Expert says insulated windows best pick for Denver

"My front windows face southwest. I have no shade trees in the front yard, so I am expecting my front rooms to get hot this summer. I also have condensation between the panes. I plan to replace the windows but am getting conflicting advice. Should I get low-E glass and rely on it to block the IR heat waves, or get clear glass and have an IR-reflective film applied? Which will give me the best results?" — Angie's List member Roger Linville

In most situations, the better multi-season performers are the low-E coatings for windows, says Geoff Haskell, strategic program manager of highly rated Pella Windows & Doors, licensed to service Denver. The cost of installing tinted film on clear glass is less expensive, Haskell admits, but it cannot solve Linville's condensation problem.

"His windows need to be replaced, because the seal on his two-panel glass system has failed," Haskell says. "That can only be fixed by installing new glass."

Haskell recommends choosing a high-performing LoE2 or LoE3 glass, which comes in a variety of styles. Most LoE3 windows are better at keeping heat out during the summer, he says.

"However, LoE3 glass also lets less sunlight through in the winter, so you'll have to use your HVAC unit more often to keep the house warm," Haskell says. Insulated glass units tend to work best during summer and winter months. Haskell says they work especially well in Colorado, due to the state's drastic temperature changes between the daytime heat and nighttime cold.

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