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 Post subject: Possible to order Okna windows with HIGH (not low) SHGC?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:53 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:37 pm
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See this article about SHGC for Northern climates:

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blo ... in-glazing

I have a house where the East, West, and North-facing windows could all use high SHGC. In fact, I think the South-facing windows could also use high SHGC, considering that we use AC maybe 4 months out of the year, and heat (or no heating or cooling) the rest of the year. In fact, with our current French-style doors, it gets positively warm in the sun in the winter in front of the door. I'd hate to lose that by getting windows/doors with low SHGC.

So, is it possible to order Okna windows with high SHGC?

I see my local dealer this Saturday, but I would like to know in advance.

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible to order Okna windows with HIGH (not low) SHGC?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:37 am 
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Is the house designed for passive solar heating? In order to really take advantage of this type of glazing (NA from Okna in this case), the home needs both the interior finishes and the orientation.

The reality is that most homes in cold climates will benefit more from triple pane glass than they might passive solar.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible to order Okna windows with HIGH (not low) SHGC?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:10 am 

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Thank you. I would say that the house is designed with nothing but profit in mind. It's what we refer to in Connecticut as a "McMansion", big and poorly built, using substandard everything.

However, the back of the house basically faces south, and this is where the largest windows/doors are. The rest of the windows get little sun, either due to trees or orientation.

In the winter, you can sit in front of the French door in the back of the house and get hot, even though it's cold outside.

I was thinking of using dual pane windows instead of triple pane, although I don't know what the cost difference would be. I think that before I put money into triple pane windows, I'd put money into attic insulation and whole-house sealing, which I think would return more than triple pane windows. Insulation/sealing was our highest priority, until we realized the outside trim of the windows was bad on many windows. So, we have to replace windows.

Your thoughts on triple versus double pane, given 2x4 walls, 4,000 square foot house (colonial with in law), two story with basement? My thoughts are double pane and take the money saved to seal the attic, add more insulation to the attic, and insulate the basement walls. I'd like to do both triple pane and sealing/insulation, but that will be too expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible to order Okna windows with HIGH (not low) SHGC?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:01 pm 
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Not sure there is an easy answer here.

Air Sealing and Insulation are huge when it comes to large and voluminous homes. The air flow out of these "McMansions" as you so aptly called them...is huge.

The general rule of thumb is get the best window that you can afford and spend the money once.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible to order Okna windows with HIGH (not low) SHGC?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:27 pm 

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Thanks. I've read some people say that windows in the US are really designed for dual pane and are not strong enough for triple pane. Would you say that's true for Okna windows?

Also, do you know the approximate cost difference between say an Okna window with double pane versus triple pane?

For instance, one set of windows we'll be replacing is as follows: total size about 102.5x63, three windows: 24x63 (double hung), 52x63 (picture), 24x63 (double hung). What would be the price differential between dual pane versus triple pane?

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible to order Okna windows with HIGH (not low) SHGC?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:25 pm 
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ctviggen1 wrote:
Thanks. I've read some people say that windows in the US are really designed for dual pane and are not strong enough for triple pane. Would you say that's true for Okna windows?


I would say that is true to the extent that the vast majority of vinyl windows in the US are poor quality, designed the low price point that many buyers, and most all homebuilders want. Okna, along with other high end options would not fit that category.

On the triple vs double and insulation upgrades, I'd agree with WoW that despite the fact that better "bang for the buck" can certainly be gained from air sealing the home, windows are a one time purchase that should be done right. I'd either wait on the windows a little longer, or wait a little on the air sealing if the windows are in dire need now. It doesn't have to be, nor should it be, and either/or proposition.... Not only that, but if I were to put together a comprehensive scope of work for insulating and air-sealing an entire home today, there can be a precipitous drop off in terms of ROI on that list as well. Attic is obviously most critical, but even there, sealing all of the main chases and problematic areas like recessed lights and drop soffits will do most of the heavy lifting performance-wise, where something like sealing all of the interior wall top plates is a pretty major undertaking (more $$$) yet doesn't return as well.

As far as TP cost, it can vary wildly based on pricing model and other factors, but somewhere between a 10-20% premium can be expected in most cases.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible to order Okna windows with HIGH (not low) SHGC?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:43 pm 

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Thank you. I agree with what you said. I've replaced the IC (insulation contact) but not AT (air tight) recessed lights with IC+AT and also put wool covers over them, and sealed the covers. I've sealed a lot of penetrations and electrical boxes. I've bought a really air tight and insulated attic stairs. Unfortunately, the air handler is in the attic, which is the worst place to put it. We need way more insulation, likely blown in, as it's cheaper and it seals really well. The air handler is an issue, although I have an estimate from a guy who builds green homes and he would build a room around it. It's also possible to get the attics (two, one over the normal house, one over the in law) spray-foamed, but I've read both bad and good about that. Also, we'd have to leave for three days for that process, and I have a grandmother with 6 cats that can't be moved. I still think adding several-many inches of blown-in insulation (eg, cellulose) would help a ton, once the remaining air sealing issues are addressed.

I think insulating the rim joist in the basement and also adding 2 inches of sheet/rigid insulation over exposed concrete would help.

These two things would make the house much more livable, without a huge cost (not near the cost of the windows and doors, for instance).

Anyway, I'll price out the triple pane to see what happens. I have quotes for Marvin Infinity without front door and in law door for about 49,000 (yes, that's $49,000) but with windows and 2 sliders, and that doesn't include all the windows. I have a quote for about the same using Andersen 400 (tilt version, not woodwright) with front door and in law door and two sliders and the same windows, but again that's not all the windows. These include installation, Andersen with Azek and Marvin with rolled aluminum, and replacement of inside trim.

Unfortunately, the trim is rotten on some of the windows. One definitely leaks into the house, and a few of the others might also. Even triaging and selecting the worst windows, which just happen to also be the largest, I got a price for the windows alone (no installation) with Marvin Integrity wood-ultrex of $8,700 (Marvin Infinity with installation for these same windows was about three times the cost). Unfortunately, some of the quotes don't break it down by window/door, and only give a single price, so it's hard to compare.

So, you can see my quandary. When I'm looking at upwards of 50k for windows and doors, it becomes tougher to justify paying 10-20% more for extra R value for windows that don't have high R value anyway. I could take that extra 5-10k and put it into the attic and basement insulation and be much more comfortable with lower energy costs. I'm sure the windows will help a little, but I've seen many articles indicating the return on investment isn't much, even if you're replacing single pane windows (which I'm not; I'm replacing dual pane). Unfortunately, I have rotten outside trim on the windows, so some windows and doors have to be replaced.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible to order Okna windows with HIGH (not low) SHGC?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:17 am 
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You will have to see what the Okna quote looks like.

I can't imagine it is going to be on the level with the Marvin.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible to order Okna windows with HIGH (not low) SHGC?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:37 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:37 pm
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I'll let you know. I'm going this Saturday to see the Marvin Integrity line, then immediately drive to see the Okna line (probably 600 and 800, most likely 800). By the way, the dealer of Okna windows told me there is no 600 line, although I think this is the Eco-Pro line, so I'm not sure this is a good or bad thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Possible to order Okna windows with HIGH (not low) SHGC?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:11 pm 
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ctviggen1 wrote:
I'll let you know. I'm going this Saturday to see the Marvin Integrity line, then immediately drive to see the Okna line (probably 600 and 800, most likely 800). By the way, the dealer of Okna windows told me there is no 600 line, although I think this is the Eco-Pro line, so I'm not sure this is a good or bad thing.

600=Eco-pro. The 800 is superior, but at the same time, if you have the choice of 600 with triple vs 800 with double, I'd take the triple.... Being from the same dealer you won't likely see a spread like that, its worth mentioning though.

Sounds like you have your bases well covered on the weatherization aspect. Have you had anyone take a blower door reading? I'd recommend it. Both before and after. You can tighten a newer home too much pretty easily which can be detrimental to your indoor air quality. That is not to say that you shouldn't take those measures, however mechanical ventilation may be advisable depending where that all ends up.


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