Friendly 

Knowing who is helping you on your eco-friendly window journey is just the first step. The other question we field from homeowners most often is: “How do I know if my window is eco-friendly?”

What makes a window energy efficient may not always be the best fit for your home or lifestyle needs, so understanding all the components of an energy-efficient window can go a long way toward helping you choose the right eco-friendly windows for your family. 

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What Makes a Window Energy Efficient?

Every piece of a window’s construction - the frame, glass, and intra-pane components - all contribute to the level of energy efficiency that the window may have or lack. Thankfully, there are guidelines for each of these, and a few organizations out there who have done the nitty-gritty work of evaluating these components for you, giving you a handy rating to refer to when you’re shopping around. 

Materials 

The quality of the material used to create your window is key. Wood and vinyl windows can be incredibly energy efficient when the quality of craftsmanship is as high as you can expect from Pella. In fact, the Pella Lifestyle Series is the #1 performing wood window and patio door for the combination of energy, sound, and value.* 

A multi-pane window offers another level of efficiency with the ability to include insulating gases. Argon is the preferred choice for the best level of insulation and has the biggest impact on a window’s efficiency. 

Glass 

Not all glass is created equal. Eco-friendly windows will often have a low-emissivity (Low-E) glass coating applied. Low-E glass reflects heat back into the room during the winter and reflects it away from the room during summer. Additionally, Low-E glass blocks most of the sun’s harmful UV rays, improving the performance and style of your window. 

Multiple panes of glass in a window are also ideal for maximum eco-friendliness. Double-pane is a baseline standard, but Pella also offers triple-pane windows for greater efficiency and temperature control. 

Ratings 

For most homeowners, the prospect of learning about argon-filled windows, the number of panes and insulation is something they would rather leave to the experts. If that’s you, you’re in luck. You can look for two major ratings to aid in your eco-friendly window search. There’s the Energy Star Rating (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s voluntary program) that guides consumers on the choices they can make to save money, energy and protect the environment while they’re at it. In 2021, select Pella Windows were rated in the Most Efficient category.

In addition to the Energy Star ratings, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is another organization dedicated to evaluating the energy efficiency of products.  The NFRC focuses specifically on rating windows, doors, and skylights. As a founding member of the NFRC, Pella manufactures and promotes the use of highly energy-efficient products. 

Installation

Finally, the installation (and insulation) of your windows play an important role in ensuring maximum energy efficiency in your home.  When a window is improperly installed, you’ll likely experience what is called air infiltration (more commonly referred to as “leaks” and “drafts”).   Some air infiltration may occur naturally over the years as a house settles, but gaps between the window frame and the wall should be avoided. Hire a trusted and experienced team to install and properly insulate your new eco-friendly windows.

When you’re ready to up your home’s eco-friendly power, schedule a consultation with Pella’s window pros. It’s the first step to achieving greater savings, comfort, and sustainability.

* Performance solutions offering an unbeatable combination of energy efficiency, sound control and value, require upgrades to triple-pane, AdvancedComfort Low-E and mixed glass thickness. Based on comparing product quotes and published STC/OITC and U-Factor ratings of leading national wood window and patio door brands.

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