1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

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Jungle
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1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#1 Post by Jungle »

My first post to this site. I have 1989 Andersen Windows with dual pane glass in them. I would like to determine if they have low e glass, before I committ to replacing the panes.

Etching on the glass is

IGMAC
R-Plus
1989
WPG

Most glass companies in Calgary don't have employees that were born before 1989, and they can only guess that R-Plus is indicative of a low e coating.

Does anybody out there know for sure if R-Plus is indicating low e glass?

Thanks for any insight.

Jim

Oberon
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#2 Post by Oberon »

When you look between the glass panes, can you see a metal spacer keeping the glass apart? You may very well have edge welded glass, and that's why I asked about the spacer. If its welded you don't have LowE.

If you can see the metal (aluminum) spacer between the lites then it's possible that you do have LowE coated glass, but even if you do, it isn't anywhere near comparable to the LowE coatings available today.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#3 Post by Windows on Washington »

Thanks Oberon. Someone was, apparently, working in glass back in the late 80's.

Jungle
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#4 Post by Jungle »

Thanks Oberon

I cannot see a metal spacer between the panes of glass. There is a black spacer that looks to be a little bit gooey, but still separates the glass consistently. Is this what you mean by welded?

Regards

Jim

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Windows on Washington
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#5 Post by Windows on Washington »

He would have meant a metal spacer that was butt welded if I am correct.

Jungle
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#6 Post by Jungle »

20210119_131353.jpg
20210119_131353.jpg (50.22 KiB) Viewed 278 times
I found this image on an early February post by Scuderia01. I think this is what Oberon meant by welded glass unit. This is not what I have in my windows, so the thought of my windows possibly having a low e coating still exists, but I still don't know for sure.

Is there any foolproof method for a homeowner to test for a low e coating?

Jim

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TheWindowNerd
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#7 Post by TheWindowNerd »

Someone of you youngins post a picture to help the person out.

Why do you ask if you have low e?

Simple physical test to tell:
A. break the glass apply a continuity tester to each interior surface. if there is continuity you have low e glass.
B. Hold a flame nearly touching the glass, slightly on an angle from the flame look for four reflections in the glass, if 32 or 3 reflection is a different color you win and have low e glass.

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TheWindowNerd
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#8 Post by TheWindowNerd »

Yes, that is welded IG and predates low e technology.

Jungle
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#9 Post by Jungle »

Thanks Windownerd

I do not have the glass that is in the picture. I have double pane glass 32 years old. I am considering replacing with low e coated argon filled glass to help with some winter condensation and coldness issues. If my existing glass is low e, I likely won't gain enough to warrant the expense of replacing with modern low e.

However if my existing glass is not low e coated, the additional benefits of a modern low e argon filled glass would likely justify the expense.

I have 18 windows that would need the glass replaced. The windows frames themselves are in good shape.

I have tried the match imaging, and all 4 images appear to be the same color. I am not willing to break the glass to do a continuity test at this time.

Once again, thank you Windownerd.

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TheWindowNerd
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#10 Post by TheWindowNerd »

You are welcome.

Not sure I understand, you are going to replace the IGUs or the windows?

I have never reglazed AW sash, I have reglazed a lot of windows in four decades, have always ordered new sash with AW.
The vinyl glazing beads that old will not make it through the process. You will either need new glazing beads or a different approach. Withing AW you have the following options: order new sash, order conversion kits, do 400TW or Woodwright inserts, do full frame AW.

IMHO yuo would be better off doing a high performance vinyl window, either insert or full frame. In your climate zone I would look for a triple pane 1 3/8" IG package with the AL .02 or less. The AL is very important if you want no drafts.

Jungle
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#11 Post by Jungle »

Once again thanks windownerd.

I was hoping to only replace the IGU. The windows are wood windows but with aluminum cladding on the outside.

I am not windows proficient, but when you mention glazing bead, I think you refer to the little sealing strip on the inside portion of the IGU that is sticking up about 1/8 inch along the entire edge of the glass, and likely goes down to the hidden edge of the glass. The portion of this that I can touch is still pliable and seems OK. The windows are all on the north side of the house, so are not exposed to the sun for too long each day. However if it needs to be replaced, I will insure that it gets replaced, likely at an extra cost.

I like the look and profile of our existing window frames, and would prefer to just replace the IGU and keep existing trim. I am upgrading to triple pane with either 7/16 or 1/2 inch spacing with argon and low e on 2 surfaces. U factorwould be approximately 0.14 at center of glass. I am assuming your reference to AL is similar to our U factor.

My main concern are the casement windows (vents) that open. I will only be able to use double pane IGU, because of the structural integrity of the hinges, and the way the windows were manufactured. That is why I was questioning the existence of coatings on my current windows. If I upgrade the vented windows to double pane coated argon filled, I might still have some condensation issues if I am only gaining the argon and the slight improvement in low e coatings.

Once again, I appreciate your input to my window issues. I will actually look at potentially doing insert replacement to alleviate potential problems with deterioration of my window frames under the cladding.

Regards

Jim

Oberon
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#12 Post by Oberon »

Great picture, that is exactly what I was asking.

No way to know for sure if you have LowE glass. If you do it's going to be single layer silver softcoat (dual layer silver weren't introduced for a few more years), or else a hardcoat. Neither of which would match current coatings, but that doesnt make them necessarily bad, just older technology. And spacer technology is decades ahead of what you have (mostly because it has been decades).

Assuming the current IGU's are solid and don't show signs of seal failure, I would be hesitant to change the glass for additional energy performance. Yes you will get improvement but not sure how much the savings would justify the expense.

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HomeSealed
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#13 Post by HomeSealed »

I'd agree with Window Nerd and Oberon, replacing the IGU's in these 32 year old windows is not likely to be a great investment whether low e is present or not. If they are still working and looking decent you may not need to replace them soon, but when that time comes or you are looking for more efficiency, replacement will be the way to go.

Think of it like a 30+ year old car. Glass is the most important part of a window so we could say it would be like putting a new engine in said car, but it still has 30+ year old brake system, fuel system, sensors, exhaust, interior, paint, etc. It can make sense in a collector car, but not a 1985 Chevy Citation. Much like 100 year old windows with old growth wood and some historical significance are often worth reconditioning, but not the stuff that was put out in the 80's and 90's.

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TheWindowNerd
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#14 Post by TheWindowNerd »

I had two new thoughts.

I don't think you have AW units, they did not do aluminum clad.

Would filming the windows give you the low e?

I like Brandon's(HomeSealed) word picture about an old car.

w

Delaware Mike
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Re: 1989 Andersen Windows (low e?)

#15 Post by Delaware Mike »

I'm so old that I remember being in 8th grade and my school toured the old GM auto plant in Wilmington Delaware. They're were building the Citation there and we saw some of the process. What a pile of junk. No wonder the door was opened so wide for Honda and Toyota to come in and kick our tails. That plant was just torn down and now is a mega Amazon building with great paying union jobs, pensions, and job advancement. Cough, cough.....

I wouldn't put new IG's in such older windows unless I was on some sort of restoration vision quest.

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