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 Post subject: Need Advice
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 4:14 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:34 pm
Posts: 4
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I have 2 large Anderson double-hung windows and 2 smaller ones in the front of the house. They are 40 years old(double panes of glass but spaced closer than modern windows) and in good condition.
Will it pay me to replace them with vinyl replacement windows?
Window World has the best price for argon, low E windows(that is not the cheap model, this is the middle price). Sunrise comes in about $500.00 more for all 4 windows. Any help will be appreciated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 12:22 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 79
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I would keep what you have; I replaced my 30 year old windows that were simular to yours because I got tired of painting them every three years and a few were starting to rot. They were made by Craftline, a company that no longer exeist. Who knows what future teck. will bring. You may want to take a look at what may lay in the future in the link below.

http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/help/tu ... future.htm


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 Post subject: Reply
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 3:14 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Illinois
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The answer to your question is, it might. You must define "your" definition of "will it pay".

Will it help your resale value of your home? Probably not if you take out a wood window in good shape and replace it with a lower-end vinyl. Will you notice a substantial savings in energy usage with better performing windows? That depends on the rest of your house as heat moves equally in every direction... up, down and sideways. Will you have more comfort in that room... yes, if you get a good performing product that is installed correctly.

As for the balance of your post... do not assume that terms like Low-E, Argon and Energy Star will save you a bunch of money. Virtually every manufacturer has an Energy Star rated window... it's based on the Model Energy Code of 1993 and is very out-dated by today's standards. Use it as the bare minimum. There are also different types of low-e coatings... hard-coat/softcoat... containing silver/tin oxide/aluminum oxide/titanium oxide/zinc... etc. They all perform differently. There are also different gas fills and they have drastically different fill percentages to start with let alone that many will dissipate at extremely different rates. For a window to be listed as "gas-filled", it only needs to be 67% filled. As insulating gases are heavier than air, this would mean that the top third of every sash has no gas on the day it is installed.

Look at the actual windows you would be considering for beauty and construction, and then varify the performance numbers on the NFRC.org. This would be a good place to start to see if the investment/upgrade is worth it.

FenEx


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:26 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 81
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I replace 15,20,30 and yes 40 year old anderson windows all the time with vinyl products. Cosmetically the results are outstanding, Energy wise if air is coming through them (or leaking out of them)You should notice a big difference in the comfort level in each room replaced. Reduction in levels of outside noise definitely. most customers notice this right away.
Reduced maintanence PVC coil is alot easier to wash than to paint exterior trim and sashes (especially if you have to remove the storm windows each time) Cleaning is made easy and since it is easy would be done more often. (how much does it cost you to have someone paint and clean the old windows or if you do it yourself how much time and cost for paint and supplies)
How much heat comes in through a window with no Low E or argon?
Do this. if you have 2 windows side by side (or on the same side of the house) have the installers put a new 1 in and leave the other then wait for the sun to come around (you will feel the difference) This will also help reduce fading of carpets, curtains,etc. What do those cost? 67% is alot more than 0% argon.
There is alot more to consider than energy savings when asking the question will it pay to replace your windows.
$300 to $500 is a fair price for vinyl double hung windows and many brands out there can be had for that but I have never seen a window yet that I would say is worth $900 to $1200 and there are alot being sold for that price too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:29 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:18 am
Posts: 14
Location: Oakmont, PA
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Other members have valid points. You have to decide what pay means to you. If the question is will I see a difference in utilities? The answer is, it seriously depends on the vinyl replacement you choose. Yes there are vinyl replacements that will out-perform any other window in every test thrown at them. That's where you must do your research. Find out what tests the windows you are interested in using to replace your old ones have passed. I would look for NFRC tests and scores, your old Andersen’s wouldn't pass any of the tests given these days, that's a fact. They let too much air through.

The glass unit does most of the work of new windows. Really! I don't care what anybody-else tells you. Of course, the frame needs to be well constructed that goes without saying; the glass does the real work. The area that lets the most energy pass is the glass. I would seriously research the different types of glass units available to you. Our company uses a non-metal spacer between the glass units. Of course, every company says our spacer is better; it out performs spacer X by this amount. That is sales, I'm not a salesmen. I am the Director of Marketing and Media. I don't sell. Just to clear that up, I'm only giving advice.

It's not rocket science to know that metal is a better conductor of energy than foam and rubber. Check that first, ask the company what type of spacer do you use? You'll set off alarms no matter what the answer is. It's the most important thing on a window as well as the NFRC rating. Are windows with a high NFRC rating high-priced, probably. Will they pay for them selves in the long run? That depends on the climate you live in, the construction of your home (all kinds of variables). People who get the full 4 seasons will definitely see a better improvement than people in milder climates, assuming they had bad windows in the first place. Technology has changed windows drastically in 40 years. I cannot possibly comprehend new windows not helping the value of your home. If new appliances help, then new windows help regardless of the material used to make them.

Any other questions feel free to ask. I will try to answer them to the best of my ability. I hope I helped. I hope I didn't point out too much information at once. Good luck to you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:24 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:10 pm
Posts: 225
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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Thermotwin, You have valid points but forget a couple very important issues. First and most important is who's installing your windows? You can purchase the best window on the market and install it incorrectly....and they're junk. No better than a piece of cardboard in the wall. The other important factor is the "Energy Rating" of the house itself!! If the house is leaking out the attic and HVAC system. You have now put in new windows and formed a giant smoke stack. So they air is not leaking through the windows it's being pushed through the ceiling and HVAC system at a speed faster than light. So now if your in an older home that doesn't have any mechanical device to relieve proper air flow to the furnace. Your sucking air through the concrete slab or basement block walls right into the house. Now your adding that Radon gas into your home causing a new issue to deal with. Everyone can say they have a great window when it's installed. In ten years down the road will they be working the same way as when they were installed??? If they are the same and still as good as the day they were installed...you have a good one!! So the new golden rule is have an energy audit done before you spend your money on windows. You won't regret it!!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:19 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 81
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Guy
Wouldnt windows be a good place to start with any energy problem anyway?
If wind is blowing through the sashes and frames then isnt it a no brainer?
Insulate the attic? No brainer.
Tell you what . After replacing the windows and insulating the attic. Possibly even after replacing all the leaking doors.(yes they leaked snow blew through the seams)
Lets take a caulk gun and a stick of inscense (or cigarette if you smoke) and walk into every room and check out every nook and cranny. Every leak you find (this is better done on a windy day in the winter months) and seal it up.
Go to the basement and especially check where the plate sits upon the cinder block(or brick,stone etc.) and where any wiring,plumbing etc. enters the foundation.(utilities)
Then check for Radon in the basement (Guy what a gratuitous scare tactic I thought you were above that)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:18 am
Posts: 14
Location: Oakmont, PA
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Guy you are 100% correct you need to get somebody who knows what their doing to install. I figured that was a no brainer. I don't think you can get enrgy star certified without NFRC ratings. Speak to this person who's buying the windows, give him advice. I don't need the advice and I'm sure you don't need the advice. It's the person who asked the original question with this thread. I'm not trying to sell the guy anything, I'm giving him a place to start when he's asking questions about windows. Help him not me, I'm sure we know enough to bore the crap out of anyone with window knoledge.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:12 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:10 pm
Posts: 225
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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I'm not trying to scare anyone on purpose. It's a huge epidemic that people aren't taking seriously today. Handyman, in todays world of technology we can't get by with your caveman remedies. I don't mean any disrespect to you at all. I was the same way until just recently. When I learned of all the issues related to defects in the home I just about passed out. Most of these issues have been brought to the front lines lately because of people trying to make their homes more efficient. Think about it, Radon has just come to the table in the past ten years. Why is that, because of what I explained above. You blow insulation until tomorrow in your attic and it will still pull the air it needs right through the insulation. It's still very porous and air can travel through it. I'm really not trying to go after any people helping here on the board. We are the ones who need to learn the information to keep everyone safe in their homes. It's not about me and what I sell. It's about all of us and how we work together to make a positive change in the industry for everyone. You may think it's stupid or shallow. It's not at all. It's very real and needs a lot of attention. Look into it more. You'll see where I'm coming from.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:38 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:18 am
Posts: 14
Location: Oakmont, PA
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Very well put Guy. I like what you are saying.


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 Post subject: Reply
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:02 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Illinois
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I didn't see Guy's post as a scare tactic... I saw it as a reality check. The scary part is when contractors give "no brainer" advice that is incorrect and can cause harm. Did anyone here ever wonder why all the media press reports of mold and mildew, radon and CO poisoning have occured much more frequently over the past 15 years? Do you think its a coincidence that during that same time period contractors are installing better sealed windows, building wraps and more roof ventilation? It's no coincidence. Adding insulation products and air-sealing without testing the results can be harmful and dangerous. Sealing a buidling shell in some areas while allowing air transfer through ceilings drawn by over ventilated roofs creates a stack effect... literally drawing in harmful polutants and moisture through slabs and foundation walls. Add a dehumidifier in the basement? Bad call... they draw in more moisture than they remove. Add a whole house fan? Bad call again, creating a vacuum. Airseal everything without testing for proper building airflow? A perfect recipe to create CO backdrafting from combustion appliances and reduce necesssary fresh air supply.

I was in Washington DC a couple weeks ago at the HUD Headquarters as I am on the Technical Advisory Panel for IBTS (Institute for Building Technology and Safety). HUD has funded the IBTS PATH 36 Uniform Protocol for Energy-Efficient Remodeling of Existing Housing. Representatives from the EPA, USDOE and BPI are also on the panel. The purpose is to figure out the best way to initiate the reform of the building industry and to set new building standards. How do you tell 90% of the contractors and remodelers in the country that they have been doing it wrong? A monumental task but it's long overdue. The process will begin with public awareness and education and continue through the re-education of local building inspectors and code changes. The first phase of this will be happening over the next 3 years. For those of you interested, information is available through many government sites.

Fenex


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:55 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:18 am
Posts: 14
Location: Oakmont, PA
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I'm not sure what your poposal to this question is. Are you telling this person to get a building inspector first and foremost? I can understand if that is what you're saying. Who should this person see to get a non-bias inspection?

If I had to guess those Andersen windows were put in new construction. His home was built somewhere in the 1970s if that's the case. We don't know his location or climate. Who knows what the building code was like for that home when it was built? Maybe he already had the building inspected. We are assuming a lot. This person simply asked for window advice. If I had to bet, his home is in pretty good condition and he's looking to update it.

Let's say he knows what he's doing, he knows he wants replacement windows. In that case, I say if you push your salesman hard enough you can get the low-e for free or force him to bring down the price and adjust back with the low-e. Go for as much as you can get for free. The trick is to get a couple of window companies bidding your home. Maybe let the other company know the let's say, very low price you've been given, I hope you catch my drift. It's really like buying a new car. They want to sell, use it against them. If you feel that your home is maybe a little out-dated and you're not sure the construction was done very well, then by all means get a building inspector to check the attic, HVAC and all that jazz if you have these things.

If you do decide new windows is your choice definately make sure that whoever puts them in knows how and has lots of experience with a good rep. That's my advice for windows. Listen to these other guys for construction concerns. Good luck to you and I hope we haven't confused you.


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 Post subject: Reply
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 1:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Illinois
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I posted my opinion earlier in the thread regarding the windows. My last post was following the new tangent. To answer your questions, yes, I'd recommend that anyone interested in making changes to the exterior of their home have a certified building analysis done. It not only lets you know what your house is doing and why, but it includes recommendations on how to fix the problems. Testing out afterwards lets you know how the changes have affected the structures performance. The testing addresses energy efficiency and health and safety issues in equal proportions.

As you had mentioned building inspectors, most are not trained or qualified for this type of analysis nor do they have the proper equipment. Have you ever watched a building inspector when buying a home? To test the furnace... they turn it on... if it works, it passes. The do not test venting pressure in natural or worst case scenarios nor do they do proper CO or combustion gas analysis. Certified raters can be found through EPA, USDOE, RESNET, BPI and other sources. Natresnet.org or Energystar.gov are good places to start. The testing is inexpensive and some states offset the cost. Some certified raters are also part of accredited companies that are properly trained to perform the work as well. In these circumstances, the testing before and after is free of charge. Simply put, I recommend the "Test before you Invest" approach.

Ok... back to windows. Buy them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 81
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Fen ,Guy and Thermo
I am just a caveman in my approach. I am not used to your advanced and strange ways. Please dont hold me to the standards of modern man.
I only believe if its broke fix it. Common sense dictates reason and all else is BS and costs me(meaning consumer) money. Unless some sales tactic wears me down and supercedes reason. Then I will justify it as the "salesman said"
Prove me wrong from an installers stand point (man on the street so to say) Guy.
How much more do you expect to make from this "whole house approach"?
Can you honestly tell me that a homeowner with steel casement windows should not get new windows but only consider the "whole house approach " B4 even considering buying windows?
Oh by the way he aint got any radon problems the wind is blowing through and freshens it up constantly. (but that was your point)
If they fix their windows then they will have other problems that you can make more money fixing. (as you can now see i did not vote for "W")
What alot of hOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEEEEyyyyyyyyyyyy.
They can solve their own problems for 1/10 the cost if they (the consumer) try, or want to.
Fenex people are generally lazy. If you post some where they sould go to see a web site you should put www. B4 it then they can just click on the link (petty but real) see.
www.natvesnet.org or www.energystar.org


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:45 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:57 am
Posts: 135
Location: ne ohio
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fenex,
finally had the opportunity to observe a house analysis the other day and i was thoroughly impressed. the best money a homeowner can spend. and i actually could not beleive how reasonably priced. i was amazed at the locations of air infiltration. and the majority of the locations were easily accessable with virtually little or no cost to correct problem areas. the windows and doors were the major culprits ,however with new windows and doors and attending to other issues in the home the benefit of new windows and doors will be that much more valuable.
i can see this as something that will be done by every major window company in the near future. apprx. how many companies nationwide are involved with this? any guess? it will be interesting to see how fast those numbers rise over the next 12 months. again fenex thanks for providing a different look at energy savings. amazing.


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