Need to equip yourself in new windows? Not so obvious to choose the right ones. Here are the tips of to choose the right material and consume less energy
- Opt for low-polluting materials
Going to get the raw material on the other side of the world is not ecological. On the other hand, do manufacturers comply with environmental standards? In Europe, things are relatively well framed. Elsewhere, not always. And recycling? The materials that make up a window – wood, PVC, aluminum, steel and glass – are in theory all recyclable. But can we say that the old carpentry deposited at the appropriate collection center (this is an obligation) will be really processed and transformed? Not always, for now. Because it is necessary to separate each component (paints, joints, glues, etc.) and it is expensive. Hence the advantage of choosing from the outset products with reduced environmental impact. To find your way, take into account the specificities of each material.
Wood offers the best carbon footprint. If you prefer an exotic wood, ask for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label, which states that wood comes from a forest managed to strict environmental, social and economic standards. For making the upvc conservatory now the perfect options are available.
And at the end of life?
Do not make a fire with an old carpentry because it contains mostly toxic chemicals (pigments based on heavy metals, glues, waxes, varnishes, fungicides, insecticides, etc.). You must bring it to a sorting center. It will then undergo a special treatment before turning into fuel, sawdust or panel.
PVC is a by-product of petroleum products. It is inert and safe, but some additives can be harmful when released into the wild. Cadmium, for example, has been rapidly abandoned in Europe and lead replacement is progressing. This metal should have completely disappeared by 2015. On the recycling side, no infrastructure existed in Europe until the end of the 1990s. This time is over. In 2010, France recorded a 60% increase in recycled PVC tonnage. At the moment, there are still no recycled PVC windows on the market. The reason? Once recycled PVC, its mechanical properties diminish. But the research is moving forward.
Aluminum, iron and glass are recycled indefinitely without ever losing their properties. Recovery is pretty well organized. Thus, 98% of aluminum is collected and its recycling costs much less than its primary production.
Consume less energy
It is through the windows that the sun enters the house, bringing light and warmth. But also a real source of savings: you use less electricity to light and less heating. So why not take full advantage?
To increase the clear glazing, bet on fine joinery. If you like wood, prefer mixed solutions (wood on the inside, aluminum on the outside) that combine the qualities of both materials: heat and insulation for wood, fineness and robustness for aluminum. Do you like PVC, easy maintenance and excellent insulation? There are now quite thin profiles incorporating composite materials in place of conventional metal reinforcements. Do you want aluminum joinery? This is the option that offers the greatest finesse. Choose models with double thermal break (on the opening and on the frame).