Confused in Chicago

patrice607March 29, 2011

I am replacing 4 large double hungs in my family room. I have to do this quickly because we are putting hardiboard on the exterior in a few weeks. Chicago is in Energy Star 4 category. The windows are north/northwest and only get a glimmer of sun around sunset. This has been a miserably cold room. We are replacing 28 year old Andersons that were installed by the previous owner. We always have a space heater going during the winter. I want the lowest u factor I can find and I'm willing to pay for warm windows. I've looked at Marvin, Simonton Hurd and Jeldwen. I am considering the Marvin and a Simonton that has a wood look vinyl interior. I wanted wood but wood consider a vinyl alternative if it looks like wood. We have Anderson and Pella white vinyl in the rest of the house but I want wood in this room to go with the wooden vaulted ceiling.

These windows are 46 inches wide. Would triple pane make them too heavy/cumbersome to clean?

Does the clean technology work? One rep told me that it's just Rain-X and it will come off with chemicals in Windex and other cleaners. If it works well this may be a deciding factor for me.

Should I get 2 or 3 coats of Low-E? I understand it makes the room darker but also inhibits transmission of cold/hot


Should I have my general contractor install them when he puts the hardiboard in or should I go with the window company's installer?

Are there any other recommendations or something I'm missing?


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Windows on Washington Ltd

Triple pane does not add that much weight to the overall window assembly and is certainly not an issue for a well engineered window.

The trade off to triple pane is the fact that it will be darker when compared to the double pane option.

The self cleaning windows do work if you have exposure and water that can get to the surface of the glass. There are specific cleaners that you need to avoid if you have a self-cleaning window.

The miserably cold room may or may not be corrected by the replacement of your windows. Without having a more critical examination of the room and windows, it is tough to determine what the source of the heat loss is.

If you are in Chicago, there is one person that I can recommend without hesitation. His name is Dave H. and he is with Strong Windows. They carry all the best brands and Dave is a stand up guy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Strong Windows

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 9:42PM
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Thanks for the information. How much Low -E coating?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 11:10PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Depends on what glass pack you go with.

You would like to have higher SHGC on the South facing windows and low on the North, East, and West.

That orientation will dictate Low-e surface thickness.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 12:17AM
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I understand that low E also inhibits transmission of cold and hot air. I don't want my north facing windows to be dark but 2 coats of low E is standard on most of the windows I have looked at. Thinking of going with 1 coat. We also have a lot of tall evergreens back there. Virtually no sun.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 11:52PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Low-e has nothing to do with the movement of air.

Low-e stands for low emissivity and is designed to slow the movement of radiant energy.

Most windows will come with 2 soft coats where as there are units with 3 coats for lower Solar Heat Gain Coefficients.

In Chicago, you are going to want to keep your SHGC as high as possible on the South facing windows.

Low-e is going to darken the window up some, however, that is the trade off as a result of the increased efficiency.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 8:20AM
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Marvin rep came in today. Ultimates are a 4 week wait time.
Integrity is 10 days! I'm thinking of switching to the integrity and ordering the standard 2 coats of low E.

Contractor vs. Marvin distributor - Any opinions on who should do installation?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 6:01PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

I would check out the Okna 800 from Strong Windows for your last vinyl comparison. They have a very pretty interior wood laminate.

The Integrity is a very nice window. In terms of who should install, you should look at some representative work samples from each party and make your evaluation based on that and their approach.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 8:54AM
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Just ordered the Marvin Ultimate. Intergrity didn't come in my sizes. Hope they can keep promised delivery date of 2 weeks.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 12:09AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Nice windows.

Good luck with the install.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 8:42AM
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