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Old 06-22-2009, 03:15 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,421 times
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Default window - single w/ solar vs double

I have a dilemma. I have 4 medium size windows that face west and get full sun. They are 1973 single pane double hung windows. But they have very good solar screens on them. I was wondering if I changed them to double pane low e will there really be a big difference.

I know on paper it’s a good ideal but I did change out a French door last year and told I would NOT need to put the screens back on, but I had to due to the massive heat w/o the solar screens. These French doors were low e double pane.


To confuse me more my friend just built a new house and they put in single pane windows saying it was not work the cost savings???????
Any thoughts for the Austin Tx climate or other observations?

Thanks

Charles
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Avery Ranch, Austin, TX
5,048 posts, read 5,712,709 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wobblybowl View Post

I know on paper itís a good ideal but I did change out a French door last year and told I would NOT need to put the screens back on, but I had to due to the massive heat w/o the solar screens. These French doors were low e double pane.


To confuse me more my friend just built a new house and they put in single pane windows saying it was not work the cost savings???????
Any thoughts for the Austin Tx climate or other observations?

Thanks

Charles
Wow...I've not heard of NOT using double pane with low E glass as a cost savings in new construction(well, VERY short term savings in materials cost). The payback is a little trickier if you are replacing otherwise good windows with double pane, low E, argon gas, etc. Quite a few homes here in Avery Ranch use both high efficiency windows and solar screens. If there are other factors(hail damage?) prompting replacement, I would go for the energy savings. A JeldWen replacement sash will run you a couple hundred $ per. Replacing the whole window, of course, will open a couple more cans o' worms.
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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The best thing you could do with the West facing glass is to plant a tree outside that will shade the glass but still allow you a view. If that is not practical for some reason then I would consider an awning to shade it most of the day.

This example The Efficient Windows Collaborative: Benefits suggests that the annual savings on air conditioning for a typical house in Pheonix AZ, with insulated glass and frame and low E glass, would be only about $200 per year, for the ENTIRE HOUSE!

I'm guessing that the cost of replacing 4 windows could easily run you $800 or more. It could be quite a bit more if the entire frame has to be removed and replaced. That is based on my costs to replace several insulated glass windows in my house that had developed leaks in the insulated glass panes, resulting in fogging so they were unsightly.

So the cost savings in utility bills resulting from replacing 4 windows may take quite a few years to recover. I have not estimated the payback period for single pane versus insulated glass windows for ages, but when I did this estimate for the UT business school back in 1983 or so, it would have taken over 10 years for the energy savings to pay for the cost of the insulated glass.

Another hidden cost that most people don't realize is the problem I have had with the insulated glass windows in our house, built in 1985. At least half of the insulated glass panes have developed leaks and were fogged so we had to replace them. A few that are not very visible we have left the fogged glass in place.

Last edited by CptnRn; 06-22-2009 at 04:48 PM..
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:45 PM
 
Location: central Austin
4,472 posts, read 6,216,303 times
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I have low-E windows and solar screens! But you will still get heat transfer on west facing windows. I carefully look at the orientation of homes when we were looking to buy, I try to avoid western exposure on rooms that are heavily used during the day.

We have duette shades on all our windows and they also help with the heat. Trees also work wonders!

I do have low electric bills with my windows but the west rooms in summer, will still get hot.
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
8,613 posts, read 15,386,296 times
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We have trees planted outside our west facing windows and yesterday my husband put up solar screens. I love them! But, we originally have double pane windows and don't have to replace them so I don't know. I guess we'll see if it saves on energy our next bill.
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