Have you thought about making your home more sustainable and eco-friendly? There’s a lot that goes into a sustainable home, and every element from the foundation that it’s built on to the decor on your finished walls should be considered.
Today we’ll be breaking down windows and doors, how they can be built in sustainable ways and how to ensure that you’re taking full advantage of the right windows and doors for your home.
What Makes a Product Sustainable?
First off, there are at least two elements that you should consider when you’re looking for sustainable products. The first thing is what type of material the product is made of and how it’s sourced. The second is energy efficiency. Energy efficiency can be very straightforward and easy to understand, but other times it can be hard to decipher.
You’ll have to trust the manufacturer and take them at their word when it comes to where the products are sourced. Eco-friendly products are something most window and door manufacturers are proud of, making it easy to find a company that’s trying to do things the sustainable way.
Best Sustainable Window and Door Materials
Fiberglass has been used throughout a number of different industries to serve different needs and to create different products. The home building and manufacturing industries are no different. Fiberglass is actually one of the very best materials to use when it comes to sustainable windows and doors.
Fiberglass is a very energy-efficient material, and it’s comprised of sand that’s been spun into pieces of glass. Few resources on Earth are as plentiful and renewable as sand. Two other common materials include vinyl and wood window and door frames. Both of these materials come in a variety of great colors to choose from. Unfortunately, sustainably sourcing wood for commercial products can actually be quite difficult. If you want to purchase a wood product, make sure it’s certified and approved as sustainably sourced. And, in the same way, do some digging into where the vinyl product is coming from and how it’s been manufactured.
Benefits of Choosing Sustainable Windows and Doors
You’re likely wondering why you’d even want to choose sustainable windows and doors, and we don’t blame you. Sustainable products are almost always more expensive and, for that reason, can sometimes be avoided. But, what’s not talked about enough is the energy savings received by those who choose to go the sustainable route.
Sustainable products are almost always more efficient and will help you save money on your heating and cooling bills. Some homeowners can see savings of up to 50% after installing new sustainable windows. Additionally, quality windows and doors will increase the value of your home and help to pay for themselves in that way as well.
Types of Sustainable Glass
There are a few different sustainable glass materials that can be chosen to ensure you get the most efficient glass for your windows. You’ll be surprised how much a different grade or type of glass can change your window’s efficiency.
There are a few different types of insulated glass that can be purchased and installed. Some manufactures boast triple or quadruple pane windows. This means that there are 3-4 individual pieces of glass in the window with air space between them to offer insulation.
Triple pane windows are considered some of the best and most sustainable windows on the market. The thermal performance of insulated glass is almost entirely unmatched.
A Low-E glass window is coated with an invisible layer of silver that helps to protect the interior of the room from the powerful radiant solar energy that can easily shine through standard windows. Low-E glass can be designed to hold heat out for climates that experience regular warm temperatures or can be designed to hold heat in for homes in cooler climates. In both cases, Low-E glass helps to make the home significantly more efficient.
Last up is Argon Gas. Argon gas is added inside a Low-E glass window that has two panes. The argon gas helps to provide insulation between the two window panes, thus making the windows significantly more efficient. Argon gas is a much better insulator than the air that would be found standard throughout most multi-pane windows.
Sustainable Door Materials
If you’re looking for a new exterior door that’s made of eco-friendly and sustainable materials but sure to look into these three common materials. Each of them comes with its own challenges, but nonetheless, they make for great doors.
Fiberglass is a commonly used material both for windows and doors. But, when it comes to doors specifically, there are a variety of styles, textures, and finishes that you can choose from to find the perfect fit for your home. Fiberglass is a lightweight, energy-efficient product that promotes recycling and sustainability.
Wood doors are extremely popular because of their long history as the #1 material used for doors. But, wood doors, like wood windows, can often be sourced from places that don’t adhere to the standard sustainability practices. When looking for a wood door, be sure to check and see if the wood has been certified through either the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or the SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative). Knowing where the wood comes from will help you make an informed decision when you purchase.
Steel doors are often made of multiple recycled materials. These doors are durable, strong, and last a long time. If you want to ensure that you get the full life out of your steel door, be sure to install a kickplate or storm door so that you can keep it from denting.
At Sustainable 9, we really care about sustainable products. Whether we’re building a new home altogether or remodeling an existing home, it’s always a good time to ensure that your home is made from only the best and most efficient materials. Check out our blog for more sustainable home-building information.