Energyweld vs VinylKraft and VL/VT rating...


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Old 07-19-18, 10:54 AM
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Energyweld vs VinylKraft and VL/VT rating...

Hey guys,

Replacing a picture window with a bay window in my living room. Based on budget I've narrowed it down to two options. One place uses Energyweld (Polaris manufactured) windows, and one place uses Vinyl Kraft windows. Any opinions on either of these "brands"? Great? Garbage?

Specifically I had a question about the V rating. One calls it VL and one calls it VT, both describe it as "visible light that penetrates the window". I'm assuming this is the quality of sunlight that gets in.

What confuses me is the VinylKraft (Trustguard) window is rated:

U .28 - SHGC .27 - V 71% - CRF 56

Untitled Document

and the Energyweld (elite2 glass package) window is rated :

U .27 - SHGC .29 - V 53% - CRF 56

https://energywallwindows.com/ewwindow.html

Both are double pane, ek2 glass, argon, etc. and the ratings are nearly identical. Why is the V so low on the Energyweld window, even though the SHGC is actually a tiny bit more? The only other windows I see with the V that low are triple pane or shaded. Am I fundamentally not understanding what the V represents? I'd like as much light as possible to get through this window, especially with the SHGC basically the same.. Which one looks to be a better window for Illinois super cold AND super hot climate? Any other advice on these?

Thanks guys. I wouldn't even ask but these things' cost is outrageous for a window... lol

Brian

P.S. - Irritating, but for what it's worth I already asked the CSR for both places and neither could tell me what I need to know about the V rating... Yeah. I know.
 

Last edited by burrmanchu; 07-19-18 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 07-19-18, 11:27 PM
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No window people out there?
 
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Old 07-20-18, 05:41 AM
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I assume they are all vinyl? There are thousands of companies out there... most of those I have never heard of and they just sound like they are are bottom of the barrel, quality-wise. (Most are, and I have put in windows for 27 years) Impossible for us to tell you. We aren't familiar with every product and every model. Window companies usually have different SERIES of windows, it's not just a brand. Like Chevrolet has different models, they aren't all the same. People in general can't tell a good window from a crappy one... that's something you find out after its been in your house for 10 years. And all most American consumers care about is price... price of product and price to heat their house. So window companies oblige and make cheap products with average industry standard glass. Then the retailer takes a HUGE markup.

VT info. https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/d...dows-doors-and

V is simply the fraction of visible light that enters. There are different brands of glass manufacturers, different brands of low e. Some factor in more than just the glass (overall size of window, not just the glass). VT is a NFRC number that is an industry standard. VL is probably some window brochures' effort to dumb the data down because "light" is easier for a layman to understand v.s. "transmittance".

Plus you really won't know "exactly" what ratings your particular window has until you receive it and look at the sticker on the glass. The numbers they give you are sample numbers for an average size window. Those numbers change depending on the size of the window. So if there was a big difference and the glass was the same, my opinion would be that the numbers were based on different sized windows. Such as 16x24 vs 36x54. More glass % on the larger one.

the most important number is U. The closer to 0 the better. .28 is better than .29. .18 is far better. The type of spacer material can also make a big difference if you have a choice.
 
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Old 07-20-18, 01:17 PM
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Yes, vinyl.

I understand there are countless brands, windows, and series'... that's why I tried to specifically list the brand, window, series, and glass package as best I could. Also gave links to the windows and listed the ratings... I'm not buying because of a "brand", those just happened to be the two I was comparing. What other info would be helpful in determining which is better? I can't tell a good window from a crappy one either. That's what I'm here for lol...

Are you saying both options I listed are crappy? Those U/S/V/C ratings are bad? The information I got from their websites listed different U/S/V/C ratings on a table for each type of window and size. That's what I took them from. The numbers I listed are for the exact series and size of the window I was looking at from each company. You're saying when I get the window those numbers won't match?

As far as the V rating, from what I understand, both ratings I listed were for the same size window. I'll have to double check, but I'm almost positive they were specific to the size I was interested in. In your opinion how big would the visible difference be in light between a 53% and 71% V rating on a ten foot bay window? Is it really as noticeable as the number suggests?

Also, would it be prudent to go for a .27 U rating over a .28 U rating even if there's a large decrease in VT? Or is the .01 U difference negligible?

Thanks

Brian
 
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Old 07-20-18, 02:43 PM
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The difference in VT is only noticeable when you open the window and compare daylight with through the glass. I have never cared about the VT number in all these years, i dont know why you are so focused on it. They will not seem like they are tinted unless you have worked the wife up into such a tizzy that it is all you focus on. If you look at the VT numbers for bronze glass, THAT is tinted. Screens cut down on the VT also. No one worries about that.

with vinyl windows I hear more people complain about the thick vinyl frames making the glass area too small. Biggest complaint by far.

.01 difference in u factor is not much. R value = 1 / U factor. So the difference between .29 and .28 is R .13 if that makes more sense to you. No, the numbers your window sticker will not likely match exactly.

it's impossible for me to describe what makes a good window because it is a hundred factors rolled into one. Vinyl thickness, number of chambers and shape of those chambers when looking at a cross section of the frame... are they foam filled, weatherstripping, interlocks, glazing stops, IGU quality (and failure rate), availability of parts, who will service it?

If you have to replace the glass someday, will the glazing stops break? They do on crappy windows. Is the glass glazed with tape (good) or silicone (crappy)? Moving parts, balances, handles, locks, cranks, the list goes on and on. If the frames are welded (mitered corners that are melted together), some companies do the CRAPPIEST job of cleaning up the corners. There is no comparison between a cheap window and good window in that respect.

Also, some windows use the most obscure parts possible and when the manufacturer goes belly up or discontinued the window (which they will in under 10 yrs) then it's impossible to find parts from other suppliers.

your first link... big boxey extrusions... very weak construction. Probably why they foam fill it or else it would be like a noodle. Doesn't look horrible, that's the best I can say. I know price is a factor.

Energy weld link looks similar.
 
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Old 07-20-18, 06:50 PM
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" I have never cared about the VT number in all these years, i dont know why you are so focused on it"

Because it's the only noticeable difference in ratings of the two windows, and a large percentage different... And I enjoy light. I never thought I was "so focused" on it, it's just the only thing I didn't understand about the ratings. The rest I'm familiar with.

I dunno if I caught you on a bad day or what... just seems like you're irritated by my thread. Sorry if this isn't classified as a DIY question, I just needed the advice and this is where I always turn.

Price is a factor, but I don't want to pay $5,000 for garbage if I could pay $6,000 for something respectable. Price points can be odd. From all the DIY stuff I've done in this house in the last year or so, this is something I actually can't fully do myself, and have to shell out the money for. I've done 20k worth of wiring, thousands worth on landscaping, masonry, flooring... All for nearly free. This will be the most expensive thing I've had to actually pony up for, and I'm just trying to make sure I don't regret my decision. A 10' bay window (installed) around here is looking at around $5k from several different contractors/groups. I've had estimates as high as $14K for the same work, and I'm assuming that would be the "non-junk" window that you're talking about. I can't afford that. I'm just trying to find some middle ground. If these windows are "very weak construction" can you point me in the direction of something reasonably priced that is not? Or even what type of construction to base my search on? I really have no idea where to begin. I've been at the mercy of the few places that will even return calls. Can't think of any other options locally besides maybe an Andersen window. I will say that I'm much more concerned with the functionality and weather-stopping properties of the window, than I am about replacing glass or clean corners. That's all I have the luxury to worry about on this one. Anything high end has been just ridiculous on price.
 
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Old 07-20-18, 06:57 PM
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Nothing in that price range. Sorry if my long detailed reply offended you.
 
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Old 07-21-18, 01:53 PM
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I wasn't offended by a "long detailed post". Please... It seemed like I pissed you off somehow, which is odd because you've helped me out a ton before. Pardon the paraphrasing... but synopsis:

me: "Anyone have opinion on these specific windows, series, and specific ratings"

u: "There are thousands of window companies out there and the majority of them are total garbage. Windows have SERIES not just brands. The ratings the companies advertise for that specific window in that specific size change based on window and size"

me: "wut? OK, what's with the V rating, it's the only thing that's way different in very similar windows.. also what constitutes a better window"

u: "why are you obsessed with V rating. I don't care about them. Explaining what a good window is is impossible. Foam filled is good, foam filled is bad. The ones you link suck."

me: "sry for asking, not sure why you're upset. any tips on finding a mid range window"

u: "mid range does not exist. you're welcome for my detailed responses".



Any more window people in the house? lol
 
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Old 07-21-18, 01:56 PM
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I guess anyone can take things out of context. I was trying to answer your questions. No I was not pissed off. Feel free to get other input, i'm not the only guy here. You wanted an opinion, I gave mine.

I did miss that you gave the series model. Sorry.
 
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Old 07-25-18, 03:55 PM
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It's fine man no hard feelings. I wasn't trying to be a dick. Mainly I just could use advice on what features are the most important to look for if I was to buy a window that isn't top notch. I can't afford the best, so what would be the basic things that I could make sure to hone in on while shopping for a mid-range? If I were to spend extra for features, what should I prioritize? Spacer? Glass type? Seal? Gas type? That's kinda what I'm angling for.

Brian
 
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Old 07-25-18, 04:13 PM
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I would prioritize the glass/gas and spacer type to get the best u factor and warmest edge that you can afford. Glass options usually come as a package. Usually if you want the best glass it means upgrading to triple pane low-e, and krypton fill is usually standard with the better package.

My reasoning is that your window is 90% glass, and glass is horribly inefficient. On a huge bay or bow window, that's a lot of glass, and you don't want it to be cold or get condensation. Getting the best glass gives you the best chance of avoiding condensation.

And with a low quality window with a wimpy frame you would want them to be foam filled frames (as I read it it looks like that is an option... so its not necessarily standard.) So ask about that.

If you don't plan on opening the windows for ventilation, get fixed non-operating windows. No screens, clearer view, cost slightly less... no moving parts to go bad. Also eliminating double hungs on the sides gets rid of the obstruction of the sashes... you have more glass... better view... with fixed non operating windows.
 
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Old 07-26-18, 12:31 PM
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That's what I'm talkin about! Thank you. Duly noted.
 
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Old 07-26-18, 01:49 PM
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Glad to help.
?....?......

 
 

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