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Old 01-16-2012, 03:41 PM  
Dionysia
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Default Replacement windows

I am wondering what everyone thinks are the best sort of replacement windows in terms of energy savings. Not necessarily brand, but what type of glass and frame material will save energy and hold up over the long run? How long should a person expect a good quality replacement window to last? FWIW, the temps here range from 110+ in summer to below zero in winter, with strong winds a possibility year round.

Let the debate begin...



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Old 01-16-2012, 07:11 PM  
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If this is for the "perpetual money pit" that you and the Mr. are redoing, I'd suggest name-brand, vinyl-framed, triple-insulated, low-E double hungs. You'll pay dearly for them, but since you'll probably be in the place for another 50 years, it will be money well-spent. They'll look good with the farm house style of the place, will help keep the heating/cooling bills in line, and maintenance is a non-issue. If you prefer larger sizes to let more light into the main living areas, possibly a large fixed center pane between 2 narrow double hungs would work. I like the style that can be cleaned from the inside (by tipping in the glass), to avoid having to climb ladders for the annual Spring cleaning. Going 20' up in the air to wash second-story windows gets old.


In the early days, vinyl windows were somewhat junky, and had a tendency to split at the corners, or even recede from the glass in some cases. Things have improved considerably since then. Some window experts should be along shortly to shoot me down, but I can handle it (as I don't profess to be anything close to a window expert).



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Old 01-16-2012, 08:58 PM  
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The best windows can be a dissapointment if not installed correctly. As a home owner you should find the local code and learn it, and watch that the installers follow that code. All installers have there own way of doing things, right or wrong, they will all tell you it is the manufactures suggested way.

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Old 01-17-2012, 06:53 AM  
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Thanks, neal

There are no codes where we live, which is why we have the problems that show up in my posts.

One of the things I am wondering about is whether gas-filled glass is worth it. How long can a person expect it to last before the seal fails?

My office has some ancient double-pane windows from 1974-ish that are filled with vapor between the panes due to a failed seal. They were like that when I started working here, so I don't know at what point in their existence they failed...

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Old 01-17-2012, 07:15 AM  
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Some information you might find usefull.

http://efficientwindows.org/factsheets/MultiBenefitsFactsheet.pdf

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Old 01-17-2012, 10:50 AM  
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At least around here, replacement window installation "specialists" run around largely un-regulated and un-watched. They tear out the old from outside, install the new behind the casing, look at the gap between the new window and the old framing, and cover it up with aluminum.

I've been on guys about this practice like fleas on a rat too many times to not bring it up so you can watch out for it.

As for type...Neal and Bridge are pretty smart guys...rank their opinions up near the top.

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Old 01-17-2012, 11:07 AM  
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We figure the life of a window to be about forty years, when we work on houses over 20 years, we look to replace any window that is handy to what we are working on. We often work on the rot around windows from poor installation.

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Old 01-27-2012, 03:57 AM  
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Information are very useful. Thanks for sharing with us..

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Old 02-13-2012, 10:07 PM  
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The gas filled glass will not susain long due to the changing temperature..So i would suggest dont go for the gas filled windows.

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Old 02-16-2012, 11:04 AM  
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Here are some good tips and things to look for http://www.ezhangdoor.com/determine-energy-efficient-windows-and-doors Also as a few have mentioned, a good installation is a must, otherwise your wasting time and money.



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