Replacement windows

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by Dionysia, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Jan 16, 2012 #1

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

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    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...
     
  2. Jan 17, 2012 #2

    BridgeMan

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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).
     
  3. Jan 17, 2012 #3

    nealtw

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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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  4. Jan 17, 2012 #4

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

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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...
     
  5. Jan 17, 2012 #5

    oldognewtrick

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  6. Jan 17, 2012 #6

    Jdmrenovations

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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.
     
  7. Jan 17, 2012 #7

    nealtw

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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.
     
  8. Jan 27, 2012 #8

    markleena

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    Information are very useful. Thanks for sharing with us..
     
  9. Feb 14, 2012 #9

    markleena

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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.
     
  10. Feb 16, 2012 #10

    EZHangDoor

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  11. Feb 16, 2012 #11

    ScottCh

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    We got estimates from a few different companies before replacing most of our windows with low-E gas filled windows last year. One company I was originally considering told me that they ensure that there are no leaks by filling all of the gaps between the window and the framing with spray-in expanding foam.

    This sounded like a good idea to me until I downloaded and read the installation instructions for the windows that we ordered. In big print at the top, it said not to use expanding foam. It places too much pressure on the window and can cause it to warp, jam, or even break over time. I discussed this with the other contractors and went with the one that already knew not to do this. They did use foam to seal the gaps, just not the expanding kind.
     
  12. Feb 17, 2012 #12

    EZHangDoor

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    I would like to think most builders would know to use the low expansion door and window foam :)
     
  13. Jun 6, 2012 #13

    EcoChoiceWindows

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    Yes, Low E windows are your best bet..they will keep your home properly insulated and in turn save you about 30% in energy costs. In the summer, they'll help keep your home cool and in the winter help to keep the warm in. Like mentioned above, one of the main keys in finding a trusting window company to properly install the windows or else it is pretty well pointless.
     
  14. Jun 6, 2012 #14

    mudmixer

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    It is always best to fill the joint between the insulated wall and the window that always has low real insulation values.

    Over 60% of the windows are installed improperly and the problems I see, it runs close to 90% since the windows are not as bad as the installation, which is usually "quick and dirty" on replacements. Usually no regard to the opportunity to correct earlier errors and compound them by poor flashing around the hole in the wall.

    Tthe best window supplies use CERTIFIED window and door installers, but too often the good ones cost more.

    Dick
     
  15. Jun 7, 2012 #15

    oldognewtrick

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    Dick, you mean you "GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR"? I see it all to often.

    The excitement of low price is quickly replaced by the dissatisfaction of poor quality.
     
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  16. Jun 7, 2012 #16

    IntexInspector

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    I have always preferred low e , casement style windows, I find casement provide the best seal. I also not to use replacement "inserts" , I prefer full flanged windows.But I do realize in some situations ,particularly in older homes, that inserts may be the only option.MTC
     
  17. Jun 16, 2012 #17

    EZHangDoor

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    I agree, when you do a pocket window and leave the old frame and trim, you are relying on the fact the old installation was well insulated, which is unlikely.
     

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