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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
do wood windows come in triple pnae?
are there any negatives of getting a wood window in triple pane opposed to a high end vinyl?
 

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Yes. Wood windows come in triple pane from several companies.

I replaced all my own windows with Loewen HeatSmart wood windows. Unbelievable difference in comfort and energy use. Triple pane 1 3/8" outside dimension. Disadvantage is that it is expensive, maybe a little distortion if you look through the glass diagonally.

I have a couple Hurd windows with Heat Mirror. The HeatSmart wins.
 

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Absolutely they do. However TP alone is not the do all end all.
How are sashes sealed to lock out air?

Whats are a AI #'s? DP rating? Those values are equally important. I prefer a wood window over a vinyl. Vinyl expands and contacts so much that AI numbers begin to deteriorate almost immediately. Wood OTOH stays mor constant. Fiberglass is better yet.

I love heat mirror, but not many companies use it
 

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Yes wood windows come in triple pane. In fact most wood windows (not all) need a triple pane glass package just to meet tax credit guidelines.
I am a bit curious where you got the idea that most wood windows need triple to meet the 30/30 guideline?

Every major wood window manufacturer that I am aware of has duals that meet the requirement - in most cases a good many windows in several different versions that meet the requirement.
 

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I am a bit curious where you got the idea that most wood windows need triple to meet the 30/30 guideline?

Every major wood window manufacturer that I am aware of has duals that meet the requirement - in most cases a good many windows in several different versions that meet the requirement.

100% correct. Anderson, Marvin both use Cardinal 366 glass to qualify
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Absolutely they do. However TP alone is not the do all end all.
How are sashes sealed to lock out air?

Whats are a AI #'s? DP rating? Those values are equally important. I prefer a wood window over a vinyl. Vinyl expands and contacts so much that AI numbers begin to deteriorate almost immediately. Wood OTOH stays mor constant. Fiberglass is better yet.

I love heat mirror, but not many companies use it
a high quality (upper end) vinyl window who has a very low air infiltration number and high DP rating will eventually fade? I remember a few years back there was a company called Schuco windows that had great numbers. those numbers from the old schuco window will deteriorate? i understand how a home depot window would but for the love of god,a schuco!
 

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I am a bit curious where you got the idea that most wood windows need triple to meet the 30/30 guideline?

Every major wood window manufacturer that I am aware of has duals that meet the requirement - in most cases a good many windows in several different versions that meet the requirement.
I got that idea from my distributors when I tried to find a wood product that would pass for the 30/30. Most of my business is vinyl, so maybe they have gotten things figured out over the past few months, but I had a pretty hard time finding wood windows that qualified back then, and if they did, they were all triple pane. I believe the only double I could find at the time was a weathershield...My client at the time actually wanted Kolbe and they could not meet it even with a triple pane!?... Please correct me if I'm wrong, but in my experience, an identical glass package in a vinyl window will yield a lower u-value than in a wood window, correct?
 

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a high quality (upper end) vinyl window who has a very low air infiltration number and high DP rating will eventually fade? I remember a few years back there was a company called Schuco windows that had great numbers. those numbers from the old schuco window will deteriorate? i understand how a home depot window would but for the love of god,a schuco!

Yes this can happen to any vinyl window, even Schuco. I dealt in the Schuco window. They had a great extrusion but vinyl is vinyl and over time it will expand and contract at a much higher rate than the IGU causing seal failures and air leakage. When AI goes up, DP goes down because DP is Design pressure. It measures how much pressure is needed to force a window to leak air and water. Wood, FG or even cellular composites expand at much lower rates thereby holding their numbers longer and causing less seal failures over time

Now to be fair there's nothing wrong with vinyl as long as you get into the HQ lines. Many like Okna will start at a DP50 which is better than most FG or wood windows so the drop in numbers may be moot.
 

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I got that idea from my distributors when I tried to find a wood product that would pass for the 30/30. Most of my business is vinyl, so maybe they have gotten things figured out over the past few months, but I had a pretty hard time finding wood windows that qualified back then, and if they did, they were all triple pane. I believe the only double I could find at the time was a weathershield...My client at the time actually wanted Kolbe and they could not meet it even with a triple pane!?... Please correct me if I'm wrong, but in my experience, an identical glass package in a vinyl window will yield a lower u-value than in a wood window, correct?
Yep, I would agree that a good many wood window companies were "caught with their pants down" when 30/30 was announced. They didn't have readily available dual pane units to meet those requirements.

There were a lot of wood windows being manufactured with performance values in the U .33 range which was good enough for energy star but not for the rebate program. As Buddy pointed out, by switching to Cardinal's 366 LoE coating they were able to meet the 30/30 requirement.

While wood and vinyl have very similar insulating numbers, it is possible to manipulate vinyl extrusions (more than wood) to squeeze a little bit more out of the material in terms of energy performance. And I would agree that the vinyl guys were using that fact to get their performance numbers down below the U .30 number before the wood guys decided that they needed to get there too.

IMO it really came down to marketing originally (and I don't mean that in a bad way). The vinyl guys - especially the high end products - realized that they needed something extra to compete with wood window manufacturers for the higher end dollars. They looked at improved energy performance as one way to do this. Lower end vinyl were simply cheap.

But with so many different vinyl companies out there, even some of the lower end guys realized that they had to do something to stand out from the competition and they also began working on their energy numbers to try to get that little jump on the competition.

I would agree that generically in comparison a vinyl window and a wood window with identical glass packages can result in slightly better energy numbers for the vinyl window.
 

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"I would agree that generically in comparison a vinyl window and a wood window with identical glass packages can result in slightly better energy numbers for the vinyl window. "

could you give us an example as to how this is done?
 

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Oberon,
There were a fair number of vinyl companies that were cuaght in the same situation. Alside, and Gorell 5155 come to mind. Like everyone else though, they made the changes necessary to meet the criteria.

As always, thanks for the post! :clap:
 

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Oberon,
There were a fair number of vinyl companies that were cuaght in the same situation. Alside, and Gorell 5155 come to mind. Like everyone else though, they made the changes necessary to meet the criteria.

As always, thanks for the post! :clap:
Alside Sheffield and Ultramaxx met from day one with standard "XP". Excalibur met within about 30 days with their "XPS" package. All dual-pane packages.
 

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Oberon,
There were a fair number of vinyl companies that were cuaght in the same situation. Alside, and Gorell 5155 come to mind. Like everyone else though, they made the changes necessary to meet the criteria.

As always, thanks for the post! :clap:
Buddy,

I would agree that a fair number of vinyl companies were also caught offguard by the 30/30 requirement. But, I do think that at least some vinyl guys were using better energy performance versus wood as one of their main selling points so that they didn't have to adapt to meet the 30/30 as much as the wood guys did.

And ultimately, as you pointed out earlier, simply changing the LowE coating in many cases was enough to meet the need.

And you are welcome.
 

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"I would agree that generically in comparison a vinyl window and a wood window with identical glass packages can result in slightly better energy numbers for the vinyl window. "

could you give us an example as to how this is done?
Good morning,

Dead (totally still) air has an R value of 5. When considering an IG unit it makes sense that an IG with a 1" airspace between the lites would be an improvement over an IG with a 1/2" airspace between the lites. Also some folks will suggest that the wider airspace between an original window and a storm window (possibly several inches) is a better insulator than a dual or even triple pane window with all the "bells and whistles" because of the wider airspace - they are also wrong.

The key is "dead air". Everyone reading this here knows that insulation does what it does because of trapped air pockets. In an IG unit, wider isn't better because wider results in convection currents that short circuit the advantages of the wider space. In the real world in fact, the 1/2" airspace will very slightly outperform the 1" airspace because of the convection currents formed between the lites of the 1" space.

Window sash / frame material is much the same.

If you compare vinyl, wood, and fiberglass for example, fiberglass ends up having lower energy performance numbers than either wood or vinyl because of one of the selling points of the material. Fiberglass is really strong. Because it is so strong it doesn't require internal reinforcement like vinyl does. The results in hollow frames and air movement within the frame - convection currents.

Some fiberglass folks are now foam-filling their frames in order to improve their energy performance numbers. And foam filling a fiberglass pultrusion has advantages because it is essentially a big empty tube versus an extruded vinyl frame which has all sorts of chambers within the frame.

Wood is wood. Use pine you have an R 1.2, use oak you have a R 0.8. It is what it is.

The chambers inside a vinyl frame are designed primarily to strengthen the material, but they can also be engineered to have smaller, sealed airspaces within the frame. By doing so, it is possible to improve the performance of the frame to some degree - less air movement within the frame can result in slightly better performance numbers. Adding foam in a vinyl frame will cut down on air movement even more, but it is arguable that the potential difficulty (and inconsistency) of foam filling a vinyl window frame / sash may not always justify the slight improvement offered by foam filling.

And, it is also possible to change the structure of the material. While the vast majority of vinyl windows are made with "standard" uPVC (u is for unplasticized), some folks are now offering "cellular PVC" where the material is "foam extruded" which results in a stronger, but less dense material - cellular PVC has tiny air bubbles in the material making it about the same density of a typical softwood - with a correspondingly similar R value. Of course vinyl windows will still be "hollow", versus solid wood, so the R value of the material becomes less of a factor in any direct comparison.
 

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a cellular pvc window will have have slightly decreased efficiency than a rigid uPVC frame?
i'd also like to know about a solid fiberglass frame.
 

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just made a call. fiberglass is a btter insulator when hollow(dead air space) opposed to solid. also,a solid pultrusion would be very expensive.
a very high quality vinyl as well as thicker guage that is mulit chambered and well designed will render ,in some cases, better thermal performance numbers than fiber glass. we are talking frames,not glass.
further,nowadays, pvc extrusions are designed with the fact that their expansion and contraction co-efficients are SLIGHTLY different than glass.
this is where quality control comes into play such as the quality of the sealants and the quality of the spacer. if those issues are covered,a high quality PVC extrusion will have a very long thermal performing shelf life .
wood windows are behind the curve for a variety of reasons.
 

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just made a call. fiberglass is a btter insulator when hollow(dead air space) opposed to solid. also,a solid pultrusion would be very expensive.
a very high quality vinyl as well as thicker guage that is mulit chambered and well designed will render ,in some cases, better thermal performance numbers than fiber glass. we are talking frames,not glass.
further,nowadays, pvc extrusions are designed with the fact that their expansion and contraction co-efficients are SLIGHTLY different than glass.
this is where quality control comes into play such as the quality of the sealants and the quality of the spacer. if those issues are covered,a high quality PVC extrusion will have a very long thermal performing shelf life .
wood windows are behind the curve for a variety of reasons.

I didn't know that about FG frames. Who did you speak with? I'm fairly certain Infinity's frames are solid.

Also I think the co-efficients are more than slightly different with respect to vinyl/glass

Godd info though and thank you.
 
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