Windows should not just emit light and be nice inside and out. When choosing windows, energy consumption, quality, maintenance needs, and not least the price are important factors. Today, one can also think about the overall environmental impact.
To choose the best window for the environment, it is important to try to think about the entire window's lifetime. A more expensive window may require less maintenance. In addition, if it is energy efficient, you can save much of the extra cost with lower energy bills. With very low energy emissions from the windows, it can also be possible to reduce the heating capacity, which can be a major profit in the overall environmental cost of the house.
Which material choice has the least impact on the environment? Generally speaking, there are three materials to choose from: wood, aluminum and plastic. You can also get wooden windows that are covered with aluminum on the outside. Aluminum and plastic windows are energy-consuming during manufacture, but have long service life without maintenance, which reduces environmental impact in the long term. The materials are also recyclable today. Wood is a renewable material, but these windows are maintained with oils and colors that have environmental impact. How much the overall environmental impact is, therefore, depends on the actual life expectancy. Aluminum-clad wood windows are an environmentally beneficial combination because the materials have less environmental impact, but life expectancy is still long without maintenance.
An environmentally friendly alternative can also be to reuse or renovate old windows, as less resources and energy will be used to manufacture. For example, you can put energy glass into old windows and get very energy efficient solutions even with an old frame. But then you must also look for sealing and fitting because drag immediately causes a high energy loss.
Window Guide - Select the Right Window
2. Are you willing to buy new windows?
3. Window Function - Long-term Investment
4. Energy windows and u-value of windows