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New Double Pane Windows

Post in 'The Green Room' started by seeyal8r, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. seeyal8r

    seeyal8r Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    North Central Oklahoma
    We finally had our new vinyl double pane windows installed. Man do they look awesome. We had single pane aluminum windows before. We had 2 such windows in our master bedroom located a good distance from our wood insert. Usually its 75 degrees in the living room and 65 degrees in the bedroom. Last night when I went to bed I couldn't believe it but our bedroom was 72 degrees. Way Way too warm. Hard to sleep with so much heat in there. Our old windows you could walk by and feel the widow sucking the heat from you. Wish I had done it years ago. Probably could have saved a chord of wood and some $$ in the summer.

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  2. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    People generally put too much emphasis on replacing windows when other fixes are cheaper- like insulating an attic. However- I have some drafts that are killer. We put in shades/curtains and there's a noticible difference and winders be next.

    What brand, and how expensive were they?
  3. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    Milton GA
    My home is 5 years old - we have double pane andersons. We are high on a hill in a windy area. You can see the curtains or blinds move sometimes. To me the culprit is right at the lock / latch. When locked - it kind of widens the gap between the two windows. I am seriously thinking of ordering storm windows.... In the winter - I've put up heat shrink plastic to help. Disappointed in my windows for sure.

    Great windows make a difference for sure. Congrats. I think mine are low grade ones.
  4. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    Check the squareness of the window frame with a large framing square if you have one. I have seen many windows installed out of square which allows much leakage. The sashes won't sit square in the frame. Andersens have the plastic strip across the interior of the window to prevent frame bowing during install. If the strap is removed prior to installing the window and securing the nailing flange on the outside, flared out side frames may cause leakage. We have the 400 Series. I feel that it is a very good window.
    SmokeyTheBear and woodsmaster like this.
  5. Retired Guy

    Retired Guy Feeling the Heat

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    Oct 27, 2011
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    Loc:
    Cape Vincent, NY
    We put in 11 double pane vinyl double hung windows last year (lo-E and argon filled). The original windows were single hung, about 150 yrs old, painted shut and we didn't have screens for them. As part of the install, I replaced all of the interior trim and saw gaps that anything smaller than a cat could crawl through. Foam insulation and a good dose of silicon caulk tightened things up quite well. Drapes no longer swing on windy days! Worked well for us, I'd recommend them.
  6. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Eastern MA
    I believe that the key to windows (new or replacement) is in the installation. Whatever windows you put in, if the installation isn't done correctly with an empasis on air sealing in such a way that it will last (i.e. not just some quickie paper tape around the edges) then it won't be worth it in the long run. As stated above, if the windows aren't installed square and true to the way the frames are intended to be installed then the windows will leak. Again - installation details.

    My folks replaced their windows in a new home (semi-custom home) very soon after they bought it. They live in Colorado. At first I thought they were crazy. However after visiting once the job was done I could see and feel the difference. They had excellent installers and very good windows installed. During the cold time I visited you could really not tell the difference sitting next to walls or windows vs previously it was cooler near windows. Given the amount of windows they have I'm sure it made a difference for their heating costs.

    Now I just wish I had undersood the importance of installation when we had the addition of our house built... I know the builder didn't exactly do the best job they could have around our windows. A little bit more effort at that time could have improved thing dramatically now. Cost to go back now though is much higher.
  7. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Holliston, MA USA
    Im with Adios... windows almost never give you the ROI that is promised. Folks that do see big gains usally see it because the old windows where poorly installed or had issues that could be resolved simpler than a full replacement. caulk, weatherstip (vinyl v-seal is great for sealing the meeting rail and the sliding sash), and good inexpensive storms (Harvey Tru-Channel, Allied, etc) can work wonders.

    On a personal note I cringe every time I hear a pre-WWII window got ripped out for vinyls. I hope at least they went to an architectural salvage so some historic home that lost its windows can inherit them... and not the dumpster.

    Yes I know I am an opinionated SOB... flame away...
  8. seeyal8r

    seeyal8r Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    North Central Oklahoma
    Windows USA. Linky

    They give $100 gift card to walmart when they come give the demo with no obligation to buy. I get $100 too if I reference you. So if you want you could PM me your address and I could send them a reference card.

    The windows can be removed completely in about 20 seconds. Makes for a huge fire escape.
  9. seeyal8r

    seeyal8r Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    North Central Oklahoma
    Our new windows when locked pull tighter. So they are completely leak free and Guaranteed for Life.
  10. seeyal8r

    seeyal8r Feeling the Heat

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    Installation.

    I didn't make enough comment earlier about how great the installer was. We had 13 windows done. 2 that were huge picture windows, 1 encasement, and a small picture window. The other 9 were all double hung. We also got a new storm door so that colors matched. Total cost $10K.

    Each window was re trimmed, foam insulated, and caulked. The old windows were screwed in at the bottom which allowed either moisture from rain or from sweat to eventually leak into the wood. All the repairs that were done were covered in the original quote.
  11. Retired Guy

    Retired Guy Feeling the Heat

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    We put in X-act from MI industries - little less than $250 each. The 2, 48" X 38" sliders were a bit more. Basic white vinyl - nothing fancy.
  12. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    Rochester,ny
    I agree about replacing windows but the OP states he had single pane aluminum?
    We have a large living room that was always cool. Insulated curtains did the trick.
    There are just a few strategically placed windows that open for summer breezes and
    the rest have been painted shut forever.
    There was never a question about keeping the wood windows. They give tons of character to an old house, they’re made of dense wood from wise old trees, and they’re easily repairable and maintainable; with minimal routine work, they will literally last for centuries. No 10-year vinyl replacements for this crib.
    Old houses rule!
    Kenny
  13. William

    William New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
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    1
    We just had our aluminum windows in our older home (1960) replaced with double pane, lowe3, argon gas vinyl windows from Simonton. I did a lot of research looking into various brands including Milgard, Pella, Atrium and Amerimax, to name a few. Ended up going with Simonton because they were much less expensive, had all the features of more expensive brands and were Energy Star Compliant. I ended up using this vinyl window site to compare Milgard and Simonton windows features and costs. They also have some coupons available for discounts off your next window installation. Be sure to check if a permit is required for your area. It was for us and its can be an additional cost.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    We replaced some huge picture windows with a double-hung sides + center window. All with true divide lights. Visually it is a huge improvement and much more in keeping with the old farmhouse. But the d-h windows don't seal well. This is unfortunately just a bad design (Lindal) and not the installation. Their casement windows are fine. We have them in the kitchen and dining room and they seal well. Unfortunately we couldn't have opening windows out onto our shallow porch without other complications so we opted for the double-hung units. In the winter I seal them with mortite. If I had it to do over I'd go with the Marvin cottage series.
  15. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    when you have aluminum frame single pane windows it's definitly worth every penny to replace them. they suck! I don't care how air tight they are the cold radiates right threw the metal and single pane glass. A very good return on investment in both energy savings and comfort. I dont however recomend getting the very expensive windows they are a lot more money for a small efficiency gain over the mid to low priced.
  16. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    SW Montana
    Hi,
    You can make a pretty good estimate of the saving for conduction and convection part of the new window gain: http://www.builditsolar.com/References/Calculators/InsulUpgrd/InsulUpgrade.htm

    For one 30 by 60 inch window going from single pane (R1) to low-e double (R3) in a cold (8000 heating degree day) climate like ours, and with propane heat at $2 per gallon, the saving for one window comes to $46 and if you assume 10% fuel price inflation a year, the 10 year saving is $727. CO2 reduction is 280 lbs per year.

    This will vary a lot with climate and fuel, but you can just plug in your case.

    But, this does not account for infiltration losses, and for bad windows this can be a worse heat loss than the conduction and convection losses.

    Also does not account for the added comfort.

    There are some pretty good interior treatments that can be used if the windows are not too leaky: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Conservation/conservation.htm#WindowTreatments
    We use the thermal shades with side tracks and like them a lot -- they have a higher R value than our lowe-e double glazed windows do.

    Gary


  17. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    Good data gary. I dont Know if you've ever stood by an aluminum frame window, but I think the aluminum has less r value than the single pane glass. Much worse than the old wood frame single pane windows.
  18. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    You are still comparing a replacement to an old wind with no weatherizing. With simple weatherstrip an d caulk you can make an old window just as air tight as a replaceement, and the addition of a low e storm window can bring and old window to R2 or more at a fraction of the cost. Wood windows can be repainted and have the glazing putty touched up occasionaly and last longer than we will, whereas vinyls have a lifespan sometimes less than 30 years before a seal fails or something else non repairable breaks. With those eventual replacements for the replacements factored in the ROI doesnt look so great and can actually be negative.
  19. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    We probably all pretty much agree that if the primary reason for new windows is energy savings $$, then other energy savings work certainly has a much better payback; new windows may never realize a payback in dollars. Between 1993-2002 we replaced all windows in our home, 23 in total. In our case energy savings didn't even enter the calculation. What was important were eliminating drafts from leaky old windows, eliminating the drafts from cold air wash off the glass during our bitter winters, bringing the "outside into the inside" with great views, and ending window maintenance.

    Our home is in the woods and 60' back from a lake. Every room brings the "outside into the inside." The ambiance is priceless. And the good feelings that come from being able to sit by an expanse of glass overlooking the lake in winter, with howling winds, -30F temperatures outside, clouds of blowing snow across the ice, and doing that in comfort while basking in the warmth of the small wood stove that heats the entire house, cannot be measured in dollars. The same with being able to watch deer walk past the house; see a fisher or pine marten stalk a rabbit; watch otters, ducks, and swans in the lake; watch the ever-expanding ripples in the water from a bass jumping to snag a meal; see the tracks of wolves in fresh snow and wishing you could have seen them walk by; and feeling the serenity and peacefulness of the woods and forest around us. Large windows in every room in our house, not a single window shade or blind, all open to the beauty of the surrounding natural environment -- that's priceless.
    PapaDave and woodsmaster like this.
  20. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    No matter how tight you seal it the cold is still going to radiate threw the metal, storm window on or not.
    A decent replacment window don't cost much. It's the high end windows and the labor that really add up.
  21. Hansson

    Hansson Feeling the Heat

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    Do you get any money back from the state when you uppgrading your windows.Is there any program like that in US?
  22. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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  23. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Exactly why aluminum is a poor material for the primary window. However an aluminum storm with a wood single pane window in good condition and well sealed is a great combo that gives 80% the performance of double pane for 20% the cost. I can get harvey tru-channel storms for around $150 per. Any full replacement you could get for that price probably wont last 15 years.

    I know im not going to convince anyone, window industry marketing is too good. All i suggest is that if your house predates WW2 and you put in new vinyl windows, stash the old ones in the basement. Some future owner may be an old house enthusiast and wish to restore them back.
  24. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    I agree that a wood frame single pane sealed tight with an alum storm should be fairly efficient. you can get a crestline or jeldwin vinyl replacement with argon and low e for $100.00 - $200.00 all day long. I don't see why they wouldn't last 20 years.
  25. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    The specs for windows show about R-1 for single pane and R-2 or a little better for double pane (or single pane + storm). R-2 in a cold climate results in cold air wash and condensation, and any condensation on an interior wood sash results in rot or dry rot of the wood, and in destruction of the interior finish. The windows I installed as mentioned above are rated R-8 center of glass (2 coated glass panes + 2 interior coated plastic films with inert gas spaces between all). No cold air wash, interior glass is warm to touch with -30F outside; and no condensation, even on the windows above the kitchen sink. After 19 years with the first windows we put in, interior varnish on the wood sash is virtually as good as the day the varnish was applied. Also, they trap infrared (heat) inside during the winter and block infrared (heat) from the outside during the summer. I still would not recommend these windows for energy saving cost-effective payback. But with $0 maintenance cost inside (wood) and outside (aluminum clad), they may become more cost competitive over time, and certainly these windows have been free of aggravation. Additional benefits are UV and sound blocking.

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