We had some Simonton 5500 windows with Super Spacer installed Nov. 2006. Double hungs, a few sliders and a picture window. The double hungs have air coming in between the track and the sash.
We called the installer and he brought the Simonton district sales manager over to inspect the windows and he brought some small foam inserts that fit in the frame where the sash slides in the track.
The installer said Simonton must have had other complaints because they had to have these made and the guy brought them with him, plus, they have them in two differect sizes for different windows. I would rather they improve the design of the window or weather strip to eliminate air leakage.
Now, is there supposed to be a certain amount of air leakage or are these windows supposed to be air tight?
Would this be a manufacturers defect so that I could have them replace the double hungs with sliders?
You shouldn't be able to actually feel much air coming in around the sash , unless you have strong winds outside. If you do, it is probably an install problem (the frame was installed distorted in some way) or a defect in the window (the frame/sash is distorted from the ideal shape). Don't mistake a general "slightly cold feeling" with air movement. Turn off all air, and let the room settle, and very slowly move a lit incense stick around the window and look for consistent air movement around the window.
Where exactly did they place the inserts? At the top/bottom of the frame, where the sash slides into the "slot" in the frame? Do you have a picture you could post?
Are the locks and catches aligned nicely at the meeting rail? Are the reveals (gaps between the frame/sash) the same size on both sides and consistent at the top/bottom. Use a level and see if the frame is level horizontally and vertically, and the same for the sash.
Properly installed, a double hung won't be 100% air-tight, but it should be very close to that, especially for a upper-midrange window like a 5500.
A service tech came to look at the windows and he changed the fin seal from 180 to 250. He said Simonton changed it from the heavier to the lighter because customers didn't like the way it stuck out from the window. They weren't concerned about the performance of the window, just the appearance. He also filled the jamb adjuster holes with caulk and a few other holes in the frame that are there for installation only but they provide an opening for air to leak through. I had him wazit while I checked the windows with an insence stick and the smoke was vertical instead of horizontal. The wind was blowing at 30 mph when he was here so that helped the test.
There has been no air leakage since the fin seal was changed and all the installation holes were filled with caulk. The "fin seal" is the weather strip that looks like fine bristles along the edge of the sash. We had a couple of sliders installed that are air tight. The problem with air leakage was only with double hungs. These windows are good windows. Good luck.
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