All across the nation people are busy replacing the historic wood windows because they are convinced it is part of their environmental responsibility to become energy efficient. This is what the manufacturers of windows have made us believe that replacing the historic wood windows is actually part of the energy conservation effort. The result of this initiative is that historic buildings are losing their character as a cultural heritage. The original window which had highly quality wood is now replaced with fewer quality materials like vinyl, wood composite or aluminum. Is not more sustainable or greener to repair rather than replace the wooden windows?
Windows lose less heat compared to walls and roofing
According to research the old style wood-frame buildings do not lose heat through windows rather more heat is lost through un-insulated roofs and walls. You can make the old wood windows equally energy efficient by repairing, maintaining and fitting them with a storm window. Eventually, you do not get much financial saving by replacing the old single pane window. The historic wood windows will last much longer than the new windows.
Old wood windows were more durable
Replacement of old wood windows may be necessary if they are severely dilapidated. Nonetheless, historic wood windows if possible must be repaired especially because they had individual parts. The wood used to make the historic windows was of higher quality meaning that is denser and resistant to warp and rot compared to the wood used today.
Preserving architectural heritage
Therefore, it is more practical to repair the historic windows rather than replace them completely. Besides being more sustainable repairing the windows is part of the restoration and maintenance of the building’s cultural authenticity. A historic building must have be maintained in its original form and material or else its heritage will be eroded.
The following are some of the reasons you should consider keeping your historic windows:
- You can save more energy by improving the insulation of your roof and walls instead of replacing your windows.
- Do not believe what manufacturers say about the lifetime of their windows. Your old windows will last longer than the new windows because they have better quality wood. PVC or vinyl which is used in the production of new windows is toxic to produce and therefore not “green”.
- Wood that was used over sixty years ago was much denser and highly durable. Therefore replacing such high-quality wood is not reasonable. That kind of wood is not easy to find nowadays.
- If you repair, maintain historic windows and fit the storm windows then they become equally energy efficient as the current ones.
- Replacing historic windows does not offer any financial savings in terms of energy saved.
- Replacement of the historic windows only adds to waste management problems we already have as a result of demolitions.
- Repairing old windows requires exceptional woodwork skills, therefore, stimulating the economy by providing jobs.
- The cultural heritage and history are maintained when the historic windows are fixed.
You can still maintain your old wood windows and still keep warm in your old house. This is important because the windows also represent the culture and heritage of your region and it must be preserved for future generations.