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Ice on the interior new installed Pella windows

Ice on the interior new installed Pella windows

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  #1  
Old 01-25-13, 01:18 PM
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Ice on the interior new installed Pella windows

Hi,
My house are all Pella architect series windows (LOW-E/Arog, energy star) and doors in couple of years. All windows are foam filled insulated around at the time of installtion. The window has two panels the left is swing open and the right is fixed panle. The strange thing is the fixed panel has ice on the interior window but the openable has not. All the doors are ok and has no ice. The outside temperature is between 1F degree to 10F degree. The inside temperature is between 65F degree to 67F degree. The inside relative humidity is between 28% to 31%. Please see the attached picture for one example windows. I can understand there could be condensation if relative humidity is high and the dew point is reached to the cold windows. But my RH is between %28 to 31% and couldn't go too low, which will damage the hardwood floor and furniture and etc. Please notice that only the fixed panel got the ice. I am wondering if the Pella window has qulity problem. I have about 30 windows in my house and have same problem.
Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 01-25-13, 01:54 PM
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I'd have to say that the seal between the glass and the frame (not the seal between the panes of glass) has failed or was not done correctly when it was made. If it is only a few years old, it's under warranty. I'd call Pella and ask for a rep to inspect it. Do it quick while the weather is still cold.

I guess it's possible that some insulation wasn't done correctly by the installer. Since the fixed panel is closer to the frame than the moving panel, it has less of a thermal break from the exterior in the sill area. If they didn't insulate and seal the bottom area as they should have, the cold will affect the fixed panel more.

I'll bet if you use a laser infrared thermometer you will find the lower wood area of the fixed panel much colder than the moving panel. You can buy one for about $25 or so.

After thinking about it...and if you've had this problem in the past, it's probably an install issue and Pella won't help. If you've never had the issue under similar conditions, I'd give them a call.

That ice will melt and destroy the interior wood...it needs to be addressed quickly.
 
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Old 01-25-13, 01:59 PM
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Yan, do you have curtains or drapes that cover all or part of the area where the ice is forming?
And, is there any moisture/ice between the two panes of glass?

Bud
 
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Old 01-25-13, 02:20 PM
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Oops...Bud is right...if one side is blocked from airflow...that can be an issue.
 
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Old 01-25-13, 06:56 PM
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I can't tell for sure from the photo (since it doesn't show enough of either window to tell for sure)... but judging by the size of the sashes, it looks to me like you have "Designer Series" or "Architect Series" on the left, and "Proline Series" on the right. That would be your difference right there.

Do you still have any of the original NFRC stickers so that you might be able to compare the u-factor of each one, side by side? My guess is that the casement probably originally had a better u-factor than the fixed panel. It's impossible to tell exact ratings (Pella might be able to tell you) but I bet the casement actually has better design pressure ratings too.

Since you have 2 different models, the sashes are weatherstripped completely differently, so they are as different as apples and oranges as far as performance is concerned. Before you start jumping to conclusions about how you got hosed by your installer, you might get out your original contract and see what was specified and/or ordered.

Bottom line with the condensation and ice is that a house at 70F with 31% RH would have a dewpoint of 38F. Your edge of glass temperature on the Proline windows is obviously 32F or lower, so it's no surprise you have condensation and ice. That's hard to avoid when the outdoor temperature is 0F and there are other factors involved like curtains and maybe no forced air vents below the windows.

The Proline sash allows more cold air around the edge of it because it doesn't have the same weatherstripping as the casement. Casements have an additional black fin weatherstrip on the outer perimeter of the sash that the Proline probably is lacking. You could examine the gap around the OUTSIDE edge of each sash to verify this.
 
  #6  
Old 01-26-13, 06:22 AM
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Glad to see X weighed in. I only saw Pellas once or twice when I was at a house for other work and was asked to check them out.

X.....they would actually mull 2 different lines of windows? Or maybe those aren't mulled but have framing in between?
 
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Old 01-26-13, 11:16 AM
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Yes, they can and do mull different models together, because those 3 series are all compatable with one another, structurally speaking. The exterior cladding looks exactly the same, its the interior and options that are a bit different, as well as how the sashes are set and attached to the frame. There is no 2x4 framing between the units, they are simply mulled together as individual units and the mull cap in front is installed later.
 
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Old 01-26-13, 11:42 AM
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X I appreciate the input. I would never have considered that.

Bud
 
  #9  
Old 01-26-13, 11:47 AM
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Well, like i said, I'd need more detailed pictures to confirm that... but it's certainly a possibility, and it would explain the night and day difference in performance. Especially if every fixed window is freezing up, and every casement is not.
 
  #10  
Old 01-26-13, 11:51 AM
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Hi, Thanks for every one and X, here are more information:

1. the original contract is attached. I asked for Architect series. Don't know if the Pella representive sales mixed with the Proline.

2. the u factor is the same in the lable and I just peered it off month ago when I moved in.

3. No blinds, curtains, drapes or shutters installed yet.

4. the heat vents are all under the windows.

5. every windows are well foam filled bottom and all around ( I did by myself)
 
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Old 01-26-13, 12:12 PM
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While it says "Architect Series", and I believe the casement is... The lines that describe the "non-standard fixed frame" sound to me like a Proline Series. The line that says "General Information: interior glazed" is what a Proline sash is. I think the NFRC label might contain specific model information on it, above the SHGC,U-factor, Visible light, condensation rating, etc. information... so you could look for that.

If there are no screws present on the interior jambs of the fixed panel then it's probably a Proline. Proline's are interior glazed, meaning the sash is glued to the interior side of the frame and are non-removable. Bigger windows are sometimes Prolines because of size limitations. I think they will only make a fixed architectural or designer series up to a certain size, at which point they are forced to switch to the Proline. but I'm not for sure. Its definitely a way to keep costs down, since the Proline is less expensive.

The bigger the sash is, the colder the edge will be, so that would also explain why your larger windows have ice and the smaller windows do not. You have more inches of cold aluminum spacer, therefore the entire window edge gets colder.

If I have a choice in the matter, I always recommend triple glass to my window customers because no one is ever happy to see condensation or ice on their windows. Pella's triple glass is superior to their double pane units in every way, but you pay for it.
 
  #12  
Old 01-26-13, 05:30 PM
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Hi, X,
Did you hear any case like me and got a fix. Does Pella have any solution for this problem. Whatever any grade windows, it will suppose there is no any ice in the interior of the window. Otherwise, it will not qualify to put to the market. I thought Pella is a reputational company, that is why I picked Pella windows.
Thanks
 
  #13  
Old 01-26-13, 06:33 PM
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I'm not sure how Pella will respond, however, consumers are at the mercy of mfgs and sales people, trusting that they are offering a product suitable for the intended job. In this case, selling a window, I'm assuming, that was not designed for your cold climate. Now, exactly what window unit is in there needs to be determined, but all glass units have a rating that will state the temperature at which frost will form. Here are the two choices as I see them.

If that window is performing exactly as designed, then Pella and or the sales company (and or the contractor as well) are responsible. they marketed it to you.
If the insulated glass unit (IGU) is not performing as designed, then of course Pella should take responsibility.

The point here, especially with a quality product like Pella is that they want happy customers and should not have been offering that product in your state. If there was no other option, then they should have explained that clearly and like most other businesses had you sign off that you understood. There are windows manufactured for Florida and windows manufactured for Minnesota and they are not always interchangeable, and they should know that.

What I have found with reputable companies is that they will try to make you happy. 30 windows, I'm not sure how they would do that.

All the facts are not in as yet so toss this if it proves not applicable.

Bud
 
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Old 01-26-13, 06:42 PM
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Pella is a good company, it's just that there are a lot of dual-pane windows that will ice up given the cold conditions this time of year. It's unfortunate that you weren't told about the wisdom of triple pane glass in a cold northern climate.

IMO your only angle would be that if you were led to believe you were getting "all" Architect Series windows... and then if that isn't what you got, then you may have a legal case against the window company or sales company that sold you the windows, which might entitle you to some sort of benefit.

But that would be the only angle.

The only fix for condensation on windows is to lower the humidity, or perhaps you could raise the temperature in the house a few degrees so that the windows might also be a little warmer.

If you have a humidistat on your furnace, I would suggest turning it down, no matter what the effect on the woodwork. Many houses have no such device and they are fine without it.

Also, as I mentioned in another thread, turning the furnace fan to "circulate" or "on" will help to move air which can sometimes result in a more even temperature in the home- it could possibly raise the window temperature or reduce condensation in the process. It would be an easy thing to try for a few days to see if it helps.

There is no way to change the glass package on the Proline windows without total window replacement.

You might be comforted to know that warmer temperatures will be here soon... we hope.
 
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Old 01-26-13, 07:57 PM
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Hi,
1. The furnace blower is set always ON all year around since I moved in.

2. If inside Temperature = 70F, RH = 30%, Then the dew point = 44.67F; It will not help for the condesation in these Pella windows.

3. Even reduce the RH more to RH=28% ( in this low RH, the hardwood floor will be no warranty, and people will feel dry and have kind of problems), then the dew point = 43.35F; The condensation will still be there in these Pella windows.

Is there any possible solutions, Don't know if Pella will have mercy to accept the facts.
 
  #16  
Old 01-26-13, 08:19 PM
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I would aim for 68F and 25% humidity... a dewpoint of 30.8F. I don't know where you are getting your figures?

You can't have higher humidity (like 30%) and expect no ice on the windows if you know your windows are that cold, it's pretty simple. This is a case of not being able to have both things at the same time. Lower the humidity a little and see if it helps. Sorry about your floor warranty. But in the winter the air is naturally dry. In my opinion the wood floors will be okay. When it warms up outside, raise the humidity back up if you like.

I hope Pella will do something for you but I highly doubt it.
 
  #17  
Old 01-27-13, 11:20 AM
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Try this calculator: Temperature, Dewpoint, and Relative Humidity Calculator

At 70� and 30% RH I get a dew point of 37�
At the 68� and 25% RH it shows the 30.8 that X is mentioning.

Here is another article, apologies as I didn't read it completely, later, but GBA usually has great information. They also show a link to a calculator for CRF (condensation resistance) Plugging in 0� for Detroit I get a CRF # of 53. Now, I'm certain Pella has this information, so are your windows above 53.
Rating Windows for Condensation Resistance | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

How well that number would perform, I would have to read more.

Just trying to feed you more information, X will keep me straight.

Bud
 
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Old 01-28-13, 12:27 PM
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Hi, X and Bud,
You are right. The recommended CRF for Detroit area is 53F. This will not produce the ice on the interior of the windows. I send AAMA information to Pella to ask for their explanation. will let you know their response.
Thanks,
 
  #19  
Old 03-28-13, 11:52 AM
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Hi,
Eventually, the Pella investigation report came. Please see the attached. How to understand this report ?
Thanks,
Yan

The report states: The only units that have room side condensation are the clad units (aprox. 20) thru-out...There is aprox. 15 Arch. Series casements that have no signs of condensation. Just the clad frame units....All humidity levels thru-out are within Pella Specs. 35% on a 24 degree outside temp....Some of the clad frames are mulled directly to the arch series casements that are showing no signs of condensation.....The only thing I can think of why the clad frames are condensating and not the Arch series is because of the Thermal Break of the Desiccant of the Arch. Series.
 
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Old 03-28-13, 03:56 PM
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"clad units" = proline series. I don't know why they aren't coming right out and saying that. I believe their IGU (insulating glass units) are not as thick as the IGU's in the architectural series windows.

So what that means is that there is more space between the glass on one window than another, (and more dessicant, which is a pebble-like nitrogen based moisture absorbing "sand" that fills the spacer between the glass) then you would have less heat loss through one window as compared to the one with panes of glass that are closer together.

What are they going to do about it? anything?
 
  #21  
Old 04-11-13, 06:35 AM
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Hi,
Here is the Pella's opinion. Please see the attached screen shot. Pella says:" The products are functioning as designed."
In Pella's spec, the Condensation Resistance Factor is 51, that means there will be no condesation at the RH=35% and outside temperature =24F degree;
What is Pella's reasoning ?
Thanks
 
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Old 05-07-13, 07:58 AM
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Help to read and understand the windows inspection report

Hi, All,

Please help to read the attached windows inspection report. This was posted in an old thread but didn't get anyone's attention. How to interpret this report ? Does the windows function well as designed for that 20 clad units ?

Thanks
Yan
 
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Last edited by chandler; 05-07-13 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Continuation of previous thread
  #23  
Old 05-07-13, 01:53 PM
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My confusion factor kicked in when the heading is giving the specs for a 6' wide sliding french door unit, and the comments are regarding windows. Certain comments raise questions. The windows have not been finished was one comment. Well, certainly, any window that is not insulated, trimmed and finished will condensate due to the differences in temperature and humidity. Was this condensation on the outside of the windows or between the panes?
 
  #24  
Old 05-07-13, 02:09 PM
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1. Not finished = not paint inside from manufacture (outside is alumimum clad on wood frame); The installation was completed with foam insulated and wood trimmed.
2. the condensation is in the room side.
The old post is here: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/do...a-windows.html
 
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Old 05-07-13, 03:12 PM
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This was posted in an old thread but didn't get anyone's attention
Odd, I counted 15 responses from professionals on your previous post. I'll defer to their findings. I will also probably combine the threads.
 
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Old 05-07-13, 03:19 PM
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Any one could help to interpret this report from window's company inspection. The window's company said there is no problems. But I couldn't understand. The report plainly states that there are 20 clad units got condensation under the humidity level within the spec. Please help !
 
  #27  
Old 05-07-13, 03:56 PM
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We don't know who installed the windows in question. The circumstances of the installation, or the method of installation. What is your problem and lets address your specific situation.

If you are just trying to increase your knowledge base, that's fine, just let us know what your question is. Pulling someone else's results really doesn't help us address your situation.
 
  #28  
Old 05-07-13, 04:44 PM
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A lot of reading to refresh my old mind, but the isue as I remember was/is the windows may well be functioning as designed, however, whoever sold and installed those windows wasn't considering where you live. Should Pella be held responsible as well, knowing where they sent the windows? I (IMO) think they are at least partly responsible.

Question, who selected those windows?

As for interpreting the report, I'm not the one for that.

Bud
 
  #29  
Old 05-07-13, 05:00 PM
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There is nothing new here, and I don't have much to add to what I stated previously in all my previous replies. As I said previously, you have condensation on one (fixed pro-line non-operating windows) and not the other (architect series casements) because they are 2 completely different lines of windows with different thicknesses of glass, and different u-values. Different sized windows will have different edge of glass and center of glass temperatures. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the windows, per se. But they will perform differently, which is why you have condensation on one and not the other.

Pella says the humidity levels are "within specs". According to that statement, it would seem that they are admitting that they do not think that the humidity in your home is too high.

So the questions you have are not for "us", you should be directing your questions to "PELLA". We can't answer for them or know what they are thinking.

Earlier we discussed the need for you to lower the humidity in your home in order to decrease the likelihood of condensation on your windows. And from your reply, I gather that you don't want to do it. I'm sorry if you think that 25% humidity is too low, because it is not. So you are going to have to make a choice. Either lower your humidity, or live with condensation on your windows when it gets cold out.

And call Pella back and ask what they are going to do about it. They obviously won't be able to learn anything new now that it's no longer winter.
 
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Old 05-07-13, 05:14 PM
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Thank you gentlemen for revisiting this. Hopefully these answers will give proper guidance.
 
  #31  
Old 07-03-13, 04:18 PM
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Hi, Xsleeper,
Suddenly got a call from Pella that they said they will scheduled service to re-glazing all the windows. Do you know how can Pella re-glazing the window once they were installed.
Thanks,
 
  #32  
Old 07-03-13, 04:34 PM
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Not an issue at all...done all the time. Remove some trim strips, cut the sealant, clean it up, install new IGUs.

Kinda doubt it will make much difference, since the frame appears to be the issue. If it's free..let 'em do it.
 
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Old 07-03-13, 06:08 PM
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I agree. Let them change the glazing, perhaps they are upgrading your glass so that there is a different kind of spacer material between the glass.
 
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