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Windows resoration

Courtesy of Chicago Green Windows

Proper restoration and weatherization of old windows can save some money and also the environment.

Windows resoration

Courtesy of Chicago Green Windows

Instead of dumping the old beautiful windows into a landfill, restoring them can be a better option.

Preserve the environment, preserve the windows

by Srushti Shah
Jan 22, 2013


Instead of replacing windows, restoration can be a better option for all those Chicago homeowners whose houses have fancy old-fashioned windows with embellishments and carvings.

A lot of homeowners are concerned about their old rusty windows which might have developed cracks or might be broken. Restoring the windows, instead of replacing them is a way to maintain the aesthetic beauty by repairing the damaged areas. In some cases, the wood in which the glass is fixed might be changed or vice-versa. Weatherization is also an important part of restoration of the windows. The whole process, generally turns out to be less expensive and save energy.

“Embodied energy represents the total amount of energy used to create something,” said Dan Nehm, the founder of Chicago Green Windows, a company that provides services for windows restoration.

“The amount of energy used for the treatment or restoration of windows is way, way less than the energy used for new windows.”

Restoration of windows is much more energy efficient and hence for people who are concerned about global warming or green building, this is the best way to go, Nehm said.

“There is a list of reasons why windows restoration is a better option,” said Jack Spicer, a professional landscaper who got his 105-years-old windows restored.

“They are beautiful to look at; with minor modification, they can be energy efficient…and will last another 100 years. Most of the heat loss is through the ceiling and hence the idea of replacing the windows to avoid the loss of heat through windows is unimportant.”

Due to all these reasons, and not dumping the old windows in a landfill, restoring windows, according to Spicer is “definitely more eco-friendly.”

Jonathan Fine, the executive director of Preservation Chicago, an activist organization that advocates for the preservation of historic architecture, neighborhoods and urban spaces, said that it is important to educate the homeowners about the options that are available to them, so that they make an educated decision. This all-volunteer organization started in 2001 with an initiative to preserve historic Chicago.

“An important element of historic preservation is basically conservation,” Fine said. “A building that you renovate, rather than demolish is not only more environmentally friendly, but also helps in maintaining the architectural integrity of the building.”