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cambece 09-22-2006 08:03 PM

Double Paned Windows
Which kind of double paned window insulates the best? Ones with inert gas or a vacuum? Are there other kinds?

KCnorthernCA 09-23-2006 10:16 AM

I doubt any dual glazing could have a vacuum! Even if the negative pressure could be maintained, it would squeeze together in the middle over time, worsening with the larger units.

Air space next to any material is a known insulating component. As for inert gas (usually argon), some people describe it as superior against conductive as well as convective heat transfers. Others describe the inert gas as primarily a condensation prevention element because regular air is mostly Nitrogen with varying degrees of moisture which can cause all sorts of damage.

Bonus 09-23-2006 10:30 AM

What he said. My experience with windows is that once you have chosen your preferred style you pretty much get what you pay for.

cambece 09-25-2006 09:40 PM

Labor wise, how difficult is it to replace windows? Is it a big head ache to try to do it yourself?

KCnorthernCA 09-26-2006 01:53 PM


Originally Posted by cambece (Post 19192)
Labor wise, how difficult is it to replace windows? Is it a big head ache to try to do it yourself?

There are too many variables to suggest whether, yes you can DIY or shouldn't bother.

Personally I prefer to do it myself unless there are reasons that push it beyond my threshold of comfort, such as dangerous outside access (tall scaffolding, for example) or the unit weighs a ton... or both.

As a hands-on homeowner I've replaced six windows in my home, each totally different. My most challenging was a large Pella bow that alone costs an arm and a leg. Lucky for me I had a concrete sidewalk right outside, so I concocted a set of "Archimedean stacking platforms," allowing me to do 99% of it myself solo -- friends needed only to brace it while being jacked up. Also lucky that my old windows are those simple aluminum sliders that come apart easily. And my siding was wood -- careful cutting with a circular saw meant zero patching.

So those might be the important DIY variables: access, size of unit, type of existing, type of siding.

I also had some super easy ones -- small retrofit Certainteeds that simply covered up the old frame, attaching with long screws through the existing jambs. Some caulk and you're done!

I've written some info on it in my blog to help a friend:

mhervy 10-04-2006 03:31 PM

DIY window replacement isn't that difficult, I've replace every window in my house, even cut larger windows into the basement. The one thing that I did learn is purchase a quality window, and when you are installing them, make sure they are perfectly level, square and plumb. Getting that right is the hardest part...

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