Questions/Comments RE: Vinyl Windows

chipster_2007November 12, 2007

I would like to make a comment regarding homes I have been in with vinyl windows and an experience with a home with non vinyl replacement windows. There is a noticeable difference in comfort between the two, specifically, the home with the vinyl windows felt tighter, quieter and I am assuming, took a lot less energy to heat. Can anyone comment on this? Also, I have other questions:

1.Meeting rails-I have seen windows whose meeting rails are reinforced with fiberglass, aluminum and others that are not reinforced at all. Which is better?

2.I have heard that a triple pane of glass is too heavy for vinyl, that it will eventually break the window.True?

3.In the northeast, is it advisable to have triple pane windows and if so, what in the construction of the vinyl window should I look for to ensure the window will not break over time?

4.Which is the best and most visually appealing spacer to have? I have been told super spacer is visually unappealing due to it's color and possible breakdown.

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In regards to your question and comparison of the two homes I woul dlike to make a comment. Wood is the best insulator known o man, hence the effiency of a properly built log home that being said I would venture to say the difference you felt in the 2 houses was due to installation methods were the vinyl winodws professionally installed, and possibly the wood replacement windows installed by a homeowner who thought they knew what they were doing and did not get them istalled or insulated properly.
meeting rails should be reinforced to provide some rigidity because vinyl by definition is a flexible product and will bow and give over time if not reinforced.
There are some vinyl companies out there that do provide a triple pane but My experience with them over time is they do cause the bottom rail to sag, A triple pane while it would be nice is not really needed. the trick is to compare the u-rating of the windows you are considering, do not go by the center glass rating, ask for the whole window rating, the lower the number the better the insulating value. A good range window should be .32 to .35 for the northeast. A Pella can get their windows o the .23 to .25 in the designer series with a triple pane but are very pricy as they offer options between the glass like shades and privacy panels.
Spacers an aluminum spacer will ransfer the cold if it is unprotected by the frame so if using between the grilles in a window a dark colored foam is preferable to give a more authnetic divided light look in the edge of the windows aluminum is th emost cost efective and easiest way to go becuase the frame material of the window will insulae the aluminum.
An Inert gas is still a viable insulator, if you want proof look at the U-values again you can go to and check the ratings for any company that is part of the National Fenestration Council. Windows are not a place to cut corners on price. as they can cause he largest amount of nergy loss in your house. As an aside I do not like vinyl because a) as a plastic it require petrolium for the manufacture process and with the price of oil going sky high conserve as much as you can, and b) it outgasses leaking harmful vapors into the atmosphere and your home, which is why vinyl is not recommended for greenhouses

Here is a link that might be useful: national fnesstration cocil webpage

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 4:12PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

Fact: Vinyl window pricing has decreased, even during rising oil costs. NO, it's not because they have cheapened the vinyl, but because they have made the manufacturing process more economical. Most are using the LEAN manufacturing process.

Our leading vinyl window is steel U channel reinforced in the lock rail so that the screws holding the lock have something to bite in to and make a more secure window.

Our leading vinyl window is .25 U factor with 70% VLT. That's darn good for a double pane, Low E Argon double hung. Our wood window with Low E Argon/Krypton is .30.

Our leading brands are Super Spacer sealed because we believe in Super Spacer as THE truest warm edge technology. How many people stare at the spacer system??? That's almost funny to hear that it's unattractive. Would you rather see a gray spacer or a shiny metal one that condensates? Super Spacer has exceeded all the testing and proves to remain the best warm edge spacer available in the industry. No breakdowns. That's a myth.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 9:09PM
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Hi Michael, I like the idea of vlt being 70%. Can you tell me what manufacters make a vinyl window with that rating? Many of the windows I have looked at seem very dark and I don't want to lose all that light. Also, I thought the tps spacer was the best, followed by the super spacer. What other vinyl window manufacturers, besides schuco, use tps spacers?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 7:56AM
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