According to the Center for Global Development, power generation emits nearly 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year.1 Any time you use air conditioning, the washer, dryer, or any other type of electrical device you are adding to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide contributes to global warming and its harmful effects such as rising sea levels, increased flooding and droughts, stronger storms, and damaged ecosystems (as some species move farther north).
So what can you do to help decrease carbon dioxide emission? Consume less power. Consuming less power could mean using your electrical appliances and devices less often, but it can also mean using more energy efficient products. Interestingly, not all energy-efficient products are even electrical in nature. Energy efficient windows can help reduce the amount of electricity used in your home and the resultant carbon dioxide pollution.
Energy Efficient Windows Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emission
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings consume 40% of the energy used in the US, and high-efficiency fenestration (windows, doors, skylights) could reduce this amount by up to 25%.2 Put another way, $35 billion worth of energy is lost through windows annually in the Unites States.3 In other words, a lot of carbon dioxide is being emitted to produce energy that is just being thrown out the window.
Energy efficient windows help reduce this problem in two ways.
1. Heat regulation: They help regulate the flow of heat in and out of your home so that your heating and air conditioning system works more efficiently.
2. Lighting: They allow natural light into the home to decrease lighting use.
There are a variety of factors that impact the effectiveness of a window’s heat regulation.
• Low-E Coating – a special coating that reflects solar energy.
• Glazing – the number of panes (glass layers) in a window.
• Gas Fill – in multi-pane windows, gas can be injected in-between each pane to improve thermal performance.
• Window Frame Material – certain materials like aluminum transfer heat easily and negatively affect window performance.
• Operation Style – some operation styles allow air to leak in and out more easily.
A casement-style window, with Low-E coating and multiple gas-filled panes, framed in vinyl would be a highly effective heat regulator. You can determine how well a window performs by looking at its U-factor and solar heat gain co-efficient, which are usually located on the window label. The lower the number for both ratings, the more effective the window is.
In the past, you had to choose between lighting and thermal performance. If you wanted to allow natural daylight into your home, you were also letting solar heat into your home. If you wanted to block the heat, you were blocking the daylight because the only way to reduce heat was through reflective or tinted windows. Using modern window products, you can have the best of both worlds. Glass products can be manufactured to be spectrally selective, which means that they will reduce solar heat from infrared rays while allowing visible light to pass through. You can turn the lights off at home, use the sunlight, improve your air conditioning and heating efficiency, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions at the same time.
Want to do your part to reduce carbon dioxide emissions? Contact Superior Window Company at 281-747-5999 to learn more about installing energy efficient windows in your Houston home.
1. Center for Global Development. “Carbon Dioxide Emissions From Power Plants Rated Worldwide.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071114163448.htm (accessed February 1, 2016).
2. National Fenestration Rating Council. “Benefits of Improving Windows.” NFRC. http://www.nfrc.org/WindowRatings/Benefits-of-improving-windows.html (accessed February 1, 2016).