If you’re trying to decide whether to repair or replace your windows, the Geneva, Illinois Historic Preservation Commission’s Guide to Windows has some great ideas for you to consider, especially concerning energy efficiency. Here’s an excerpt about the carbon footprint of restored windows:
An important aspect of sustainability and energy efficiency is reduction of the carbon footprint. If it is feasible to repair older wood windows, is it sustainable to throw them out and replace them with a new product? Removing and disposing a repairable material, manufacturing a new product, and using fossil fuels to transport the product to the site all contribute to the production of green house gas emissions. The inherent “embodied energy” which is lost when disposing of repairable windows should be considered when evaluating window replacement as a way to improve energy efficiency. While replacement offers one solution, the total impact of replacing windows on the environment may outweigh the perceived benefits.