Document 193227

September 2 - 15, 2010
How to save energy with
replacement windows
Recycling, glass, metal, plastic
and paper - energy savings
Choosing the right replacement windows can dramatically
improve the look of your home,
save you big money on heating and cooling costs, and make
your home less drafty and more
Which types of windows are
best? Windows come in a variety
of styles and materials. Understanding the drawbacks and
rewards of each type can help
you to make a sensible, informed
decision that results in real savings.
New windows can be custom
made to any specification for
any purpose, but some shapes
and designs are standard. They
can even be purchased off-theshelf at home improvement
stores, which will save you some
Window glass can be double
or triple hung, and can include
specialty features meant to keep
heat in or out depending on the
season. Shapes and styles can
be traditional and familiar, or
custom-designed for specific
Types of replacement window
Any style of replacement window can be framed up with
aluminum, fibreglass, vinyl,
wood, or some combination of
these materials. Framing materials have a major impact on the
energy efficiency of replacement
windows, and also affect their
framed replacement windows
are the most affordable but also
the least efficient. Their clean
lines make them popular with
architects for ultra modern
construction. In the winter, condensation on the window frames
can cause issues with mould and
dry rot.
Fibreglass. Comparable to
wood in efficiency and cost,
fibreglass window frames have a
clean, fresh look, are moderately
energy efficient, and have the
advantage of being very lightweight and easy to handle.
If you visit a lot of environmental
forums, no doubt you would have
come across people claiming that
recycling isn't all that effective - that
it can take as much energy to recycle
materials as it does to extract and produce them in the first place.
I don't claim to have any special
knowledge or education, but here's
some information I researched on the
energy savings involved with various
common materials from what I believe
to be fairly good sources.
Energy savings - recycling metals
These figures also take into account
the sorting and transportation of
• Aluminium - 95%
• Copper - 85%
• Lead - 60%
• Steel - 62 - 74%
• Zinc - 60%
• (Data from the British Metal Recycling Association)
Aside from the energy savings,
the more metals that can be recycled,
the less (or slower) destruction of the
environment from mining. While the
recycling process may produce toxic
materials; mining certainly does and in far greater volumes.
WINDOWS: Windows have a big impact on how we enjoy our living spaces. Not only do they allow light
to fill a room they can be used to help to efficiently control temperature too
Wood. Wood framed windows
are required for historic upgrades
in some parts of the country and
are heavier and pricier than vinyl
or aluminum. Vinyl clad wood is
a popular high-end choice for
optimal energy efficiency and
Vinyl. By far the most popular choice for replacement windows. Vinyl is energy efficient,
affordable, and looks nice with
the vinyl siding that is now featured on most homes. Vinyl is
easy to maintain and looks new
for years.
amount of sunlight, or reflective
coatings that keep heat in during cold weather and out during
warm weather.
Some window glass is coated
with a very thin layer of polyester or metal that makes the
surface slightly reflective, like
a mirror. Reflective glass also
helps to keep heat in during the
winter months and out during
the summer months. Choose the
glass options with the highest
insulation value you can afford.
Single pane glass is hard to
find and no longer recommended. The dead air space between
panes of double or triple hung
glass is what provides the insulating value that saves energy
and keeps the house more comfortable.
A perfect vacuum between
panes carries the highest insulating value, but glass has to be
very thick to withstand a perfect
Window glass and other considerations
Window glass can be double
hung or triple hung. This refers
to the layers of panes of glass
used to increase thermal efficiency. Glazing on window
glass often includes special features like tints that adjust to the
NF Plastering
About the Author:
Scott Gray is a handyman
enthusiast and web publisher.
He enjoys providing tips to consumers and homeowners about
do it yourself home improvement
projects, glass vessel sinks for
your bathroom and reviews about
cordless drills.
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Energy savings - recycling glass
According to Waste Online, for every
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The Glass Packaging
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glass uses only twothirds the energy needed
to manufacture glass
from raw materials
Recycled glass isn't
just used for making
more bottles - it can be
turned into fibreglass
(which is also used in
house insulation), and as
a component of bricks; PAPER: Overall, recycling paper uses about 60%
requiring less energy to less energy than making paper from new material
create the bricks and as
the product is lighter, less
energy is used in transport. Glass can tion is no longer a bad thing. Recybe recycled indefinitely.
cling is the last of the 3R's i.e. Reduce,
Reuse... lastly, Recycle.
Energy savings - recycling paper
Recycling is also a blanket term,
The Department of Energy in the US but in its strictest definition, it means
states that a ton of paper made from to use waste to make more of a same
recycled fibres conserves 7,000 gal- product. In the case of plastics, they
lons of water, up to 31 trees, 4,000 often aren't recycled, but downcyKWh of electricity and up to 60 cled.
pounds of air pollutants (not includReduction of consumption is where
ing carbon dioxide).
we can make the most difference. It
Overall, recycling paper uses about means that less needs to be produced
60% less energy than making paper in the first place (and you'll save a
from new materials.
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The recycling trap
Here's a trap that many people fall related news to help consumers and
into - because an item can be recycled, business reduce costs, consumption
they might feel that extra consump- and environmental impact.
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vacuum between panes. For this
reason, various gases are used
between the panes to increase
the insulating value.
The most common gas used
to boost insulation between
panes is argon, which conducts
heat 67% as fast as oxygen and
so keeps the house warmer in
winter and cooler in summer.
Krypton gas is sometimes used
to help insulate between panes of
specialty windows that are very
thin. Xenon gas is used only
rarely since it is very expensive.
Energy savings - recycling plastics
Post-consumer products may contain as many as 20 different types of
plastic material; so one of the biggest
challenges is sorting it all. However,
according to Dr Mike Biddle, President
of MBA Polymers, recycling plastics
uses only roughly 10 per cent of the
energy that it takes to make a pound
of plastic from virgin materials.
Again, the savings aren't just in
energy - plastics are still mostly made
from petrochemicals; i.e. crude oil.
Nearly 10 per cent of US oil consumption, which equates to approximately
2 million barrels a day - is used to
make plastics. Recycling plastics also
means saving oil - through the production process and base materials.
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