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AZSun 07-17-2011 09:17 AM

Dual Pane Windows No Low E Glass and No Argon Gas Filling
I am considering replacing 38 year old single pane aluminum windows in the living room area of an apartment next to the beach that are drafty, old looking and have rusty sills. The window frame measurements are 82"x58" and 106"x58." The windows are east facing and get a lot of sun in the morning, but I don't need low-e glass or pre-tinted windows because I would prefer to have a professional window tinter come and use the tint material and brand of my choice. I understand this will void the warranty, but in my opinion, I don't think much of warranties, especially since they have so many exclusions. Some don't even cover "normal wear and tear" and you are at the mercy of the company, if they are even still in business. One sales person told me that you can't get dual pane windows without low E properties. Is this true? I don't use heat or A/C on the Southern California coast and don't need the energy saving, insulating properties that people in extreme climates need. I've read that vinyl windows are best for a high salt coastal environment since they can stand up to the elements better than aluminum.

I'm not looking to reduce heat or air conditioning costs with new windows since I don't use either on the coast. I'm primarily interested in good soundproofing and the windows trapping air and leaks. These windows are east facing and in the morning, I have to roll down my mylar shade to prevent glare and my artwork and furniture from fading. I would like regular glass dual plane windows and then be able to have my preferred brand of window tint applied by a tinter I trust.

Is there a federal or state law that mandates all dual pane windows have low-E glass? I got a quote for $1800 for both windows for dual pane vinyl windows (local brand-forgot which one) with no low e glass and no argon gas filling in a brown color the HOA requires. I was also told that single pane would be almost the same cost because of their rarity. I noticed that with double pane windows you have less visibility vs single pane because of the frames.

HomeSealed 07-17-2011 10:47 PM

In AZ you would be well served to get a window with a low-e coating. I don't know what window "tinters" can do in your region, but I highly doubt that ANY aftermarket tint could offer the same level of protection while allowing as much light as possible as a low-emissivity coating can..... I do not follow your statements on single pane vs double pane and glass loss... Any loss of glass would have to do with the type of installation (ie: insert vs full tearout).... Again, this may have to do with a regional difference, but I dont know of any single pane replacement windows. There just wouldnt be any reason for it... You'd be much better off with a storm window with a low-e coating than a replacement window with single pane, or even clear double pane glass.

AZSun 08-12-2011 11:59 AM

I've obtained quotes from six different vinyl window replacement companies for identical brand/model product and they are all within $200 of each other. Kind of disappointed and feel like the window industry is fixed. Not sure whether it's worth it to spend $2000 to replace two large living room windows. On a positive note, I have become a convert to Low E glass.

HomeSealed 08-12-2011 04:09 PM

What type of windows are they? Are they just big, fixed, picture windows, or is there some combination of Dh's, casements, or others?.... I have to say that your experience is not the norm. Most people will come on here wondering why some company's are $300 per window while another is $1300 for the same window.

AZSun 08-12-2011 09:10 PM

There are sliding vinyl windows. Each window has two sliders and fixed picture window in the middle. I have compared Milgard Tuscany and Simonton Daylight Max with several companies and they are all around the same price. The big box stores are even more expensive with installation included than independent window replacement companies.

The exterior of the window has to be a dark brown or black color to meet HOA requirements so from what I have learned that limits me to Milgard, Jeld-Wen and Simonton.

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