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Sustainable windows - 10 things you should look out for

Sustainable Windows - 10 Eco-Friendly Tips for Glass Windows

Want to learn more about sustainable windows? Then you've come to the right place! Maybe your project "house construction" is just starting - maybe it's the upcoming replacement of old windows in the house in need of renovation that has brought you here. Whatever it is: When choosing windows, there are a few things you should definitely consider in order to create natural Conserve resourcesThis is the best way to minimize CO2 emissions, make your home more energy efficient and, last but not least, keep your heating costs in check.

In this article you will now learn what really makes sustainable windows, how to recognize them and accordingly enjoy them for a long time. Let's go!

Here you can find a short overview in advance:

  1. Choosing the right base material
  2. Thermal insulation
  3. Lead free profiles
  4. Recyclable and recycled material
  5. Equipment and decoration of the windows
  6. Philosophy of the manufacturer
  7. Solar control glasses
  8. Position and orientation of the windows
  9. Regular maintenance and inspection
  10. Resource-saving use

1. choice of the right base material

Sustainable windows with the right material

At sustainable construction and renovation projects one question in particular arises: wooden or plastic windows? There is no one right answer.

From an ecological point of view, the choice of wooden windows appears to be the right one because of the positive CO2 balance of the renewable natural material compared to the energy-intensively produced windows made of plastic, although initially relatively simple. In addition, they also provide a more pleasant indoor climate.

But in some aspects also outweigh the Advantages of the plastic. He makes the PVC windows, for example, less sensitive to acids and detergents, is not so maintenance-intensive and usually causes only low maintenance costs. Wooden frames, on the other hand, are more susceptible to weather damage in the long run, compared to plastic and even aluminum windows, and usually need to be refinished over time.

There is really no "right or wrong?" here. In the end, the choice should fall on the window material that guarantees the longest possible service life, increases energy efficiency and fits your own ideas.

2. thermal insulation

The "eyes of the house" are Particularly susceptible to steady energy losses. Especially in the case of older, often somewhat warped wooden windows (for example, with single glazing), a great deal of expensively generated heating energy is lost again, particularly in the colder months of the year - and thus burdens the environment and the wallet.

For the ecological evaluation of the insulation of a window, you should therefore always use the so-called "window insulation" as a basis for comparison. Thermal insulation value orientation. Windows with a high thermal insulation value (e.g. due to optimized glazing and tight profiles) ultimately reduce your energy costs and use the resources employed more efficiently.

3. lead-free profiles

The profiles are the connecting elements (usually wood or plastic) between the frame and the sash of a window. They are often made of lead, which is harmful to the environment. But there is also a more sustainable way, for example with window profiles that do without ecological stabilizers (e.g. a calcium-zinc base) is set.

4. recyclable and recycled material

Of course, it takes a decisive influence on the eco-balance of a window system if its material has been recycled and it is basically also recyclable after the possible removal. Thus the natural resources simply in the Recyclable materials cyclewhich keeps the CO2 emissions for the production as low as possible. Wooden windows, for example, can usually be recycled very well. But plastic frames, window panes and fittings can also be recycled.

Important in this respect, however, is the proper disposal of the old windows. If you carry out your renovation with a professional window installer, he will usually take care of the disposal for a fee, so that your effort is kept within limits. Of course, you can also dispose of them yourself, for example at a nearby recycling center or via the bulky waste. Either way, replacing old windows is worthwhile for the environment in the long term, as the energy efficiency of a building is significantly increased.

5. equipment and decoration of the windows

Pleated blinds on a window

The new, sustainable windows have been installed - but there is still environmentally friendly potential lying dormant here that wants to be exploited!

For example, make sure that Fly screen can be mounted and dismounted in a stable manner that is gentle on the material, so that they serve their purpose for as many decades as possible.

Also with the choice of your Pleated blinds you can make a valuable contribution. For example, prefer roller blinds made from 100 percent recycled raw materials. Some manufacturers even use yarn produced from plastic waste collected from the oceans. Last but not least, the Window Fashion Pleated Blinds, similar to blinds, also in environmentally friendly heat regulation in the interior.

Not to forget Curtains and drapes! When buying, be sure to look for the trusted Oeko-Tex certificate that identifies sustainable fabrics without chemicals. Prefer your choice if possible natural and ecological materials, such as linen.

Tip: Elegant folding shutters attached to the exterior façade next to the window can also protect against solar radiation and come from sustainable forestry.

6. philosophy of the manufacturer

What else should you look for when choosing your windows besides thermal insulation value, recyclability and lead-free profiles? For example, the mission statement of the respective manufacturer. Is digital and as regional as possible worked, are Transport routes minimized, material is recycled, is targeted in the operation Plastic waste reduced and relied on solar energy for window production? Follow the philosophy of the manufacturing companies to get truly sustainable windows in the end.

7. solar control glasses

Let's move on to the glazing. In principle, windows with triple-pane thermal insulation glass are recommended with regard to the sustainability aspect.

But the sun's rays can still transport heat through the panes into the cool interior of the building. By deliberately darkening the window panes, we can, after all, keep hot air away from the desirably cool interior in summer. However, it is not always possible to implement this plan in practice.

Fortunately, special solar control glass can also prevent the apartment and house from heating up quickly, so that expensive and energy-intensive air conditioning systems superfluous become. Therefore, when buying, simply make sure that the thermal transmittance of the glass pane of your windows is as low as possible.

"Insider Tip: I also don't want to deprive you of the latest climate glass for your windows. It reflects long-wave heat radiation from the inner side of the glass in the cold winter, so you can keep it cozy and warm inside. The room temperature in summer, on the other hand, is pleasantly cool, since the solar energy can be kept away from the interior.

8. position and orientation of the windows

From an ecological and also financial point of view, it makes sense, wherever possible, to purposefully provide shading for the windows. This works, for example, with the help of shady trees, but also with the help of a balcony or the roof overhang. In summer, the sun is high enough for the building to cast a protective shadow on the windows, and in winter it is low enough for its heat to enter the house through the window pane.

9. regular maintenance and inspection

Windows have at their core a quite low maintenance and care requirements. Especially if you have them cleaned by professionals. The Office cleaning in Berlin, at my last employer, for example, was taken over by a professional specialist company that worked with environmentally friendly cleaning agents and routine processes.

Whether you want to use your check and maintain windows yourself or hire a company to do it for youRegular maintenance and control will ensure that your windows will serve you as long as possible.

First of all, for cleaning: Windows can best be treated with a homemade natural glass cleanerand with natural home remedies such as lemons, water and a little vinegar. To ensure that the windows are streak-free, you should follow the sequence of steps "wet wipe, wipe, polish" and generally not clean the windows in direct sunlight.

Now for the review: Wooden windows in particular work over time and warp somewhat. In general, always make sure that your windows close and open properly. If the material grinds against each other on a regular basis, you'll end up with unsightly dents and possibly reduced functionality. These things are also to be avoided if you want to enjoy your sustainable windows for a long time, natural resources for as long as possible.

10. resource-conserving use

Ventilate windows instead of leaving them tilted for longer periods of time

In addition to material, equipment and alignment, the sensible opening and closing of the windows an important role in the ecological assessment.

One of many, valuable Summer heat tips is for example the Shock ventilation in the early morning and late evening. At these times, you can let in a lot of cool air in a few minutes and then close the windows again. The saves energy in the household and is much more sustainable than having the window set to tilt all day.

By lowering the blinds and drawing the curtains on sunny sides of the house, you'll also let less heat in.

Tip: In the cold winter, you should also only ventilate briefly so that new fresh air can get in but as little heat energy as possible can be lost.

Tips for using windows as sustainable as possible!

The choice of windows makes a significant contribution to the energy efficiency of a building. Truly sustainable windows ensure that as much thermal energy as possible remains within your own four walls during the cold season - and that little hot air from outside enters the cool rooms inside during the hot summer.

You can make a real difference in sustainability when you buy your glass windows. Look for efficient thermal insulation, lead-free profiles, and recycled materials. The orientation of your windows (which, of course, can only be changed to a limited extent in renovation projects) also plays a role, as do maintenance and usage patterns. Sustainable windows can ultimately be recognized by the fact that the entire window system with all its elements has a long service life, low maintenance requirements and high thermal insulation.

I really hope that I could help you with this article about how to make windows as environmentally friendly as possible. Do you have any questions, tips or your own experiences that you would like to share? Then just write me a comment.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: Glass panes unfortunately reflect very strongly, which is why many birds are irritated and fly against them. What to do when you find an injured birdI will explain this to you in detail in the next article.

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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