Why Windows Matter


We have been working hard on our window selection, and we’re now close to ordering. Just so you know what all the hard work has been about, here is some information that might be helpful.

We’re ordering triple pane, silver glazed windows that are framed in wood (Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) wood). These windows will allow maximum light and minimal heat transfer. More specifically:

  • there will be a 5-6x reduction in solar heat gain – for every 100 units of light that will hit the window, 20 will be allowed to penetrate
  • the cooling load will be about 1/2 of what we estimated a number of months ago – we’ll need a cooling unit about 1/4 of the size that we would have required
  • these windows will let in 70% of natural light in – a plain clear glass window will let in 85% (this percentage is good considering its thermal properties)
  • the cost of the glass is 1 1/2% more than a traditional window
  • the cost of using FSC certified lumber is 1% more than traditional wood
  • so the overall cost increase for our windows will be 2.5%, an excellent value

We have had issues. In my previous post I talked about our haggling with the FSC about locating some wood on their site and certification restrictions, and that continued into this week. Long story short, the FSC agreed to sell the wood to Kelly Windows as long as they didn’t advertise that they were FSC-wood dealers, but the supplier of the wood, Forest Specialties in Iowa, called to say they didn’t think they could sell it to Kelly. After a number of calls back and forth, they finally agreed to the sale when they realized we would take our business elsewhere. And Cardinal Windows, who is supplying the glass, told us they couldn’t get the glass from their Indiana operation, and had to send out to Wisconsin. Lots of those types of discussions. But in the end, we have glass, we have frames, and we have someone to put them together. And, I think, a lot of advice for those following in our footsteps.

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