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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2024-02-27, 12:58

Not the software. The original kind. Time to replace them. When I did a lot of the work around here I decided to live with the windows because of the expense of replacement. I painted the inside casing and caulked and sealed up the worst of it, but they're atrocious and it's time to get 'em done.

Right now the house has wood sash windows in front, but these are far from heritage items, they're from the 80's with plastic sash tracks that were so loose I filled/glued the worst of the gaps and caulked them in place just so they weren't a total disaster. Glass is a double pane Argon fill that would have been used at the time, not especially thick, and surprisingly haven't leaked, or I surmise they haven't because there's no condensation inside the panes. They're probably an R2. Back of the house is a mix of fixed alu frames with single pane sliders on main floor and full single pane sliders above, maybe R1.5? I put heavy curtains on all of them, but sometimes it feels like the wind blows right through them, and of course the aluminium frames make tons of condensation now that I more precisely set the humidifier for optimal air quality.

I think I'll probably put casements everywhere - maybe with grids at the front of the house where they seem to suit the style. I've found one supplier with triple pane R6 glass at a minimal premium. They also offer a krypton gas fill on the same assembly that's supposedly rated at R9, and maybe that might be worth the $$$ at least in a couple of rooms, but I haven't asked yet.

Pretty much everyone in the area want to sell vinyl frames. Even some of the premium manufacturers. The area has a couple of major vinyl extrusion companies so they probably do much better on price compared to some other parts of the country, but I'm curious to weigh the pros/cons of vinyl vs fiberglass vs hybrid assemblies with alu/fiberglass clad wood...

Any useful knowledge experiences to share?

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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
 
2024-02-27, 17:42

All our new build windows were high end and they were vinyl and only double pane, gas filled. The benefit vs the cost for triple pane wasn't worth it. Builder agreed. We have the grids on the upper part of double hung windows and the whole thing on solid windows. I'll try and dig up the manufacture of ours when I get a chance.

Edit: Vinylmax is our window brand. We built in the middle of an old hayfield in Northeast Ohio where we get a wide range of weather from high winds, to snow, to 100˚ and humid. They have been great. It helps that our house is amazingly insulted too.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey

Last edited by Yontsey : 2024-02-27 at 17:59.
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2024-02-28, 08:21

A couple of things I'm noting in the materials I could find. It suspect a proper krypton fill is not going to be worth the extra outlay - the stuff is expensive.

I'm trying to figure out if foam filling of the multi-chamber vinyl extrusions is worth the cost. It's a 20% upcharge. The installer doesn't think it's worth it from an energy perspective, and the lit seems to agree that it's a minimal improvement over a "well made" multi-chamber extrusion.

However, I wonder if it's structurally significant over time. The front of our house directly faces the summer sunset and so the profile might get enough summertime heat exposure to weaken the frames. Or maybe not. I've seen other building products where rigid foam backing adds quite a bit of stability, if little R value - ie certain vinyl siding packages.

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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2024-02-28, 15:19

In 2009 we got the heavy duty argon filled vinyl windows put in. I honestly don’t remember all the details, I’d have to dig out paper work. So nice, much cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Ours were from a local Vancouver company, so I doubt I could share much else of value. We had two implosions, outside glass broke, manufacturing flaw, but they were replaced without hesitation, since it was a batch issue.

Front of our house with big windows are south facing, sun all day. No issues at all with them.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2024-02-28, 16:03

I never lived in a place with insulated windows.

Sounds luxurious!

Do people still buy wooden windows?

Are there aluminum frame residential windows?

..
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2024-02-28, 18:44

I’ve narrowed the list to two locals. For one of them the up charge from 2 to 3 pane is so minimal that it’s almost not worth it to do a 2 pane design. It’s a pretty thick glass package about 1&3/8” with big spacers between the external mid and internal panes. I’m more interested in its ability to keep condensation at bay than the savings in heating/cooling it might represent. I’ve been trying to keep an optimal humidity for overall lung health, and thats generally a little higher than the window guys would recommend in the winter months, so the thicker glass package may be somewhat beneficial here.

My research suggests that cladded wood, wood, and aluminum systems are more on the high end and/or commercial side now. Architects probably like ’em for the sharpness of the profiles and relatively thin frames - so more glass per opening and customized looks.
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PB PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2024-02-28, 19:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
I’ve narrowed the list to two locals. For one of them the up charge from 2 to 3 pane is so minimal that it’s almost not worth it to do a 2 pane design. It’s a pretty thick glass package about 1&3/8” with big spacers between the external mid and internal panes. I’m more interested in its ability to keep condensation at bay than the savings in heating/cooling it might represent. I’ve been trying to keep an optimal humidity for overall lung health, and thats generally a little higher than the window guys would recommend in the winter months, so the thicker glass package may be somewhat beneficial here.

My research suggests that cladded wood, wood, and aluminum systems are more on the high end and/or commercial side now. Architects probably like ’em for the sharpness of the profiles and relatively thin frames - so more glass per opening and customized looks.
We've found that heating/cooling systems play a far bigger roll in humidity control, but good windows could help I suppose.
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2024-02-29, 11:16

For sure. We don't really have a problem regulating humidity in the heating season, and I'll be installing some special air handling/filtration in the spring to optimize summertime air quality.

However, for reasons related to lung health we tend to aim for about 40% in our home, which appears to be the optimal intersection for controlling bacteria, virus, asthma, respiratory infections. Drier can be better for retarding/preventing mold, but it's all a balancing act. I can say that between a couple of strategic Corsi-Rosenthal boxes and dehumidifiers (summer) and humidifier setting (winter) it appears to have made a difference in my wife's recovery.

Now, a lot of building science and construction industry would rather a little drier, depending on their particular area of concern, particularly window installers who will almost always tell you to shoot for 30% or less because they don't like getting call-backs because of condensation on the interior side of the window pane (which they consider an air handling/setting problem). Not between the sealed panes themselves, which is a glass failure. But optimal humidity advice all depends on the product and area of concern: Prefinished flooring installers will all tell you to shoot a little higher, particularly hickory and/or wide plank red oak, which want "at least" 30-40%.

I'm prioritizing the health implications and then trying to spec the building systems to mitigate any demands from that.

Right now we don't have a problem on the inside window surface of any of the double sliders or sash windows, but the outside sliders and retrofit storm windows (which will be coming out) do get condensation in a few rooms. The inherent air circulation from the all the leaky opening probably helps more than it hurts in keeping the inside surface dry. When this is all tightened up, the major factors will be two. (1) How much separation does the window provide between interior and exterior temp? The greater the R value, the less heat transfer, the more resistance to condensation. (2) How is air handled in the home? Good circulation, humidity control etc.

I tend to nerd out on data and reports (occupational hazard).

I did find one more product that intrigues: mPVC or multicellular PVC. Basically the extrusions are a solid cross section of foamed PVC with smooth sides. Think of it like a human bone. Supposed to cut/nail/screw/sand like wood, and is paintable with the right surface treatment, supposedly stronger and more resistant to temp related fatigue. Nordik Windows is one local supplier, and there are a couple others who do this, but does not appear to be the more commonplace relative to multi-chamber extrusions more readily available.

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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2024-02-29, 23:54

I need to understand if there is a known correlation between window material and interior humidity, or if that's some sort of generalized evaluation.

As you go through all of your options (for which I am thankful, because some window replacements are in my future and I am learning stuff here) I am struck by one concern: selecting materials that will endure the elements. One of those elements is UV radiation, which I fear will be more detrimental to polyvinyl chlorides. That fear will certainly be struck down as unfounded, but it's difficult not to believe that wood or metal would fare better under the sun.


...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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PB PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2024-03-01, 00:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
I need to understand if there is a known correlation between window material and interior humidity, or if that's some sort of generalized evaluation.
The seal of the window, and thus the quality of the contractors workmanship, likely has a bigger impact on humidity control than the material of the window frame to be honest. As for UV damage to the frame, as noted we got our vinyl windows done in 2009, and they still look brand new, but we are in Canada, not the southern US. UV ratings during half the year are low or very low. We get high UV ratings from mid-late April till late September - early October, and very high only in the summer months.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2024-03-01, 01:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
...but we are in Canada, not the southern US. UV ratings during half the year are low or very low. We get high UV ratings from mid-late April till late September - early October, and very high only in the summer months.
Oh yeah, Canada!

Very different circumstances.

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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2024-03-01, 03:42

I wouldn’t say there is a correlation between window material and interior humidity. I’d say there’s a correlation between window performance and resistance to condensation.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2024-03-01, 08:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
I wouldn’t say there is a correlation between window material and interior humidity. I’d say there’s a correlation between window performance and resistance to condensation.
I suppose this reveals how UNinsulated my house is. It's VERY breathy

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Matsu
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2024-03-01, 08:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
As for UV damage to the frame, as noted we got our vinyl windows done in 2009, and they still look brand new, but we are in Canada, not the southern US. UV ratings during half the year are low or very low. We get high UV ratings from mid-late April till late September - early October, and very high only in the summer months.
Incidentally, what color did you go for? I like black window/trim elements on white houses or orange brick, but unless it’s a really well made, especially in the case of vinyl, I might stay away from straight black. The first houses I saw trimmed out with it looked great, but there’s a lot of subtlety in getting a nice black finish - painted, baked in, powder-coated or otherwise. The sheen and undertones matter a lot, and lately I’ve been seeing just as many black installs that look really bad as ones that look stunning.

Really bad vinyl has the added problem of potentially warping from heat build up, and one would assume black wouldn’t help, but to be fair I’ve seen online examples with warping in both dark and light colours.

Our house doesn’t really have any south facing windows, just a small bathroom window, two basement windows, and two doors facing the side yard, and partially shaded by the neighbour’s house. All the main windows face west (front) and east (in back). Those west facing windows would probably be the most at risk of UV damage

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PB PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2024-03-01, 10:18

We have stained brown wood siding, and went with white frames. It was a little jarring at first, since we’ve always had black frames, but it’s grown on me.
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2024-03-01, 11:30

Contrast is good. I like white trim mixed with dark and/or more saturated colors.

We have a very saturated orange brick with white trim/windows. The hardest thing to deal with is the garage door (also white) and this one patch of siding above it, that right now is just a dirty tan color. Making that whole thing one color will just make it look like I have a 10ft tall garage door, so I've been playing with a few color options. The garage door ain't the greatest but I don't feel like dropping stupid money on a high end one. It's steel, and by some miracle the kids haven't dented it, so I'll just paint it something that works with the windows/doors/brick/siding. I keep cruising the neighbourhood to see if one of my neighbours with the same brick does a tear-out/remodel. If I could harvest enough bricks (about 50 sq/ft) I'd just delete the siding entirely.

I'm leaning towards charcoal greys and/or heritage blues but I can be convinced to keep some white in the trim package too.

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PB PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2024-03-01, 15:14

Yes, it took a while to get used to the white frames, but after a few months I didn’t notice them so much. They don’t get super hot like the black ones on the double pane metal frames windows they replaced. Most of the people in the neighborhood who have redone their windows followed suit.

Garage doors are next after the kitchen. We still have the original wood doors from when the house was built, but they are getting rather worn down.
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