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Andersen 400 Series Innovation Energy Performance Panels

Andersen has long been an innovator in window technology and thermal performance. In 1932, the Andersen MasterFrame Casement became the first fully assembled window unit in the industry. Prior to its introduction, windows showed up at the jobsite as a box of parts, to be assembled on site or were simply made from scratch. In 1952, welded insulated glass was first introduced by Andersen creating a significant step forward in energy efficiency, and doubling Andersen’s market share within the next two years. In 1982, Andersen became the first company to introduce the first Low Emissivity (Low E) glass as a standard offering, creating another game changing chapter in energy efficiency. In 1989 Andersen first introduced triple glazed windows to the market. In 1999 Andersen became the first window and door manufacturer to be names an ENERGY STAR National Window Partner of the Year, and this was just the first of several ENERGY STAR and US EPA awards that the company has received for sustained excellence in the area of energy efficient window and door manufacturing.

2023 marks another significant step for Andersen with the introduction of Andersen 400 Series windows with factory applied Energy Performance Panels. For many years Andersen’s 400 Series double hung windows have been an industry staple and a reliable go to for this New England market. They have been the windows to which all other brands compare themselves. But let’s face it, energy standards are being pushed higher and it’s up to us not just to keep up, but to pull ahead. “What is an energy performance panel?” you might ask. It is a modernized version of the combination storm screen unit that fits with ease into the screen track of a standard Andersen 400 Series double hung. “Why are we bringing up old history?” you might be thinking. I used to see combination units (aka storm windows) on my grandparents’ house. Think about why. Your grandparents’ house had single strength glass in its windows. They had no energy rating, no structural rating or even an air infiltration rating. Your grandmother likely measured her energy efficiency by how many sweaters she had to put on, during a cold winter’s day. Adding a storm window or storm door was a crafty New England solution, back in the day. It created a trapped air space between the inner and outer layers of glass and created a difference in thermal efficiency that you could easily feel. It also helped the performance of the window in wind driven rain events by baffling the wind and water, outside the inner window and kept things outside where they were meant to be.

I have been interested in combination windows for the 20 years we have owned a vacation home in Maine. 20 below zero is not uncommon, we see it up there once or twice a year! The rest of the winter, it’s just plain cold. Our house was retrofitted in the late 1980’s with Andersen NarroLine insulated glass (IG) doublehungs. I had the idea in 2005 to install combination storm/screen units on those windows and create a triple pane approach, because up there in the mountains, we have wind and rain to go with our cold. I could feel an immediate difference in the interior warmth of the house. I also could hear a difference because the extra layer of glass attenuates the sound from outside quite effectively. I wondered about the aesthetics of a storm window though…how would they look? On two adjacent identical windows, I installed a standard full screen on one and a combination storm screen unit on the other. I invited my wife outside to judge the appearance difference but didn’t tell her anything more than that, I wanted her opinion on which looked better to her. She pointed to the unit with the combination storm screen applied as her choice. Unlike Grandma’s old fashioned units, Andersen’s combination sits flush in the frame in exactly the same position as the screen would, and in my wife’s opinion “completed the exterior look of the window”. Interesting, we now had the performance of triple glazed windows without some of the drawbacks. Triple glazed windows are very heavy, very expensive and don’t allow some of the important features that are a part of New England architecture. Spacer bars are limited in triple glazing and triple glazing creates such large overall glass thickness that exterior and interior grille bars end up with an awkward space between them with the extra thickness of triple glazing. Also, a triple glazed sash still only has one set of weatherstripping to keep the wind and water out, while performance panels create a whole outer layer of protection. Add in some of the new improvements that Andersen has made to 400 Series doublehungs, such as available coatings like SmartSun, Passive Sun and Heatlock Technology and you now have an Andersen 400 Series unit that performs to extreme levels, with U factors as low as .19! The best part is that you can keep the architectural details that you like but get the performance that you want. Not wishful thinking performance numbers but lab tested, certified performance ratings that come factory certified with an NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label on the units shipped with the Energy Panel installed at the factory. These NFRC labels show the combined unit and energy panel rating to keep your HERS rater and your building inspector happy. These Energy Panels are available in all 7 factory colors, and we have them on display at our locations. If you feel warmer, sound quieter, look even better, and can compete with the best triple glazed energy numbers in the business at a lower cost, all without giving up the features you love…. How can you not love Andersen’s 400 Series high performance approach? For those of you who may already have existing Andersen 400 Series units, these energy panels are incredibly easily retrofittable, and for those houses near the beach what better protection against windblown sandblasting than an easily replaceable energy panel? Please check with our Shepley Andersen experts for full details on energy performance ratings. We’re out to make new and existing Andersen units more efficient than ever. If we sound excited, we are! Seeing is believing, so come check out the new 400 Series Energy Performance Panels at Shepley.

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