by • February 13, 2014 • Windows & Doors & SkylightsComments (2)4424

What Is A Good Window for Texas? (and the South)

  When I moved to Texas almost 10 years ago I was shocked to find the majority of houses built here in the last 30 years have crappy windows.  I’d be willing to bet that 90%+ of all the windows in houses built in the 80’s & 90’s had single pane aluminum (non-thermally broken) windows.  I’m talking bottom of the line…
  I shot this video a week ago at a new house of mine where we are using Marvin Integrity Windows (a fantastic brand) but this video is meant to educate you generally on what to look for regardless of brand.  Remember that windows are typically 1/5 or even 1/10 the insulation value of your walls/roof so even minute differences in window grade can make a large long-term impact to your energy usage.  Once you see the Video I’d love your feedback about whether I covered enough for this to be helpful as you shop for new Windows for your house!

If you’d like to see more window video and reviews (including install tips) see this YouTube Playlist of my Window Reviews or my Best Practice Window Install Methods Playlist.  
Matt Risinger

Risinger Homes in Austin, TX

Risinger Homes is a custom builder and whole house remodeling contractor that specializes in Architect driven and fine craftsmanship work. We utilize an in-house carpentry staff and the latest building science research to build dramatically more efficient, healthy and durable homes.
Be sure to check out my video blog on YouTube, and follow me on Twitter @MattRisinger 

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  • rj

    Interesting video on windows. I have a couple of questions. First, I assume most builders in your area don’t subscribe to higher winter solar gain glass on south facing windows theory? Second, what is your position on fiberglass versus vinyl or aluminum window frames? Finally, are local glass replacement companies able to supply Cardinal 366 argon fill windows when the need arises?

    • RJ, Thanks for commenting. Most builders are not looking for gain from the windows here in TX. In theory you could shade the windows from the summer sun that’s higher in the sky, then when it dips lower in the winter months you could get gain. That’s hard to do in practice. On the Fiberglass, vinyl, aluminum question: I’m not a Vinyl fan, I wouldn’t use it in Texas. Too much heat and movement of the material in time. These are cheap windows and should be avoided. Fiberglass is a much better choice and is usually my best-bang-for-the-buck choice. That or Anderson 100 series Fibrex. I like Aluminum windows in that they last basically forever, but even with a thermal break they aren’t terribly efficient. It’s a trade off with Alum, good looks – lasts forever, but rather poor insulation performance overall compared to other choices.
      Lastly, on the replacement question yes you should be able to get Cardinal Low E366 argon for a replacement pretty easily. Best, Matt