Although there has been increasing awareness recently on how to live in a more environmentally friendly way and the importance of reducing the amount of plastic that we use, you may not have previously considered the environmental impact of replacing your windows. However, some window materials will be a lot more environmentally friendly than others.
Plastic vs Timber
Did you know that for every wood window you install instead of a plastic window, you save around 160kgs of carbon dioxide (source: WWA)? In addition to being non-biodegradable when no longer required, the manufacture of plastic windows is also more toxic than the manufacture of timber windows.
If there is a fire, plastic windows will also melt, giving off dangerous dioxins and hydrogen chloride that can cause permanent respiratory diseases.
Plastic windows do not last as long as high quality timber windows, meaning that they will need replacing more often.
It is important to remember that there are many different types of timber and not all companies will ensure that forests are maintained sustainably. Wood from sustainable forests will ensure that replacement trees are planted for any that are cut down.
Check whether the company are registered with any organisations, such as FSC. FSC Certified timber will come from forests that are sustainably maintained, protecting and maintaining the forestry. The FSC ensures that the forest is protected including protecting rare animals, plants and sacred sites for the local indigenous people.
Where are the windows made?
Consider where the windows are manufactured. Are the windows being shipped to the UK from a different country, or are they being manufactured in the UK?
Shipping windows into the UK will often not be as environmentally friendly as manufacturing in the UK, as a result of having to transport the finished window.
It may also be harder for the company installing the windows to rectify any issues if the products have been made abroad, especially if they are manufactured by a different company.
Repair rather than replace
Depending on the condition of your windows, you can often repair timber windows rather than replacing them. This may involve draught proofing the existing windows or replacing just the sashes (the moving parts of the window) while retaining the existing window frames.
It is always worth checking whether the windows can be repaired as this will save you money and cause less disruption to your property.
The Sash Window Workshop manufactures all their timber windows in their workshop in Berkshire. They use a timber called AccoyaTM as standard, which comes with a 50 year anti-rot guarantee meaning you can feel confident that the product will last.
The company are FSC Certified and always aim to minimise their environmental impact.
The Sash Window Workshop offer a supply and installation service and repair services across London and Southern England, while offering a supply only service nationwide. To obtain a free, no obligation quotation contact The Sash Window Workshop on: 01344 868 668.