Amsco Restoration Series

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jthouston
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Amsco Restoration Series

#1 Post by jthouston » Thu May 07, 2020 10:53 pm

I am looking for some expert advice.

Is the Amsco Restoration Series a budget, mid-range or premium vinyl window? The NFRC ratings appear to be comparable to other premium windows – U-factor = 0.29, SHGC = 0.23, VT = 0.54, STC = 33, LC-PG35. I’m not able to locate the air infiltration rating.

Amsco states their PVC formula is designed to withstand even the harshest conditions season after season. Specifically formulated for mountain and southwest climates. Patented vinyl formula adds calcium carbonate and titanium dioxide to boost our patented vinyl formula and deliver superior color retention and stability.

I also noted that the window has a metal-reinforced meeting rail.

Are there other brands that I should consider if I’m comparing premium window? I’m also looking at Don Young TBA (live in South Texas) because I like the look of narrow frames. The Amsco window has a ¾” IG unit compared to DY’s ½” IG unit. I’d like to use dissimilar glass to improve sound transmission so I would prefer a larger IG unit to help in reducing noise.

How would one ascertain if the vinyl is a premium product? Does comparing NFRC ratings separate premium products from builder grade products? How does one ascertain the quality of the vinyl itself?

Marvin windows compares the expansion and contraction rates of Ultrex (.4), Glass (.6), Aluminum (1.3), Composite (Fibrex) (1.6), Vinyl (4.0). Ultrex shrinks and expands at the same rate as glass, making its air seals as durable as the rest of the unit. This statement suggests that vinyl window expand and contracts at a substantially higher rate which may cause seals to fail. Is this a concern for all vinyl products?

Thanks.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Amsco Restoration Series

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Fri May 08, 2020 6:12 am

Nothing about any of the NFRC or AAMA testing relates to testing the substrate itself. Windows are always tested as an assembly (i.e. finished product).

If you like the narrowness and are in a climate where aluminum works, DY is well known and quality.

The expansion and contraction arguments are bupkis. Good marketing BS, but that is about it. Where in Texas are you located?

yville72
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Re: Amsco Restoration Series

#3 Post by yville72 » Fri May 08, 2020 9:48 am

Havent used DY before. Being an LC-30 product it is geared towards the residential and light commercial market. Air and water numbers dont seem great but not terrible. It looks like they are still using spiral balances which are outdated unless they are using a class 5 spiral balance (ultralift, super boost etc.) Normal spiral balances require a lot more maintenance and tend to be loud. I would ask if Class 5 balances are an option. See if they use any sort of Azo braiding (scoring of the metal around the thermal break. This helps with any shrinkage that has been known to occur with pour and de bridge thermal breaks and leads to leaks. This shouldn't be an issue unless you live in colder climates where there is constant expansion and contraction from the different seasons, but should be done anyway. Hardware looks a bit bulky also. They use Cardinal glass which is a good thing. The marine glazing is nice when you need to replace the IGU.

jthouston
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Re: Amsco Restoration Series

#4 Post by jthouston » Fri May 08, 2020 11:19 am

Thanks, WoW & yville72 – I live in a Condo building in Houston (taller than three stories), so the new IECC standards apply.

Texas adopted 2015 International Residential Code (IRC) updating the minimum statewide energy requirements for homes. The legislation requires all Texas homes to meet energy efficiency requirements in the 2015 IRC that are identical to the 2015 IECC. The change is effective September 2016.

The 2015 IEEC also applies to commercial, industrial and residential buildings taller than three stories. The 2015 IEEC requirements for Houston are: U-Factor 0.40; SHGC 0.25.

With regards to a TBA window, I found these that may work.

MFG Product U-factor/SHGC/VT/Condensation/Gap

2015 IEEC Standards 0.40 0.25
DY E366/ARG90/i89 (DS/DS ¾” 0.38 0.22 0.51 33 .50
NT E366/ arg / clr (DS/DS) ¾” 0.38 0.23 0.52 41 .50

One interesting note, I don’t see a Don Young product at or under the required 0.40 U-factor without spending money on the i89 glass, which seems useful in colder climates. That’s not needed in South Texas. Our winters are generally mild. SHGC is a much more meaningful spec.

I know I can get a better U-factor with a vinyl product but then you have a wider frame, it’s not as strong unless its reinforced with aluminum, and I have to weed out the acceptable vinyl from the inferior products. Given where I live, I think my concern is SHGC and air leakage and not necessarily the U-factor. Both Don Young and NT seem to be comparable products.

One advantage I see going to a vinyl window is I can increase the IG unit gap size from 0.50 to 0.63. I’m not sure the increase of air space will produce a meaningful reduction in noise. Is the difference (0.13) really significant or is it just another marketing talk point?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Amsco Restoration Series

#5 Post by Windows on Washington » Fri May 08, 2020 4:33 pm

Houston = Call one guy and one guy only...

Randy at Ultra Windows. Hands down, the best shop/outfit in Texas.

https://ultrawindows.net/

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Randy
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Re: Amsco Restoration Series

#6 Post by Randy » Fri May 08, 2020 4:56 pm

Sorry, we don't work on anything higher than three stories.

Don Young's 8200 series is superior to the 8400 series (LC50). They used to use Caldwell spiral balances, but they have switched over to constant force.

Aluminum is slowly getting pushed out, due to ridiculous U-Value requirements for our region. Good thing we have the genius government officials to inform us ignoramuses of what's best for us. How would we get along without them?

Amsco is an average window at best. Used to be, getting the DP and AI ratings would help you determine a better window from the lower end stuff. Unfortunately, many manufacturers have simply raised the sill damn and added fuzzy pads at the corners of the sashes to pump their numbers up.

For vinyl, you might take a look at NT Windows. They offer a good mid-grade product at a reasonable price point.

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