Brand new replacement windows leak cold air!


Old 01-06-13, 09:10 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
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Brand new replacement windows leak cold air!

We recently replaced all of our leaky Double Hung windows with "Renewal by Andersen" Double Hung.

The installers removed the old sashes and stops and inserted the replacement unit in the hole, and

centered the window unit in the opening. I saw them plumb & shim the sides of the window directly behind

the pre-drilled screw holes in the jamb. (actually they didn't use the middle screw hole.)

The team was being very frugal with the foam insulation between the units frame and rough opening, they

only insulated the top and sides, leaving the area between the sill and the bottom of the replacement

window totally open. Once they completed the installation; the only thing blocking the air flow

underneath is the outside metal flashing and the wooden Stool on the inside.

I was very concerned by the incomplete foaming job but they assured me that they HAD to do it that way to

prevent condensation. In their own literature it mentions improper installation can occur if the

installer does not insulate fully between the window and the rough opening!

Now that it is below freezing our house is cold and drafty. Tonight its 32 degrees outside and using my

infrared thermometer the walls and frame around the middle of the window is 64 degrees... But the window

Stool measures 50 degrees. Some windows are even colder, you can feel a draft, I've even held a lit

candle close to the window seams and the flame bent at the draft.

Is it ever correct to leave the entire bottom uninsulated?
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Old 01-07-13, 02:52 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Those windows (and their installation) were not free, so I would be in contact with the owner of the sales office and tell them your concerns. NO it is not alright to leave any area uninsulated in a window install. I don't follow their logic. Screw holes were punched in the window for a reason, so I don't understand why they skimped on properly installing the windows.
Old 01-07-13, 04:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
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I agree with Larry.
I spent all summer pulling out newer windows the previous owner installed in my house and insulating them.
Made a huge difference. I used low expanding foam all around the windows.
Old 01-07-13, 05:49 AM
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Renewal by Andersen has a reputation for being high quality, though expensive. I would get on the phone with them right away, I think they'll be pretty quick to respond and resolve this for you.
Old 01-07-13, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for the info so far, I can post a photos of the lower sections tonight.
They did use professional low expansion foam in a cartridge gun.

I thought they were wrong leaving the entire underside wide open.
ON the outside they bent metal and inserted on side on the slot on the replacements frame and caulked down the other side that touches the cedar window wrap. There is a 1x1 trim that sits on the stool against the new window and its cold to the touch. I feel cold air blowing in under the curtains.

The inside comfort level (at the same thermostat setting) from our leaky 22-year old peachtree windows is about the same as I'm dealing with now.

I do have a photo I took while i was hanging Christmas lights. To my horror this is how I found the top section of a second floor window:

Was the guy too lazy to go back down the ladder and cut a top section that was the correct size?
Old 01-07-13, 12:02 PM
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Andersen corporate made a post about steps to resolving your problem....I will PM you the info since that is what multiple people have suggested as a first step.
Old 01-07-13, 12:49 PM
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Once you have Vic's link, go for it. I do not understand what was going on with the sloppy installation on the outside. While you are getting pix, post one of this same window a little further back so we can see the entire install.
Old 01-07-13, 08:35 PM
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Thanks for all you comments! I will be contacting them. The reason I posted is to make sure I was correct that full insulation is the correct way to go, before I contacted them. Here are some photos of the installation: Untitled Document

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