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Double-pane window recommendations?

joenorm | Posted in General Questions on

Does anyone have any double pane window recommendations with energy efficiency in mind?

Looking for something mid grade, to not break the bank.

Matt Rissinger has highlighted Anderson 100 series, he even says they “perform” well.

Any thoughts on windows within a budget?

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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    There are a lot of people that consider Andersen 100 windows to be a pretty good window for the money. They aren’t fancy, and they don’t have tons of options, but the quality is pretty good for the amount of money you spend.

    Try to get the i89 coating on the glass. It helps on double pane windows, adds around 20% better insulating value with very little downside. There have been some reports of increased tendency for condensation though due to the interior glass pane being a little colder, but no one seems to have definitive info on this.


    1. Expert Member
      Dana Dorsett | | #3

      >Try to get the i89 coating on the glass.

      Andersen's trade name for the Cardinal glass units with the i89 coating on surface #4 is " Low-E4® " for cooler climates, and "Low-E4 SmartSun ®" for a low solar gain versions. I'm not sure if their "HeatLock® Technology " is i89 or something else.

      I'm not sure if that's available on the 100 series, but it's "worth it" in most climates south of the middle of US climate zone 6. North of there the i89 lowers the surface temperature to where copious condensation occurs when it's really cold out. The emissivity of the condensed water is extremely high compared to dry i89, undercutting the window's performance when it needed the most.

  2. brianvarick | | #2

    I’m probably going with Integrity All Ultrex. They are reasonably priced, and I wasn’t impressed with an Andersen 100 I just installed. I like the idea of not having wood to rot and they seem like it should be easy to do a drywall return on. If anyone has experience with these whether good or bad I would be interested in hearing it!

  3. natesc | | #4

    Stay away from Andersen windows. The 100s are a very sloppy window, the single hungs have so much side to side play the balances will spring free when you open them, and they will sag crooked when left open.

    They also have enough problems with leaking that they manufacture little plastic corner pieces to caulk into the bottom corners. I have seen an internal document that shows how they do the 'repair.'

    I have seen up to 30% of them develop stress cracks.

    I have pulled out a bad leaker to reflash and water poured out of the top miter joints.

    I know of at least 2 builders that avoid them because when there's a problem with the window you get the 'well it couldn't be us, so it must be you' treatment. Add me to that list.

    They are a perfect example of the many large companies that spend more on marketing their product than building something good.

    I would look for a local window manufacturer.

    I'd guess Matt Risingers hands are about as soft as a babies butt. These online 'builders' are almost always trying to peddle something. Do you notice the link on the very top of his site for 'advertise/sponsor' ?

    1. joenorm | | #5

      Good points. Thanks

      Has there ever been a window that people agreed was nice? Seems like to one person a window will be garbage and to another it will be very nice.

      Must have something to do with how they have been installed.

      I'm also looking at the Sierra Pacific H3 series. Aluminum clad vinyl, with wood casing.

      I also read a lot of terrible reviews about Sierra pacific but then some builders say theyre a great value.

      I will look at the Marvin Ultrex. Fiberglass seems pretty safe. But always expensive

  4. seabornman | | #6

    I like the Marvin wood-ultrex. I installed casements in my latest project. The installer had good things to say about them and they're rigid enough to need very little shimming. I assume all-ultrex is good too. The ultrex material is very impressive, especially compared with the Andersen fibrex, IMO.

  5. andy_ | | #7

    I haven't installed a million windows, but I have done a few. I just put in a couple dozen Andersen 100 series casements and they seem pretty good to me. The leak issues that I've heard mentioned are on the double hung, so can't speak to that since I'm using casements.

  6. matt9923 | | #8

    Im up in ulster county ny zone 6, my local supplyer pushes united windows pretty hard. Looking at there casment data they apear to be good for a double pane. Hes also quoting marvin integrity ultrex but it has been a month...
    Few weeks ago iI installed some anderson 200s, there decent but im not convinced there worth the money.

  7. Expert Member
    Peter Yost | | #9

    Hi Joe -

    In terms of window selection by thermal properties per climate you might want to try the selection tool here:

    When I was doing a lot of window replacements as a remodeler (admittedly that was the early to mid '80s), my brothers and I had this philosophy: not a whole lot of difference in the big-brand folks (Pella, Anderson, Marvin, etc.) so let's go with the local distributor which provides the best customer and building professional service. My $.02.


  8. oldbungalow | | #10

    What about Pella Impervia? They have some foam filled fiberglass double panes with R4 (U 0.25), many configurations. Also Jeld-Wen W2500s (aluminum clad wood, their lower grade clad wood) have some glazing/fill combinations that hit 0.25. Haven't priced out, guessing the Pellas are more expensive. Pella prices Impervia between their top of line vinyl and their clad-wood. Ultimately, not sure about clad-wood (long term) durability from moisture condensation. Do not know how these stack $$ wise against Ultrex.

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