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 Post subject: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:14 pm
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What is the main problem with this window? Are there other windows comparable in price that are better?


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:38 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
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Why do you think there is a problem?


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:38 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:14 pm
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It seems that no pros on this board like the Excalibur window. Further, many say there is a better window for the same price. I am looking at getting 18 double hung, 1 picture, 2 transom, 1 Palladian (4 units), and 2 garage windows done. Some of the statements on this board make me not want to buy the Excalibur window. Therefore, I would like to know the good, bad, & Ugly along with some alternatives.


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:46 pm 
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It is an impossible question to answer without knowing what you are paying for the window.

Quite possibly the biggest issue with the window is the people installing it. It, along with other Alside product, is the mainstay of the Window World franchise model. Not at all trying to infer that a Window World installation will be bad. That being said, I think you will find that the Window Worlds of the market do not pay their subcontractors very well and therefore are probably not getting the best labor (skill or attention to detail) available. It is difficult to sell a window at the prices they do and maintain a well skilled or at least quality controlled workforce.

The Good:
-usually priced aggressively
-slim lines (narrow profile and more glass)
-Company stands behind the warranty
-Basic no frills window

The Bad:
-somewhat flimsy construction (thin wall)
-leaks air like a sieve
-High incidence of seal failures (personal experience only here)
-Basic no frills window

The Ugly:
-Aesthetics are a personal evaluation


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:14 pm
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If the window "leaks air like a sieve” how is the .30 R-value achieved?


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:51 pm 
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You are thinking of U-Factor or 0.30, the magic Energy Star qualification number.

The U-Factor evaluation has nothing to do with air leakage. They are two separate tests but related to the same ultimate goal of energy efficiency. U-Factor is a measurement of heat flow (or resistance to).

Think of it in terms of a wall. If you have a wall that is stuffed with insulation and is very insulated against the cold it will perform just as the insulation is supposed to as long as the wall isn't compromised. If the wall has a large hole in it and lets the cold in and heat out, what good is the insulation value of the wall? Energy flows exponentially more easily on air. The most insulated window in the world will not net any real performance increases if it leaks air.


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:14 pm
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What window would be better? I am looking to spend $400 - $500 a window installed


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:34 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:43 pm
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Location: Lower Hudson Valley NY
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phils wrote:
What window would be better? I am looking to spend $400 - $500 a window installed

Pretty much anything :D JK
Look at Okna, Sunrise, Gorell and Softlite.


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:07 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:26 pm
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Like Phil, I too have been looking at the Excalibur Windows.
If the walls are thin, what is the measured thickness and what is considered thick in the industry?
If it "leaks like a sieve", what independent company released this testing data and were other windows rated? If so, which ones?
In the industry as a whole, where are the number of seal failure incidents recorded and can I contact them myself?
Are the seal failures a result of Intercept? Would Super Spacer be less likely to result in a seal failure?
What frills do other windows offer that aren't available on Excalibur?


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
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Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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The Excalibur is rated at .16 cfm at 25mph. (AAMA)
Compare that to the windows that were just suggested above which are .01 - .02 cfm. The Excalibur window definitely leaks air and it only gets worse as the winds increase.


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:27 am 
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Here is Alside's Techcenter website where you can see most of the data on the Excalibur and any other line.

http://www.alsidewindows.net/Companies/Alside/al_index.htm

You will want to look up structural data to see air performance numbers. They actually list their window at a 0.21 cf/min at 25 mph.

The mil thickness of the extrusions (0.071) is not out of industry norms. There is no industry standard. The Excalibur has a very thin profile and requires probably more reinforcement and engineering than is currently in the window. That is not the Excalibur's mission and/or price point. The window is not going to collapse on itself nor is it class leading with its design pressure rating. It is not aiming to do so either. It is a decent entry level window with more than a few competitors that I think are better candidates in the $400-500 range.

AAMA and Keystone are the two large laboratories that independently certify structural data (air/water infiltration and design/structural pressure).

I wouldn't know where to send you to for seal failure data. The Window and Door Magazine might be a good starting point. As I prefaced, the high incidence of seal failure is just my personal experience in comparison with other windows. Certainly no one is perfect and perhaps it is just bad timing, but there seem to be quite a few remakes coming in of late.

There is no data to my knowledge to indicate that seal failure rates differ between Intercept and Super Spacer. If you ask either of those camps, you will get different answers. Preparation is the key to any spacer system and I am not sure if Alside is making their own IGU (Insulated Glass Units). If they are, that would explain dissimilar rates of failure between their products and other privately manufactured (Cardinal, Guardian, PPG, etc other glass manufacturers) products.

I also think that the design of the window can certainly play a role in seal failure. I window that expands and contracts (depending on the reinforcement and structure in the extrusion) will place more sheer stress on the IGU and increase its likelihood of failure.

Triple glazing is probably the glaring missing component. A window that does not have an option for triple glazing while other windows in the same manufacturers line do speaks to the structure of a window in my opinion.

The aesthetics on the Excalibur are pretty plain jane but again that is subjective.

Please let me reiterate that I am not slamming the Excalibur. There is only one poster that I know of on here, who I think was banned, that was very anti-Excalibur. The Excalibur is a price point window and will certainly fill and opening. Are there better windows, certainly. Are there plenty of windows in the same price bracket that Excaliburs typically fall that are better, sure. Is it wise to put a window that leaks that much air into and opening when you are trying to combat energy losses, probably not.


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:44 am 
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Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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Windows on Washington wrote:

You will want to look up structural data to see air performance numbers. They actually list their window at a 0.21 cf/min at 25 mph.



Wow, that's even worse than what I posted. I used info off a dealer's website not Alside's. I must have found some incorrrect info.


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:13 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:14 pm
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how do you find the air infiltration data on some of the other windows that I am considering?


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:27 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:26 pm
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In the $400.00 - $500.00 range, what window do you recommend and what is the cfm rating?
Out of curiosity, why would the NFRC set the U-Factor and SHGC at .30 and not set a cfm rating for the Energy Tax Credit if it is so important?
I'm getting confused about government efficiency standards that do not consider cfm's?!
Shouldn't the high cfm's/min on the Excalibur effect the U-Factor as a whole, say, on a double-hung unit?
Explain.


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 Post subject: Re: Alside Excalibur
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:15 am 
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Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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I do wish air infiltration was listed on the NFRC stickers. It should be. It is not figured into U-Value calculations but it is still a very important number. You can have a well insulated frame and a great glass package, but if the window leaks air badly what's the point?
That is why we talk about air infiltration on this site when discussing particular windows.


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