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Maintenance Issues How Green Are Your Windows? Energy Efficiency Isn't the Only Consideration

When it comes to the windows in your complex, like most people, you’re probably focused on energy conservation – keeping the air conditioning inside in the summer and the cold air outside in the winter. While you’re probably aware that not all replacement windows are created equal, when it comes to energy savings, there are other “green” alternatives that your board may wish to evaluate when selecting replacement windows.

First Steps Taken

Believe it or not, by considering replacement windows, you’re already accomplishing one of the big-picture goals for environmental sustainability. Updating and maintaining the existing housing stock is environmentally friendlier than tearing down and rebuilding (not that you were considering that, but it’s good to know).

Along the same lines, make sure the windows you’ll use have a long life cycle. If you've never replaced the windows in your property, you'll want to ascertain the guaranteed aspects of various window products from every potential window supplier, as well as, the overall projected life span of these window products. One obvious reason to undertake such an analysis is to examine the annual cost of the windows; however, the environmentally correct choice is to select the windows that have the longest projected life span. A longer-life window product means less waste in landfills, fewer trees cut down, less pollution and less energy wasted in the manufacture and distribution of replacement windows.

Assessing the experience of other properties can be beneficial to your association or management team. Check with HOAs that have replaced their windows within the last five to seven years, see how happy they are now with the results, and ask when they expect to replace those windows. Their answers might surprise you.

Beyond the Macro Impact

Being a good world citizen can be quite satisfying. But in the end, cutting energy usage for your residents is critical in order to meet their objectives, such as controlling energy bills while keeping living spaces comfortable year-round. While many window replacement companies focus on the window frames to prevent air drafts, retaining heat or air conditioning, most of the surface area of a window is glass and not all glass is created equal. Some panes have special coatings to heat rooms in the winter and keep them cool in the summer. Some manufacturers trap special gases between double-paned windows to reduce heat transfer through the glass. To get the best possible combination of these features, look for windows with high ratings from the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Good quality replacement windows will tell you how much more energy efficient they are compared to ordinary dual-pane glass with separate ratings for both winter and summer.

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