Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

For all those Replacement Window questions
Post Reply
Message
Author
Stymied
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 10:42 pm

Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#1 Post by Stymied » Wed May 01, 2013 11:19 pm

I'm hoping randy offers his opinion on this. I am in the DFW area and have 26 aluminum windows to replace in a 30 year old home. I had decided on Don Young TBA windows, confident in the structural stability in extreme heat and happy with stye performance for my area. After looking closer at building codes it appears that my city requires a permit for this replacement project and uses the U factor standards published in 2009 IECC. The DY TBA windows meet that standard. The windows are .42 and the standard is .5. This is good if I were to replace all 26 windows this year, but I planned to split the project over 2, maybe 3 years. I read that the 2012 standards are under review by the city and when I found the 2012 IECC document on the web it shows .35 as the upcoming standard for zone 3. Am I interpreting this correctly? Is it likely that the TBA windows will not pass inspection when the 2012 standard is adopted as code? I am frozen on this project, especially after reading a position letter on the web from DY exec to Energy Star asking them to re-evaluate the changes to zones and ratings in the standard. The letters have me questioning the future production of these windows and the ability to pass inspection when using them as replacements. I do appreciate any clarification and guidance you might offer.

User avatar
Windows on Washington
Posts: 4437
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
Contact:

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Thu May 02, 2013 6:36 am

Randy should have all the information you require on this subject matter.

I agree that thermally broken aluminum is a bit hamstrung on the thermal numbers if you are just comparing the thermal numbers.

That doesn't tell the entire story when it comes to window performance in cooling degree dominated climates though. In the case of Dallas, the days are somewhat equally split although it may not feel like it during the heat of the summer.

randy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
Location: Houston, TX
Contact:

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#3 Post by randy » Thu May 02, 2013 9:13 am

Your concern is valid. While I prefer TBA to vinyl because of it's incredible strength and rigidity, it's not going to be an option in municipalities that adopt the latest IECC. Therefore, you might want to look at vinyl.

The issue for me is this: homes in Texas often have really large operable windows and newer homes will typically have some arched top windows as well. There's only one top tier vinyl window sold in Texas and it gets awfully pricy on the windows just mentioned. As a result it's often far more expensive than locally made windows.

Texas manufacturers aren't so shocked by the sizes and shapes required and as a result keep the pricing more affordable. The problem is that many of those manufacturers don't build the window strong enough (in my opinion).

If your windows are moderate sizes (48x60, 36x72) a vinyl window with aluminum reinforcement across the center rail (if it is form fitted to truly support the vinyl) should be sufficient. If your windows are larger (48x72, 36x84) I recommend more reinforcement. Both Don Young and NT will add aluminum to the sashes (for an additional charge) that increases the DP rating of the window significantly and provides far more strength and rigidity. When I sell Don Young's vinyl window, I prefer to upgrade to Cardinal's Low-E366 with XL Edge stainless steel spacer as well. The Don Young vinyl with those adders makes a pretty solid window for Texas.

toddinmn
Posts: 498
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:11 am

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#4 Post by toddinmn » Thu May 02, 2013 3:27 pm

I think the aluminum window industry needs or at least should try to improve there U-values. There going to have to sooner or later. Gerkins single hung is at 0.38 now so something could easily be done for some to get to 0.35. Intus has some aluminum products that are well below that but are spendy.I would try to do the all of the windows now or wait and see whats available when you have the money to do them later.My guess is they have something in mind since a lot of companies were complaining when the 0.30 requirement came out and now it pretty much a standard.

randy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
Location: Houston, TX
Contact:

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#5 Post by randy » Thu May 02, 2013 4:18 pm

I don't disagree, but there's not much incentive for the manufacturers to spend millions of dollars improving the window to get the U-Factor down below the necessary level, just to have the requirement changed again in a few years and then it would probably be below what TBA is capable of reaching. A U-Factor of .38 is probably about as low as it can get.

Stymied
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 10:42 pm

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#6 Post by Stymied » Thu May 02, 2013 11:58 pm

Thank you for responding. This gives me more options to consider. Replacing all of the windows this year is something I will consider. I'm also interested in learning more about the aluminum reinforced vinyl. I've had 3 estimates on DY windows and no one mentioned that option. As much as I prefer a local sourcing option, I am curious randy to know which vinyl manufacturer you refer to as tops for Texas. Regarding window size, all but one is less than or equal 36x72. One bay center which could be operable or fixed is 48x72. Thank you again. I'm glad I asked and grateful for your info and ideas.

TheWindowNerd
Posts: 1702
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
Contact:

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#7 Post by TheWindowNerd » Fri May 03, 2013 7:26 am

You should click on Randy's get a quote button. He is doing work in DFW also.
Smart hard working honest responsive guy.
I could go on but it might become embarrassing.

theWindowNerd...

randy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
Location: Houston, TX
Contact:

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#8 Post by randy » Fri May 03, 2013 11:05 am

Most contractors don't know about the option, mostly because they've never considered the ramifications of a hollow vinyl window (or minimally reinforced vinyl window) in Texas. Both Don Young and NT Windows will reinforce the sashes, as an upgrade.

Sunrise, Don Young, and NT would be the three vinyl brands to consider. Personally, I'm becoming more and more convinced of the necessity of maximum reinforcement in the frame and sashes due to seeing so many of the vinyl windows sold here bowing and warping.

User avatar
Window4U (IL)
Posts: 1374
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
Location: Sales and Installation in Chicagoland and Central Illinois

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#9 Post by Window4U (IL) » Sat May 04, 2013 11:10 am

Since some aluminum windows like Traco and others have a .36-.37 U-value in some of their newer windows for double pane, I would think it would be fairly easy to get them down to respectable numbers with the use of triple pane. Do any of these window brands you deal with have a triple pane option Randy?

toddinmn
Posts: 498
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:11 am

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#10 Post by toddinmn » Sat May 04, 2013 12:47 pm

I think not being able to sell there windows would be incentive enough.
Anyone know what the DP and air infiltration numbers are on the NT and DYC windows are?

randy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
Location: Houston, TX
Contact:

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#11 Post by randy » Sat May 04, 2013 2:48 pm

Dave, I can get triple pane but Don Young hasn't run the simulations (as far as I know) to determine the U-Value. I've read that some manufacturers have been experimenting with using a bridged or hollow core thermal break instead of solid polyurethane and are getting better numbers with it.

Todd, Don Young's single hung has a DP rating of LC-50 and the AI is .03cfm. I don't know about NT's TBA window.

Stymied
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 10:42 pm

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#12 Post by Stymied » Sat May 04, 2013 7:45 pm

Leaning towards biting the bullet and replacing them all this year. The longevity of the aluminum is proven and I would be satisfied with the performance. I really hope that these new codes do not squeeze local manufacturers out of business.

randy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
Location: Houston, TX
Contact:

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#13 Post by randy » Sat May 04, 2013 7:56 pm

Just make sure the windows are not just caulked in. Spray foam insulation should be used around the perimeter to block air and water infiltration, and to help prevent condensation during the winter months.

TheWindowNerd
Posts: 1702
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
Contact:

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#14 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sun May 05, 2013 4:18 am

Another reason to contact Randy...best installation methods.

theWindowNerd...

Stymied
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 10:42 pm

Re: Future of Thermally Broken Aluminum

#15 Post by Stymied » Sun May 05, 2013 10:54 am

Have already submitted contact request. Thank you to all, again.

Post Reply