Can windows be sustainable?

by schmidt on April 2, 2009 · 0 comments

in Miscellaneous Schmidt

Heck Yes!  John, one of our readers sent in the following question:


Great project! We own a house in the inner sunset (our first). While we need to start small ($), we would very much like to start making some sustainable improvements. My sense is that the first change would be to replace some of the 60+ year old single pain windows. Any suggestions about who to call to figure that out?


Windows are a great investment, and their are a few things you want to know when you get new ones.   Energy Star rates not just appliances, but windows and doors too.   It can be confusing though, so when you see something like “low U” you don’t have to give a blank stare…

Here is a guide from the energy star website that will tell you all you need to know about windows, as well as figuring out what all the code words mean.  There are lots of really cool things going on in windows now.  Most of you are familiar with double paned windows I am sure, but did you know that you can buy them with Argon or Krypton gas between the panes?  Why you might ask?   Well let me tell you, Argon & Krypton are orderless, colorless, non toxic and…drum roll please…transmit heat less efficiency than air.  That means they insulate better than air filled double paned windows.  Here is a great diagram for you to learn more.

I myself recommend aluminum or wood frames.  Vinyl is an option, and they tend to be cheaper, but a lot of chemicals go into the production of vinyl products that the world would be a better place without.  If you need an installer, I used my man Pete at Dial Glass in Pacifica. Tell him Helmut sent you, he is a decent guy.  His number is (650) 359-5380

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