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Community and Q&A

Lift and slide patio doors to reduce air infilltration

rwW46tisiF | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

Any info on “lift and slide” patio doors? I live on Lake Erie and oftentimes experience 20-30mph winds and several times a year winds in the 50-75mph range. These winds are referred as Alberta clippers and can be sustained for several days. I want to replace my 20yr old 8′ and 5′ double pane Andersons. It seems they leak air everywhere. I’m not only looking for high performance glass but superior air sealing for a sliding door. French doors will not work due to the small size patio. There is little information on the lift and slide and all the salesmen tell their product is superior to my 20yr old doors but I’d like to know if the lift and slide is superior for my application. Manufactures include Weiland, Panda, Kolbe and Marvin has one listed on their website but no one seems to know anything about it. I called the factory and their expert said it’s available but they currently have no test data on the performance. It is currently being tested. The manufacturers also seem to prefer low-e double pane 1/4″ glass with 1/2″ spacer. They weigh a ton. The doors face the North on a recessed patio.

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  1. davidmeiland | | #1

    Since these products are from major manufacturers, do their sales materials or websites include any data on air infiltration testing?

  2. jklingel | | #2

    Are tilt-turn windows available in your area? They will seal.

  3. rwW46tisiF | | #3

    Many of the manufacturers simple state their product meets or exceeds minimum specifications. I really just want a high performance slider. Better than "minimum specifications." There is plenty of info regarding windows but patio doors seem to be forgoten. I have more square footage in patio doors than in windows. Windows typically have 2 or 3 layers of weatherstripping. Most patio doors have one of the brush type. Any opinions on high performance sliding patio doors would be appreciated.

  4. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    Your best bet would be to use hinged (French) patio doors. The best ones are triple-glazed fiberglass doors from Canadian manufacturers (Thermotech Fiberglass, Accurate Dorwin, or Inline, for example).

  5. user-788447 | | #5

    Even Optiwin, a German manufacturer of Passivhaus certified windows and doors, admits that their line of lift and slide patio doors represent a liability when it come to achieving air tightness.

    I worked on a project that used the Optiwin tilt-n-turn windows as patio doors.
    The Optiwin's like several other European makes have a substantial solid wood frame and high quality hardware. When you get to a door size window I don't know how well the PVC extruded frames of the Canadian manufacturers would operate.
    If you like right on Lake Erie you might even be able to afford the Optiwin or other European brand solid wood fram tilt-n-turn.
    You can get an operable tilt-n-turn next to a fixed section and it would look similar to a sliding door.

    Per Martin's suggestion, I've seen a couple of examples of hinged patio doors and I don't have confidence in their ability to maintain a tight airtight seal over time. Also not quite sure how with your spatial limitations these would be different then regular French doors.

    I've replaced an old patio door in my home with a Marvin tilt-n-turn window. Not quite the size of a full door (I brought the sill up ~14" off the floor and have to step over this). I'm quite happy with the operation and the strength of the sash. However the Marvin hardware is a lower quality version of the hardware the European windows use and though domestic the Marvin tilt-n-turns are already quite expensive.

  6. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #6

    J Chesnut,
    You referred to "the PVC extruded frames of the Canadian manufacturers." But all of the manufacturers I listed make fiberglass frames, not PVC frames. There is a big difference.

  7. Faulted1 | | #7

    I think Kolbe provides more information regarding their products than most.

  8. user-788447 | | #8

    Thanks for the correction.
    I have not seen the fiberglass extruded windows (except for Marvin's Integrity series).
    I've been confusing Thermotech with Thermo-tech (PVC) and Inline with Innotech (PVC).

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