Are newer windows worth the cost?

allmarshAugust 6, 2014

We just ordered thermal break aluminum windows for guest/garage new build. Thank you for advice on this forum. We went with aluminum to get dark interior/exterior color and to match 3 newer, existing windows in remodeled area of main house. It's a ranch home with EFIS exterior in warm climate.

We have a quote to also replace some old windows in main house with t/b alum. Most of old windows are Better Bilt insulated alum windows that were installed by prior owner in '97. They were bought at Home Depot and I don't know if they have low-E glass. They are dual pane. They include 3 single hung, and 4 gliders. There is also a current single pane of glass in large picture window that is probably original to the house.

We think replacing the single pane, picture window is a no brainer, but what about other double panes installed in '97? If we take out cost for picture window; quote for t/b alum with Suncoatmax and Edgegard is about $3700 installed for 3 single hung and 4 gliders of varying size. Are the thermal break with better glass and argon worth spending the $3700?

We'd appreciate your thoughts.

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Where is the home and what are your cooling costs?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:08PM
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Home is in Arizona desert climate so we get mild winters, but hot summers. A/C bills are the high costs which in the summer months range from high two hundreds to max $350. (we have a pool too which adds a bit to electric bill).

I'm just wondering if the thermal break in the aluminum and the better glass will make that much of a difference to justify the cost. Does a Better Bilt window from the late 90's even have low-E glass? Will new windows translate to a lower electric bill or is it more of a comfort/aesthetic thing?

Do you agree that it is an easy decision to replace big picture window with thermally broken, dual pane alum since it is just a single pane of glass? I'm assuming we'd see improvement with that change, but we're just not as sure about the remaining dual pane Better Bilts.

Picture window quote shows UF is .31, SGC .25. Other moveable windows would be UF of .37, .38 and SGC of .23 in T/B alum with Suncoatmax, argon and Edgegard.

Thanks for your advice.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 3:05PM
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Probably not Lowe-e in the current window and if they are otherwise working windows, you are hard pressed to justify that cost.

You can always look into a solar film for the glass and that will probably get you most of the performance that you need.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 3:12PM
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Would you do the picture window at a minimum to replace the single pane of glass with the dual pane?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:27PM
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Is the solar film something a company applies? Does it affect visibility through the glass? Thanks

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:06PM
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I thought you mentioned they were all dual pane already?

A single to dual pane window will certainly help with efficiency and will have a shorter ROI than a dual pane to a dual pane with Low-e.

The films do reduce visibility somewhat and they can be applied by the homeowner but most will defer to a professional as there are some tips and tricks.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:32AM
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Most are dual pane, but as I noted in the first post we have one large picture window that is a single pane of glass. Thank you for the information.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:09AM
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This probably won't affect you (I'm guessing the warranty on your windows is no longer in effect) but many warranties are voided if you put up film on insulated glass units, as an FYI.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 3:54PM
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If you use a reputable film company (3M for example), most will supersede the warranty on the window with additional warranty coverage.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:39AM
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That's good to know. I'll look up some info on the 3M product. Thanks to all of you for your help.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 3:29PM
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