Web tour: Saving old wood windows rather than replacing them

At last weekend’s symposium: “The Greenest Building is Already Built” I learned about a number of online resources which describe the unheralded benefits of restoring old, wood windows, weather-stripping them, and outfitting them with appropriate storm units instead of replacing them.

I’ve written here before about improving the performance of old, wood windows, which can be a “greener” and more aesthetic alternative to replacement windows.  But don’t just take my word for it.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a great tip sheet on the topic.  The U.S. Department of the Interior offers an informative Preservation Brief about it.  Apparently, this is a favorite topic of Old-House Journal's too.  They have articles here and here about it.

I was hoping to link to a graphic Old-House Journal published in their September/October 2007 issue, which illustrates four different window “tune-up” strategies and their associated annual energy savings in BTU’s, dollar savings per window (assuming gas heat at a 2007 rate), and the payback period.  I couldn’t find the graphic online, but suffice it to say that that the repaired, weather-stripped, old, wood window outfitted with a quality, storm window gives the Low-e glass, double-pane thermal, replacement window a run for its money.

Frank Shirley, of Frank Shirley Architects was awarded a 2010 BSA Research Grant in Architecture to study this issue and will release his findings sometime next month.  I’ll be sure to link to his study here when it’s available.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast