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Window Performance old vs new  RSS feed

 
Bill Bradbury
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I found this study on the performance of window treatments on historic homes.
It turns out the rebuilt single pane wood window with an insulated frame storm window has more than twice the R-value of a new PVC double glazed window.
Also included is a discussion of low E films. These had a slight performance improvement in cooling dominated climates and no noticeable effect in heating climates.

Filename: EffectsEnergyonHistoricWindows.pdf
File size: 2 megabytes
 
John Pollard
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Location: Ozarks
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I disassembled a fire damaged house a couple of years ago and saved all the windows. They were wood frame and to keep them up when open was just a simple thin aluminum strip folded in half like a sharp v shape. On both vertical sides, just enough to give resistance. The windows also had custom fit storm windows making them somewhat double paned like a thermal window. I've always liked the wood frame and sash and they have better R rating than wood or vinyl. The storm windows of course have aluminum frames. The wood needs some resto but will make nice units when done. The storm windows can come off for spring and fall when windows tend to get opened a lot.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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We love vintage windows, and when completely restored to original working condition, and fitted with proper window accoutrements, they perform as well or better than modern windows very often. They are beautiful.

Regards,

j
 
Bill Bradbury
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The beauty of vintage windows; these operate easier than new and with storm windows outperform new. They can be had for free at your local window shop, as they actually pay to have them destroyed!

Here's a bit about restoring them.

First the sash is rebuilt, with new putty(I use SARCO type M) and paint(microporous alkyd enamel). I chose one that my white-collar father-in-law rebuilt to show that; yes you can.

Then if they are very old like these they will need a shim in order to slide well and seal up against the spring bronze weatherstripping.
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Rebuilt sash with shim attached
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scribing shim to fit
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plane to line with block plane
 
Bill Bradbury
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Now we remove the old sash cord and pulleys. We clean the paint from the pulleys and lube them with spray grease. The spring bronze is cut to go around the pulleys, but maintain effectiveness.
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new sash cord and pretty pulleys
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double half-hitch knot on weights overhand on sash
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cutting groove for silicon rubber upper weathersrip
 
Bill Bradbury
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Silicon rubber weather strips are added where the old weatherization was non-existent. They have a fin that fits into the 1/8" groove cut by a special router. If you don't have a router like this, the tubular strips can be purchased without the fin and set into silicon caulk. After re-installing the sash, then install the parting bead, which is a small board that separates the upper and lower sash. To remove or install the parting bead, the upper sash must be lowered completely.
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groovin
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groover
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parting bead
 
Bill Bradbury
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I forgot, I have these sash rebuild pics.

Once the sash is primed, install new glazing putty by kneading the putty on a piece of glass, then coiling and pressing into place.

Smooth the surface with a putty knife. Then after waiting 2 weeks for the putty to cure, paint with a mineral paint or micro-porous alkyd enamel.
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Remove the old putty
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scrape off loose paint and sand
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prime sash and tape glass
 
Bill Bradbury
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Location: Richmond, Utah
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New windows don't really have that same authentic look/beauty. Plus they cost a small fortune. These two would be around $2000 to replace.
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putty installed, ready for paint(in 2 weeks)
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like new!
 
Will Holland
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Location: CT zone 5b
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Excellent photos and description. Thanks!
 
Bill Bradbury
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I was just looking at some photos and found this before!
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William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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My house is 95 years old, with the original windows. There are aluminum storm windows outside of the wooden ones.
I can see how rebuilding my wooden windows could really help with drafts. I am worried about disturbing lead into my environment(I have a 7 year old).
The aluminum storm windows seem trashy, and perhaps not worth saving.
No money or time for either right now, but thanks for the breakdown of how they can be rebuilt,it makes it seem possible.
 
Bill Bradbury
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Thanks William,

I sure hope you rebuild your windows, but the biggest drafts are probably coming around them.

This is an easier repair and has less chance of lead exposure, since paint damage should be minimal.

Remove the trim from around the window and you will likely see a large opening right through to the outside trim. Stuff this with rock wool. Re-install your trim and touch up the damage.

AllBlessings,
Bill
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