Window Choice for New Construction Marvin vs Atrium

Asked June 19, 2015, 9:45 AM EDT

I'm hoping that someone can give me some guidance on a decision between two windows for my new house. My wife and I are building in Central Ky I have narrowed my choice in windows down to two different companies at different lumber yards. They are Marvin all Ultex, and Atrium 450 series. I feel that the Marvin is probably a better made window, but the numbers on it aren't conclusive.

The Marvins numbers: U: .30 SHGC .33 Visb light Trans. .57 Cost for whole house $8,600.00

The Atrium numbers: U: .30 SHGC .20 No Visible Light Trans number given. Cost $6,005.00

I've also read in my research that Marvins have a high air infiltration number. Could someone please help me on which would be the better choice. .

Barren County Kentucky

2 Responses

This question was assigned to me and it is outside of my area of expertise! I have reassigned the question, but if you don't get a response soon, Please call me at the Barren County Extension Office 270.651.3818 and I will try to find someone who can help us answer this question!

I looked at the company websites and could not find a match between products and ratings. But, using the numbers that you provided, we can make a couple of comments. First on heat conductivity the windows match. on Solar heat gain coefficient, the Marvin Windows allow more solar gain than the Atrium Windows. This makes the windows ideal for different situations. If the home is designed to shade the windows on the south side during the summer and let the sun in in the winter for solar heat gain, then having windows that allow more solar gain is a good thing. If the windows are facing east, west or southwest without outside shade provided, the widows that block the solar gain are a better deal to keep the summer sun heat gain to a minimum. The Marvin windows allow more solar gain than the Atrium windows. Hope that helps.

There are information sources provided by the window industry that should help you.

Efficient Windows Collaborative

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)

to design a home for passive solar heating see this guide for design of south facing overhang. Saving Energy With Passive Systems