Anybody have Serious Windows?

desertmarcyMay 13, 2010

I am narrowing my window search to either the 725 or 925 series of Serious Windows. I realize the trade-off for really energy efficient windows is a low VT. Since there is no dealer locally, there is no sample to actually look through. I have read on this forum people saying they wouldn't get a window with a VT less than about .5. But I am in bright, sunny Tucson, Arizona and the sun here is really intense in the summer. I'd love to hear from anybody who has either of these windows and lives in a similar bright and sunny area. Energy efficiency and low maintenance (I'm getting fiberglass) are my primary concerns. There will be lots of window area in this new addition--room size will be 28' X 36' with 8 32" wide X 64" high windows plus a glass French door. Plus we will probably put in a couple of skylights (this is a sunroom/indoor exercise pool room after all). So am I crazy to worry about the windows being too dark? The VT on the 725 (casements and fixed) is .38 and .49; on the 925, it is .29 (casement) and .38 (fixed). Thanks all, this forum has been really helpful.

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windowsonwashington

0.38 and 0.29 is a dark window.

I would rather have sun control with some internal blinds at that level and be able to control the shading.

Standard 3 coat Low-e will drop the VT quite a bit over clear glass already.

See if there are any Inline fiberglass window dealers in your area seeing as that is what the Serious window is.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 10:38AM
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desertmarcy

I'm after a good window that will allow me the views and not have to close blinds and also want some light in as I plan to have a lot of plants in the room. It is an exercise pool combo greenhouse room. Unfortunately I could find no Inline dealers. I tried dealing directly with Inline, got a little bit of information, then the rep. stopped responding to my queries for some reason, so I gave up figuring their shipping would be so high from e. Canada to Arizona anyway.
Serious ships to me from Colorado and their rep. has been very helpful and most patient with me. They are working to send me out a 1'x1' glass sample, hopefully that will happen soon enough for me to make a decision.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 11:56AM
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windowgal

I sell Serious Windows in the Pacific Northwest and have seen Serious Windows in many homes. I work with a lot of the Passive House and Net Zero builders in my area and Serious is the preferred brand by far. Here is a link to a few of the projects I have worked on in my area and many of these shots are from inside the house looking out. I think you will find that there is a minimal difference between Serious glass and the traditional triple or double glazed windows we are all used to. These are amazing projects that I am very proud to have been a part of. One is a Passive House retrofit by Tad Everhart (Oprah Show - Earth Day episode), Net Zero home built by John Mead of Cellar Ridge Construction, Passive House (new construction) by Blake & Larry Bilyeu of Bilyeu Homes, and finally CoreHaus - Passive House still under construction (not my customer). All of these projects are in Oregon.

Here is a link that might be useful: Serious Window Photo's or real projects in Oregon (there are photos from inside the homes looking out)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 6:36PM
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windowsonwashington

How much does that R-11 casement run in say a 32" by 54" window size, installed? No grids or anything else special. Just the R-11 glass pack.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 10:26AM
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desertmarcy

I am going to use a 32" X 64" casement window size. I was quoted $950 for the 925 series for this--includes shipping and anchor brackets. This window has a center of glass R-value of 14.3 and a whole window, including frame, R-value of 6.7. SHGC is .17 (whole window).

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 1:04AM
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windowsonwashington

That is nice chunk of money per unit for a 96ui casement.

There are quite a few U-Factor windows that are down in the mid-teens in the vinyl and composites.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 10:15AM
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windowgal

Which manufacturers are they? We sell Atrium which does offer triple glazed windows. The average u-value for these units is .20 but there is no flexibility with the SHGC. I don't know of any American made windows that can get comparable performance to Serious. I would love to know more if there is another option I am unaware of.

I think it's a mistake to try to compare the pricing of a Serious window to that of a more traditional window. The performance level is not the same and therefore the benifits if used correctly is a huge advantage. Most of my customers actually consider the Serious Window as part of their heating system. It's just not as simple as comparing window pricing.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 2:22PM
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skydawggy

Just one example would be Okna. Their TP has an overall U-factor of .15. There are other manufacturers like Softlite that are around.17.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 3:43PM
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windowsonwashington

There are several windows out there made with as good, if not better thermal numbers.

A window as part of the heating system is a stretch. The SHGC of 0.33 is hardly taking real advantage of the passive solar aspect when compared to clear glass with solar shade (SHGC nearer 0.60+). How long will it take that customer to recover the extra $400 per unit in passive solar when compared to another window with an SHGC of 0.24 with better thermal numbers?

I do like Serious pushing the technology of windows and it is good for the industry in the long run. I am not sure they are worth what they ask for them of if they are really the technology innovators they claim.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 6:47PM
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skydawggy

Desertmarcy

Is that $950 just for the window with no installation?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 7:18PM
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windowgal

I don't know how to copy in a pdf file but I have several project case studies where the Serious Window is in fact part of the heating system. But these are homes that are new construction and are either certified Passive House or Net Zero Energy homes. These homes are designed with these principals from the start. Using one of the Passive House homes as an example. The results from the air door blower test for this home was .20 air exchanges per hour (I was present during this test administered by Earth Advantage) which translates to a minimal heating load anyway. They then factored in the heat gain from the windows on the southern exposure of the home. These two things combined (very simplified explanation) resulted in the total amount of energy required to heat the home is equivalent to that of a hair dryer. The builder (Bilyeu Homes) explained that the Serious Windows on the southern elevation were more of a positive heat gain than the traditional heat loss and were in fact equated in to the heating system.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 4:14PM
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windowsonwashington

The homes that you are talking about probably represent about 0.001% of the homes being built today.

Super insulated wall systems, ridiculously low air change rates, and interiors that are designed to store and release solar energy are great but are not applicable to +99% of renovation work.

I would be interested to see the ResFen calculations on a window system that was closer to an R-Value of 2 but an SHGC of 0.60+

That would reduce the overall wall R-Value from about 16 to 8 in an 80/20 wall to window split, however, much of that heat loss can be negated with proper solar shades.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 9:53PM
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windowgal

To get a SHGC of .60 in a window that is produced by a main stream manufacturer you can accomplish this with clear glass and argon. The result is a .60 SHGC and a u- value of .49. If you have to use solar shades to offset the poor energy efficiency what is the cost? Adding another product to the project will add more cost as well. The reason that Serious is unique is that they give you the ability to get high SGHC and low u-value at the same time. I don't believe that the cost of a window with a high u-value & SHGC plus a solar shading system is less than the cost of a Serious Window. You can get a Serious 525 series PW for approximately $275.00 with glass package 5 .22 u-value & .50 SHGC or glass package 8 .17 u-value & .25 SHGC. Yes I have seen both glass packages in the same house. There is a noticable difference but it is not offensive nor does it look dark.

It is true that the number of these types of projects is few in most area's of the country. However in the Pacific NW we are seeing a lot of it. We have sold several single family projects (of these there are a few retrofits), a multi family building, and are working on a couple Net Zero office buildings. I think that as construction comes back we will see more and more of it. We are already seeing evidence of this.

I am always interested in learning more about specific products or construction techniques. If there are specific brands out there that perform the same I am eager to learn more. Our business is focused on this market and the more I have to offer the more successful we will be.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 12:46PM
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windowsonwashington

At $275, it is a more reasonable consideration. At what I see most people charging for Serious windows, it would be cheaper to use a clear glass/argon window with solar or cellular shades.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 3:10PM
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