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south facing windows for passive solar

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Posted by Astro on June 27, 2005, 9:02 pm
I've been getting quotes on replacement windows for my home and am
trying to eke out performance gains all around since we've got quite a
bit of glass around the house.

For the south windows, based on the passive solar literature I've read,
the south windows should be shaded by an overhang to reduce summer
insolation and be non-coated to achieve maximum insolation gains during
the winter.

Well, my window supplier doesn't even want to sell me un-coated glass,
saying that I'm best off with standard low-e glass.

it's not a pricing issue either, as I'm comparing double glazed, low-e
windows with triple glazed, clear glass, which would cost more.

I'm in Pennsylvania, if that helps any.

So, should I keep looking for a supplier of clear windows for my south
windows so as to maximize winter insolation, or am I really better off
with a good low-e coating to minimize heat loss?


Posted by Gary on July 1, 2005, 11:39 pm
Astro wrote:

Hi Ted,

Take a look at this site: http://www.efficientwindows.org

Run their "Window Selection" tool.  It will tell you how each of
dozens of different window combinations will work for both heating and
cooling in Pa.  It gives dollar estimates for both heating and cooling
for a sample house.  Also, download the Pa tip sheet from the same page.

If you want to get more specific to your house design, download the
Resfen tool at: http://windows.lbl.gov/software/default.htm
This will allow you to put in your house geometry, location, etc.
It will let you pick different window types and sizes for each
exposure (N,E,W,S).  It provides energy use and cost of energy for the
whole house, or for just the windows.  Resfen is a DOE sponsored tool,
and is the same one that is used to develop the data for the
www.efficientwindows.org site -- its a full blown hour by hour
simulation using a weather file for your area -- should give good results.
Warning: its a 50mb download.

Judging from the choices that are offered on these to sites, 3 pane
non-low e may not be available -- neither site lists them.


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