I live in Winnipeg Manitoba so have extreme cold and heat conditions. I have been researching replacement of many of my windows which are approximately 30 years old and am getting varied advice on PVC windows. Would the multiple hollow tube windows provide for lower heat loss or is it better to have the PVC around the windows filled with insulation?
Also, is a triple pane window a better choice or is a dual low e window going to provide the lowest heat loss?
In addition, some window manufacturers claim low e limits the solar heat transfer and is best, but some are claiming the ER rating is best if solar heat is allowed through to provide free heat in the winter. My house has a fair amount of shade in the summer time and in winter the leaves are gone and I do get some sun in the winter. Would that be worthwhile?
I have also read that PVC expands and contracts too much due to temperature changes, but the manufacturers provide warranties and claim they have excellent results with PVC. Can I expect that to be the case with good PVC Windows (I am not looking for the least expensive)?
In B.C. low e windopws are now mandatory. As far as the triple, for colder areas that is the only way to go. In addition, vinyl is the only way to go. As far as the grade of window, the cost not only is reflected in the insulation factor, but the construction as well. Some windows are built stronger, and do not flex as much. As far as insulating around the frame, some areas require foam, and others alternate the outer peimeter be insulated with batting strands.
For "R" factor, I would consulte a reputable window company. You should be able to get a good insulating window in the medium price range. The higher cost is generally in the options of whether they are tilt/turns, casement, munion options, casement appearance options and so on.
Check on line for the windows that are available in your area. That will give you some information for a good comparison. Then go out and check the brand pricing. Apples to apples.
The final issue is get a good recommended installer. It might be necessary to bring your flashing etc up to the new codes as well. A poor installer will create a nightmare for you in terms of water leakage and lack of insulation value, no matter how good a grade of window that you are purchasing.
I would say you need triple glazing with Krypton gas in one cell and argon gas in the other one.
Low E is very recommended doe to the reduce UV penetration that will save your furnitures and floors from fading. They have 2 types of low E see what fits your application
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