EPA Energy Star Window Comparisons

haildamageNovember 10, 2013

I'm planning to replace my windows which are about 8 years old and have suffered from hail damage several times. I found this EPA page on casements and was wondering of everyone's thoughts on the windows listed that are rated as a '70' performance grade.

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=most_efficient.me_casement

Here is a link that might be useful: energystart link

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PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

I don't know the Koltech window very well as it is a Canadian design and manufacturer but the numbers look good.

The Okna, Sunrise, and Polaris are all very well regarded vinyl windows.

Have you narrowed down your search to any particular window?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 5:04AM
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haildamage

Thanks for the response-
No, I haven't decided on any particular one yet, trying to narrow it down.
I have Pella triple glaze Designer windows and want something more resistant to moisture (CR rating) and more resistant to hail. I built a super insulated house with a true R value well over 30 and want a window to match. We replaced half the windows last year due to hail and now another big storm hit and 3/4 of the windows need to be replaced. I was leaning towards Marvins, either because of their fiberglass or extruded aluminum (hail resistant) features but then I stumbled on this energy star site.
I guess I was wondering if people would take the E Star rating 'PG' seriously enough to rule out Marvins because of it and then I'd be more willing to go with these brands that I've never heard of before-with PGs of 70. Besides those requirements they would need to have a network in MN as I know how critical it is to have service after the sale.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 7:07PM
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PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

If you want anything close to the wall, you won't likely find it in wood.

Wood manufacturers know that ultimate energy efficiency is not the thrust of most wood consumers.

There are some fiberglass options out there that are great but Marvin doesn't currently offer triple pane in anything fiberglass that they make.

If you want to stay with FG, you are probably going to need to look at some of the Canadian stuff to get supreme efficiency.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 6:20AM
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haildamage

I'm not set on fiberglass at all....I'm just not sure if I like the look of vinyl...
Marvin just introduced their FG option in a triple pane-I was told by a lumberyard....which I don't believe will be reflected on the E Star site but after seeing their performance grade of their current windows, I was less impressed with them.
What I'm wondering is if I will be able to notice the extra '10 - 20' higher points in the performance grade of the vinyl options over Marvin and the others.
I guess of the vinyl options there like Polaris, Sunrise, Okna, are these durable high quality, highly efficient windows that I will be pleased with for the next couple decades...?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 8:03AM
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PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

I don't see any reason why high performance vinyl (as long as you are okay with the look) would not perform to your expectations over the next 20+ years.

There are higher performance options out there that take the U-Factors into the low teens.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 8:08AM
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HomeSealed

+1, Good feedback from Windows on Washington. I have seen quality vinyl windows over 10 yrs old that you'd believe me if I said they were installed last year. Still look and perform like new. 20-30+ years of legitimate performance is not an unreasonable expectation, although I stress that is from a quality product.
You'll need a high end vinyl or fiberglass product to achieve the numbers that you are looking for.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 10:25AM
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haildamage

So do you both consider Sunrise, Polaris, and Okna to be one of these 'high end' products or is there another tier not reflected in the E Star site? Price wise, these windows seem to be around the price of the better Marvins, but the vinyls have the better efficiency. I think I can stomach either of these, but not sure how much higher I'm comfortable with paying.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 7:01PM
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Karateguy

I'd say that you have a very solid group there, just make sure that you are looking at the top offerings of each. The okna will provide the best ratings of the three, but they are all good. Pricing wil vary by dealer. While you will pay for quality, premium vinyl is most often significantly less expensive than wood, particularly high end wood like Marvin. Just don't get fooled by products that pass themselves off as premium but are lacking. A recent experience with Preservation by alside comes to mind. $1000+ per window with mediocre air leakage and a pocket capture sill.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 8:33PM
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haildamage

So I got a rough quote from Sunrise....for a 30x36 window installed, their asking $1,000. I told him that was borderline outragous. Am I crazy? Pella's and Marvin's are $400-500 plus install and to what I've seen, these vinyl shouldn't be more than that......

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 6:43PM
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haildamage

So I got a rough quote from Sunrise....for a 30x36 window installed, their asking $1,000. I told him that was borderline outragous. Am I crazy? Pella's and Marvin's are $400-500 plus install and to what I've seen, these vinyl shouldn't be more than that......

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 7:35PM
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PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

Marvins, depending on what you are getting, will get way beyond $500.

What options in the window and what type of installation?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 7:44PM
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Karateguy

I agree. Not sure what you are basing these prices on, but for a competent, legit company to install a Marvin or pella window you will pay well more than $1k all in. $ 1000 per unit is actually not too far off for a top vinyl choice installed by a company that will be around to service you for years to come.

This post was edited by Karateguy on Wed, Nov 13, 13 at 22:35

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 10:33PM
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haildamage

Sorry for my delayed response, I've been very busy lately.

The Sunrise guy sounds like a used car salesman. After I told him the installed price was too high and politely ended the conversation because he said selling me just the window without installation would void the warranty. He called me back to tell me he was wrong and could sell just the windows. He also said he's almost met his quota for the year so he can get a bonus. He told me my 8' bay window (5' picture and 2 45' DH) was $6k. I have since gotten a quote for just the windows-no installation/removal, 14 windows including the bay, the total was $6,500. When I asked in person what the bay window costs, he told me $1.5k. Doing easy math tells me he wanted $4,500 to install and remove the bays?

The quote was simply the dollar amount in an email, no itemized list or anything. To upgrade to triple pane, total is another $1k.

Doing more simple math tells me over half his price was labor.

Regarding the Marvins, ultimate casement, $470 and Ultrex $400 (both are triple pane, casement, no grids or rollscreens, 30x36 roughly)

I have a reputable installer that will install the windows for $200 each, including trim work. I'm guessing the bay will be a little more.

We looked at the Sunrise the other day, they are OK. The vinyl on the bay seems a bit chincy. Salesman also said the bay seatboard only has 2" of foam, my Pella has 4"-both are the closed cell.

I guess the ironic part it the EPA website that first let me to Sunrise due to their good performance numbers, aren't what he quoted out nor what he wants to sell me. However, the Marvins, both that were quoted, perform as well as the triple pane Sunrise according to the specs.

One window that was installed in the demo room, had a heck of a time getting the screen out, I was wondering if the window was sagging as the screen had an 1" bow until it finally snapped into place and straightened out.

Anyways, I'm still waiting for a call back from the OKNA installer after 2 weeks and haven't made any decisions yet.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 2:34PM
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doorproz

Most dealers do NOT sell just the window,it very well could cause warranty issues. Most reputable companies will never do that..me included.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 6:35PM
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