Here is an excerpt from the Simonton Windows Sept 2010 Green Report. This article makes some compelling points about how high quality vinyl replacement windows are very eco-friendly. Read and decide for yourself.
“Windows can be appraised using each of the three green themes just mentioned: Product toxicity, thermal envelope integrity, and life-cycle analysis, and they deserve nothing less than very close scrutiny. That’s because windows are a key part of any green-building strategy for the thermal envelope and building shell, perhaps the key part, given that just replacing windows with energy efficient models can reduce household energy costs by 15%. After all, you go to the trouble of building a high-integrity thermal envelope – sealing it fully with taped housewrap and polybutylene flashing – only to punch gaping holes in it to accommodate windows and doors. So, you’d better have one heck of a window and door product to insert in those rough openings.
What window product comes back with strong performance in all these performance areas(and please add in low-maintenance too), while consistently garnering accolades from third-party green raters? One product consistently scores high in every assessment category and it’s vinyl windows. What’s more, of all your vinyl window choices, one manufacturer continues to deliver highest-in-class results in every performance category…and that’s Simonton Windows. Close examination in any life-cycle analysis will reveal that vinyl scores at the top of the class of green raw materials. All of Simonton Windows’ scrap vinyl is recycled and blended back into a mixture to produce window and door components, and the rigid vinyl of its windows minimally offgases or exudes chemicals.”