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Community and Q&A

Wasco Windows?

DarkNova | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

I’m shopping for windows in a very cold climate and so am looking for windows with a low U-value and high SHGC, which isn’t very common (as Martin has explained in his articles). I found a nearby company, Wasco Windows, which sells windows using Cardinal 180 glass that meets these parameters pretty well. Whole-window specs are:

1400 Series Casement:
U-Value: 0.18
SHGC: 0.35
VT: 0.43

1400 Series Picture:
U-Value: 0.17
SHGC: 0.42
VT: 0.52

Example pricing I’ve received is about $36/sqft for the casement, $27/sqft for the fixed.

I cannot find many discussions of these windows online and I’m wondering if anyone has any experience with them, or sees anything negative. They are PVC which I know some people don’t want but I don’t mind as long as they don’t warp. Thanks.

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  1. DarkNova | | #1

    I forgot to mention those are triple-pane windows.

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    I've never used Wasco Windows, but you can read about them here on GBA.

    Here is a link to an article I wrote that discusses Wasco windows: New Green Building Products — February 2012.

    Here is a link to a case study of a house with Wasco windows: A Net-Zero Home in Massachusetts.

    The GBA Product Guide lists Wasco windows on two pages:

    Geneo High-Performance Windows

    Wasco Vinyl Replacement Windows

  3. rocket190 | | #3

    Nick, I installed several of the 1400 series windows from Wasco last year. A few comments:

    1. The 1400 series windows are replacement windows adapted to new construction, so the nailing fins are applied (not integral). I didn't particularly care for this as after flashing I could still see small beads of light. I was fastidious about preparing the rough opening, and I sealed those corners with caulk and foam. I believe everything to be 100% air and water tight, but there is extra work involved.

    2. The 1400 series windows are not passive house level. For that you need their Geneo line, which has a thicker and more robust extrusion. Wasco sales reps know next to nothing about this line. You will need to deal directly with the company Presudent (Dave Paulus Jr).

    3. Their demand for windows is exceeding their capacity, especially for the tilt and turns. Get your order in 8-12 weeks in advance.

    4. The tilt and turns are awesome and feel like you are closing a bank vault.

    5. The 1400 windows are rare in that you can order them with Cardinal 180 glass.

    6. I am very happy with the visible light transmission, but somewhat underwhelmed with Shgc. Even with a strong south sun, you will not feel heat on your body while standing in front of the window. Like warm radiant at best. Switching to dual pane windows on the southern exposure might be better if you are hoping for some passive solar.

  4. DarkNova | | #4

    Thank you Rick. Very helpful. It is unfortunate about the 1400 nailing fin info -- I will have to investigate more to see how the best way to air seal these would be.

    The "center glass" rating for SHGC is given as 0.557 so I'm not really sure why the SHGC for the casement is 0.35 -- my best guess is that that number includes the frame (which would obviously have no solar gain) but I could be wrong about that -- perhaps someone else knows how these numbers are calculated? The window itself looks like it is built (from exterior to interior): LoE on surface #2 (inside of exterior pane), clear middle pane, LoE on surface #5 (outside of interior pane). Uses SuperSpacer and 90% Argon, 1/8" thick glass at 1 3/8" thick overall.

    I have also looked at their Geneo line which looks to be about (whole-window values):
    U-Value: 0.15
    SHGC: 0.39
    VT: 0.48

    So those specs are a little better but not dramatically so. Prices seem to be around 50% more than the 1400s. I have not seen these in person yet but would like to do so to compare how they are built.

  5. [email protected] | | #5


    You are exactly right, SHGC measurement includes the entire window including frame, sash, and any grills that you might have, not just the glass.

  6. rocket190 | | #6

    Yes, I didn't think the up charge was worth it either. My local Wasco store didn't have the Geneo frames so I couldn't make a direct comparison. Their factory is near Milwaukee, so depending on your location it might be worth the drive.

    I was also looking at the Intus windows. I think they are a step higher on the quality scale, but I haven't seen one in person to compare. They were about 10% more than Wasco. Ultimately I just felt more comfortable with the outie nail flange window than insetting the Intus windows and screwing them into the rough opening.

    Also, the lead time for Wasco windows is likely less in the spring than fall, since they also sell a lot of replacement windows.

    Also, play around with different window sizes to find a price sweet spot. In my case I changed my rough opening size from 69.5" tall to 64.5" and the price per window dropped by around $300. I think it had to do with additional tempered glass...I'm a little fuzzy on the exact details.

  7. jackofalltrades777 | | #7


    European made windows like Intus should be installed using European installation techniques. The Euro install technique is bullet-proof if you follow their protocol. Nailing flanges are more of a "American" install for US windows that have nailing flanges. There is absolutely NOTHING to worry or concern about inset mounted windows and screwing them into the rough opening. This has been done thousands of times and for decades in Europe and it works. To be honest, Euro install methods have advantages that flat faced nailing flange windows don't have but that is another post and topic altogether.

    Problems occur when one attempts to install European made windows using US installation techniques. Installers who are use to nailing flanges will be perplexed at a European window that doesn't have a nailing flange and requires an inset install through the frame into the window buck area. Take a European window and an installer well-versed in Euro window installs and can install inset windows in their sleep and they would wonder why anyone would install windows on the face wall (the weakest point of the wall structure) in a location where the windows will be subject to wind washing and the elements.

  8. DarkNova | | #8

    Thank you. Rick -- did you happen to use any Wasco doors? I haven't seen them or gotten quotes yet but I would be interested in looking at them if I decide to use their windows. Thanks.

  9. rocket190 | | #9

    Peter, I agree whole heartedly that a European install has many advantages. Nevertheless, asking a contractor unfamiliar with their installation usually leads to a higher price install and the opportunity for mistakes.

    Nick, I don't have any experience with Wasco doors.

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