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Community and Q&A

Choosing Windows for a Mild Climate

beedigs | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I have been researching for the right windows for our house project for a while here in CZ2. Got Amsco casement window numbers from a local supplier (U value 0.3, SHGC value 0.18) and the numbers look great, compared to the minimum code requirements (see pic). Also got a quote from Schucco early on and realized that the windows they quoted me won’t meet code, so am awaiting the latest one with the right U and SHGC values.  Between these 2 window brands there is about a $10-15K price difference already but we want to have good nonleaky windows to avoid condensation issues.  With a milder climate that we have, do we really need to go triple glaze still? front of future home will face northwest and we have awnings over each big window except for one back one (see pics).

With lumber prices being super high right now we are looking at where else we could tweak to keep our budget.  Do we need to go triple-pane on all windows being in CZ2, or just do double pane in the front and triple pane in the back? Is it necessary to have the awnings where we have it given that only the back windows would be getting the brunt of the sun?  Would going with Amsco windows be good enough?

Good read on Roger Normand’s “Looking Through Windows”.  Might explore Bieber and Intus Windows to see whether they can help us, thanks to his articles.  I’ve googled these brands in the past without much success finding content out there.  Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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  1. user-2310254 | | #1

    This is just a personnel opinion, but I think you would do fine with a good quality but not necessarily great window. I built a previous house to meet a very challenging overall level of energy performance (in CZ3A). But I was able to economize on the windows and still meet my goals. In that case, I selected Andersen's 100 series and was very satisfied.

    For an upcoming build (based on a comments from Carl Seville), I'm looking at Windsor Pinnacle windows but may price out Andersen again as well.

  2. GBA Editor
    Kiley Jacques | | #2

    Clearly you’ve done your research but this article discusses a number of window brands with commentary from builders, designers, and GBA readers. There are also some links to valuable resources that might interest you—particularly the NFRC product directory and Passive House Institute U.S.’s recommendations for window performance based on climate zone. It also looks at the issue of double pane vs. triple pane.

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