If you want the best shop by ratings. There are important performance
ratings which measure each area of performance. Each climate has a
different need. Im North and on a windy lake and have little sun hitting
in my shade, so I picked a window that has little air infiltration in
wind, this is a rated test of Air Infiltration. I don`t want wood
because of rot and aluminum transfers heat so composite is best for me.
For your area where summer heat gain from sun is high you want a Low
Solar Heat Gain glass- Shg, there are 2 or3 types of LowE for different
climates, I would get the lowest SHG glass. Frames can account for
10-50% of a windows heat transmittance, Aluminum is the worst, Aluminum
with a thermal break is better and wood, fiberglass and composites the
best. For my area the lowest U value has a verified payback in winter
Shop by U values. U is the inverse of R, so a lower U value means
higher overall insulation value.
Your area might not warrant a better frame, I recomended composite for
rot and thinking a high heat zone. A Consumer Reports old article, a
test of 22 windows, you must pay for, or if your Email is good I can
send to you, it is a good read to understanding ratings you need to know
before you buy.
Unitl you know Shg. Vlt, U or R value, Cdf, air infiltration, and
other ratings you have no way to know or compare one from the other.
"Energy Star" is a good site to learn about windows and what is best.
For you area Id pick low Shg as a start, it will keep air conditioning
bills down. If windy on a lake, air infiltration is important. If wood
rots from the lakes humidity dont go wood. If you pay alot in AC the
highest insulating value or a low U value is most important.
Glass and frames are an ever changing improving area since they are
the weakest link in a buildings efficiency, None are equal, and any
salesman that says "glass is glass" is a liar, throw him out. Hurd
offers 2 or 3 glass types, one for south, one for the north, many top
companies offer only one type, it is related to the LowE coating used.
Go to Hurds site to see their location specific glass. Cardinal might be
the company that makes most of the glass for of brands, see what their
site offers in new technology. You probably want the lowest Shg. Pellas
are poor , [ a rating I didnt know about and regret} on Cdf- condensing
factor, but this may not be an issue for you since my house is tight and
CDF relates to winters heating and condensation on glass.
Then you have to be sure they are installed Plumb Level and Square,
within the manufacturers limits. BEFORE you pay. Or you have Zero
warranty from day one. So you thought buying a house was hard!