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Old 06-19-2009, 07:21 AM   #1
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Acorn Windows are HORRIBLE - Aluminum


I have (ugh!) Acorn aluminum single hung windows. Many have broken glass. Acorn is out of business, which is good cuz their windows SUCK!

They have a "thermal break" which works very badly or not at all. I get heavy frost and condensation inside the window when it's cold outside.

Did a search and didn't see anything on Acorn on DIY so I thought I would add this to the knowledge base.

The upper unit in single hung can't even be removed.

I am looking into replacements. I can't beleive the prices have gone up so much in 13 years!

SmittyNYUSA

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Old 12-04-2010, 11:36 AM   #2
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Acorn Windows are HORRIBLE - Aluminum


We have the same problems with our Acorn Atherm slider windows. Our master bedroom is 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house, and condensation builds on the windows so bad that mold and mildew grows on the walls in the winter and spring. I'm glad to know they are out of business. We didn't buy them, but we bought our house 3 years ago, and it's time for them to go!

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Old 12-04-2010, 12:15 PM   #3
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Acorn Windows are HORRIBLE - Aluminum


Here's an idea.... write down the needed sizes and call around to builders/window suppliers in your area and ask if they have any mis-measured windows 'out back'. I got 14 brand new windows for my home for under $800 this way. Of course, I framed and installed them all myself, but you may be able to find exactly what you need if you take a few minutes to call around.

My sidelite windows for my front door cost me $15.00 for the pair (brand new in the box) at a yard sale.

Good Luck Hunting!

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Old 12-04-2010, 02:55 PM   #4
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Acorn Windows are HORRIBLE - Aluminum


Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
Here's an idea.... write down the needed sizes and call around to builders/window suppliers in your area and ask if they have any mis-measured windows 'out back'. I got 14 brand new windows for my home for under $800 this way. Of course, I framed and installed them all myself, but you may be able to find exactly what you need if you take a few minutes to call around.

My sidelite windows for my front door cost me $15.00 for the pair (brand new in the box) at a yard sale.

Good Luck Hunting!

DM
Thats a great deal, DM. You must have hit it just right.
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Old 10-04-2013, 01:21 PM   #5
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Acorn Windows are HORRIBLE - Aluminum


Gee,
If yours are Acorn from the UK, a company still in business, then this reply is unrelated to your windows. If Acorn/A-Therm from the USA then read on...

My A-therm windows are 34 years old, and they haven't failed. Acorn/A-therm failed more than 20 years ago, so your windows are probably older than you think. At 34 years almost 1/2 of my sealed insulated glazing units have had to be replaced but half alive at 34 years is very good for sealed thermal units, the single sealed stuff from china at the big box stores is will all fog and fail within 15 years. (BTW Acorn Homes is still in business, but they didn't make windows they bought their windows from Wabash (now defunct) until the 80's then Pella. )

Broken glass is easily replaced. The glazing units are all 5/8 thick (3/8" space 2 x 1/8" glass). If you will live there a while you want double sealed edges. Low E glass and Argon fill are up to you. After removing the panels you can disassemble them at the corners, or let the local glass company do it all. You will probably find the seal pile (brush, fuzzies, etc) are worn or full of gunk and should also be replaced. the vinyl channel the glazing units are wrapped with should be changed when the glass unit is replaced. The steel screws that hold the fixed panels will have corroded to nothing, and should be replaced with same size aluminum or stainless steel screws from your local hardware store. The rollers can be best lubed with white lithium spray grease from an auto parts store, and any that don't roll or wobble should be replaced. Most hordware stores have rollers and some big box stores do too.

Where I live is as cold as anywhere in NY state. There is indeed condensation despite the thermal break in the window frame and sash parts. If you live in a cold enough place, and bathe or take hot showers, you will not find a window that won't have condensation. Its important to keep indoor humidity down so its intermittent, since it will also be condensing inside the walls. It also helps to use moisture tolerant material around the window interior. M.R. board and real plaster rather than common drywall and joint compound, or if a wood sill, use oil based urethane on all 6 sides/edges/ends of the sticks. The aluminum window itself doesn't care about the water, but its important to keep the water drainage channels to the outside open so the window channel isn't perpetually full of water because the glazing unit seals block water vapor well, and liquid water much less well.

That said, the simple 3/8" air gap glass spacing of the 70's has been improved on. You can get better thermal seperation in the framing with multiple breaks, and in the glass with triple glazing, low-e glass and argon fill, none of which were available 34 years ago. Replacement aluminum windows don't have a flange to seal against the exterior sheathing plywood. The cost of a true improvement, that isn't leaking air around it into the walls, will include some siding work as well. A replacement window is just sealed with caulk. 100% Silicone caulk might last 10-20 years if the house doesn't shift and open a gap, but pros hate 100% silicone because it smells, irritates, and sticks to your skin, so they use latex or latex with silicone which will shrink and fail in 2 to 5 years, no matter what 30 year fairy tale they print on the tube.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:17 AM   #6
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Acorn Windows are HORRIBLE - Aluminum


Anyone know how to install the screens for these windows? In a new place with these installed. Thanks.

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