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Single Pane Glass Windows  RSS feed

 
                                          
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Hello all,

I wanted to talk about the single pane windows that I have in the small home I rent.  I do not know how old this house is I am living in, but it's been around a while.  The windows in here are all single pane glass.  They slide into the wall kind of like a sliding pocket door, and they are pretty inefficient.  Add to that the large pane of glass on the front and back doors (top half single pane glass as well) and you can get some idea that I was spending a lot of unnecessary money keeping this place warm. 

My solution?  Besides dress warm?  Shrink and seal window kits.  I have found them at Lowes, Target and Home Depot so far.  They consist of a thin film of plastic and some double stick tape. 

How does it work?  The double stick tape is applied to the frame, all the way around.  The film is placed on the double stick tape and pressed firmly in place.  Then heat is applied~I used an old hair dryer I have.  The heat shrinks the plastic film nicely; it looks good and works GREAT!  It is thin and clear and it is hardly noticeable once it is in place.  I do a rough trim before placing the film, then another once it has been shrunk in place.

As for my doors, I applied a film on the inside, then another on the outside for good measure.  When I touch the film, it feels cool to the touch, instead of cold like the windows did.  It has really made a difference in how easy it is to keep this place warm. 

There is a sturdier version that is made for outdoor use.  On my doors, the outside of the doors are protected by porches, so I did not worry about it. 

I know, it's kind of like a storm window, but very easy to install and the view is outstanding compared to the old opaque plastic lined storm windows I recall.  It's crystal clear.  One kit took care of most of the windows in my house.  Now I have most of the second kit left.

For building using recycled windows, a product like this could make a real difference.  It would enable you to use relatively inefficient older windows that you might not want to otherwise.  A product like this could make a real difference in a structure like mike oehler's $500 cabin.  It would heat easier, retain heat better, and allow you to use a lot less wood to keep the structure heated.  And it would not kill the view at all, or the quality of light coming in.

For your consideration,

Lauren




 
Glenn Kangiser
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Good idea, Lauren.  I have also used the heavy crystal clear plastic for odd shaped windows and few people notice that it is not glass.  I frame it with 1/4 inch thick strips of wood and stretch and staple it into place as I go around it with the frame.  After framed  the excess can be cut off with a razor knife etc.
 
                                          
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Thanks Glenn,

What is the heavy crystal clear plastic?  Could I trouble you for a picture or two?  It does sound like a good idea for an odd shaped window, I may be needing this when I am able to build my more modest underground center, someday.  Well, until then, I can dream, and plan, and gather information. 

When you do this, do you end up with a double or single thickness of plastic?

Thanks again,

Lauren

 
Glenn Kangiser
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Looks like it was clear vinyl, Lauren - 12 mil and they would cut it from the roll so you don't need to buy the whole roll.

http://doitbest.com/Plastic+sheeting+and+vapor+barriers-Dennis+W+J+and+Co-model-1260110-doitbest-sku-272868.dib

In my use in the bedroom it was single thickness - a window by itself, but it could easily be used to cover existing windows to make a storm window or a double window of vinyl with very little distortion.

In this picture of the bedroom looking into the uphill patio, it is the two windows in the top left corner.

 
                                          
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Thanks, Glenn,

As always, nice job.  And I wouldn't even be able to tell they were anything but a regular window if you didn't point them out.

Thanks for the link, it's good they sell off the roll, it's pretty pricey stuff.  But, it is obviously good.

Cheers,
Lauren
 
paul wheaton
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Sometimes I think about the advantages of something resembling and envelope house ....

 
Glenn Kangiser
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fardarrigger wrote:
Thanks, Glenn,

As always, nice job.  And I wouldn't even be able to tell they were anything but a regular window if you didn't point them out.

Thanks for the link, it's good they sell off the roll, it's pretty pricey stuff.  But, it is obviously good.

Cheers,
Lauren


That's a pretty big roll so the price for an individual window cover is not that much.
 
              
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Location: swampland virginia
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thanks for the info. I will be sure to use this trick on some doors and windows after my next visit to lowes.

Another option to replacing windows, depending on your cavity size, is to add a second set of windows to each window cavity. You gain thermal and noise benefits. If you do not have enough room, there are good storm windows that accomplish the same thing.
 
Glenn Kangiser
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This vinyl would make great storm window inserts if you wanted to build frames for it too.
 
                                          
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How is the resistance to UV, Glenn?  Have the windows you made from the vinyl yellowed at all?  How are they holding up? 
 
Glenn Kangiser
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No yellowing that I have noticed.  The bedroom windows are not exposed to direct sunlight.  The window on the sun scoop did tear in the high wind as it is totally exposed to wind and sunlight.  No problem with the bedroom windows.  The sun scoop window was supposed to be temporary anyway.  This is a rather long stretched out temporary.

I think some of the rubber beading in a groove as used on window screen installation would be a better way to install rather than staples as I used, or more staples to spread the stresses more.

I would not consider them to be totally permanent but they do last a long time under most conditions I have.
 
                                          
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Thanks for letting me know.  I guess nothing will work as well as glass.  Even plexiglass will get yellow and brittle.  But it can sure have it's uses...and coupled with glass, it can definitely make something more than either by themselves, and plastic can definitely work well in some cases, like yours 

















 
ben harpo
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I've seen buildings with just 6 mil plastic for the walls which were very comfortable. Insulation and thermal mass are important in rooms used for sleeping or long periods of sitting. But, kitchens and dining rooms do not require thermal mass. If everyone is wearing outdoor clothes they usually don't notice. When people are using kitchens and dining rooms they usually generate heat. And activities only last an hour or two... so using thermal mass to hold the heat for 24 hours is a waste of energy.
 
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