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Editor's Notepad

Editor's Notepad

Windows in Historic Homes: Repair or Replace?

comments (0) December 6th, 2011 in Blogs
ScottG Scott Gibson, contributing writer

Old single-pane windows can represent significant energy losses, but whether that warrants replacement in historic homes is a matter of opinion.Click To Enlarge

Old single-pane windows can represent significant energy losses, but whether that warrants replacement in historic homes is a matter of opinion.


Single-pane windows in historic homes often are important architectural features. Trouble is, they can account for air leaks and energy losses.


More from greenbuildingadvisor.com

Four Affordable Ways to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Old Windows

7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 4. Windows

Historic Preservation and Green Renovation

All About Glazing Options


Old windows can be replaced with modern units that feature double- or even triple-pane construction, reducing air leaks and significantly improving thermal performance. It seems like a no-brainer, but historic preservation committees in some communities would disagree, arguing that historical authenticity is more important than slight gains in energy efficiency.

That seems to be the situation facing Mike Keesee, as he explains in a Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor.

Preservationists will not allow the replacement of historic windows, he writes. They'd rather see old windows tightened up with new weather-stripping or insulated shades. Are there studies available, Keesee asks, that would quantify efficiency gains of replacing old windows with new ones?

There's no question that a modern double-pane window will outperform a single-pane window fitted with a storm window, as one poster is happy to confirm. But the question is more complex. An opposing point of view argues windows are only one potential energy loss in older houses, and should rightfully be seen as a precious resource rather than a problem.

That debate between energy efficiency and historical authenticity is the subject of this week's Q&A Spotlight.

Read the whole article at Green Building Advisor

 

 

 

 



posted in: Blogs, windows, restorations, historic preservation
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