For 40 years, Magic Window Innovations has provided the GTA with some of the most advanced residential windows in the world. Our innovative, Energy Star certified replacement windows, patio doors and Window Walls can add style and performance to any home. Welcome to our blog, where we provide consumers with the information and inspiration they need to make informed decisions about replacing their windows.
The process of replacing windows gives homeowners a chance to fully reevaluate what they want and expect out of their units. After all, windows do not simply provide a view and natural light; they are essential to a home’s ability to save and utilize energy efficiently while staying secure. As a result, homeowners should understand what types of performance-enhancing features are available for replacement windows so they can ensure a quality investment. Read on to learn about nine performance enhancing window features that will help to ensure that homeowners will get the most out of their windows for years to come.
1. Double-Glazed Units Certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)
Window glaze refers to the cut piece of glass that fills the window frame. If a window has one pane of glass, it’s a single-glazed window; if it has two panes, it’s double-glazed; three panes, triple-glazed. Most domestic windows on the market are either double-glazed or triple-glazed. Many companies claim that their triple-glazed windows are more energy efficient than double-glazed windows, but this is misleading.
While our custom-made double-glazed windows pass the rigorous energy-efficiency standards of programs such as the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), many other double-glazed designs do not. This leads to the need for the additional pane. The extra pane adds another layer of low-E coating (see below), which creates a dark greenish tint on the glass and affects light transmittance. Another drawback of triple-glazed windows is that they add significantly more weight onto the window’s hardware. Considering most windows on the market utilize crank hardware, this added weight can work to reduce the lifespan and performance of your windows.
2. Low-E Coated Window Glass (Low-Emissivity Window Glass)
Emissivity refers to how effectively a material radiates energy. In the case of windows, this means external heat from the sun or internal heat from an HVAC unit. When glass has a low emissivity, it reflects this heat far better than it absorbs or emits it. The low-E coating remains transparent to the solar energy from the sun and allows it to pass through into the home. However, it also reflects the radiant heat emitted by objects in a room back into the room, which can help to reduce energy expenditures during the winter months.
Low-E coating is effective because it can be tailored to specific climate regions. In warmer climates, the glass can be formulated with a coating that wouldn’t let in any heat. Conversely, Canadians are exposed to drastically different seasons that can affect the performance of a window. In this context, we can formulate the coating to allow homeowners to take advantage of the sun’s heat in the winter, while not having it be overwhelming in the summer months.
3. Window U-Factor
This is a term used to describe the rate of heat loss through a window. The lower the U-factor, the better the window is at mitigating heat loss. This is obviously a crucial factor in determining whether or not a window is energy efficient. In fact, it is one of the fundamental performance indicators for the Energy Star program.
4. Warm Edge Spacers are Performance Enhancing Window Features
Warm edge spacers are the seals which insulate the edges of the unit and keep the glass panes firmly apart from each other. These spacers are essential to a window’s ability to remain energy efficient over the long term. At Magic Window Innovations, we take this technology further. We utilize a Duralite™ spacer made of a 4-layer material that naturally expands and contracts with any movement of the unit. This makes seal failure virtually impossible.
5. Custom Glass Formulation is a Performance Enhancing Window Feature
Glass formulation is essential to the performance of any window. That’s why we don’t take any chances. We formulate all of our own glass units in-house to ensure high-performing, long-lasting windows. The customization of our glass also allows us to maximize a window’s performance in accordance with a home’s specific geographic region and construction.
6. Crankless Parallex® Hardware is an Amazing Performance Enhancing Window Feature
Many traditional windows open and close by means of a hand-crank mechanism. When the window is open, the sash is held in place by a friction hinge or a stay. Even though cranks have been used for decades, they are mechanically flawed. They will strip, break and loosen over time. That’s why we decided to do something different.
In designing the Magic-Series casement window, we set out to solve the problem of crank mechanisms by removing them altogether. We created Parallex® hardware: an award-winning system that eliminates the crank mechanism, easing operation and improving the window’s durability, performance and functionality.
Traditional cranks only move the sash at the bottom, which causes the top of the sash to merely react. This can result in distorted movement over time, as well as issues with warping, sagging and bowing. By installing a large galvanized steel rod through the internal part of the sash that securely connects to two parallel tracks, Parallex® technology forces the top and bottom of the sash to move in complete tandem. Because of this, the bottom shoe cannot move without the top shoe actively moving along with it.
6. Tilt-in Window Sashes
The tilt-in sash window feature ensures that windows can be easily tilted inward or outward to help with window cleaning. Usually, this capability is available in single, double-hung or tilt and turn windows. While our single hung, double hung and double slider windows can all tilt inward, our casement and awning-style windows can all tilt outwards. Regardless, homeowners can clean all of our windows from inside the house.
7. Retractable Screens and Blinds Boost Window Performance
While screens and blinds are both essential components of a window, these traditional designs have a number of flaws: they can easily collect dust, dirt & mildew, they block natural light, obstruct window views and are designed with flawed hardware. Not to mention the bulky, outdated design. At Magic Window Innovations, we’ve worked to redesign our screens and blinds as performance enhancing window features.
Our Retractable Slide ‘N’ Hide® screens and blinds give homeowners complete control over when, where and to what extent they use these features. While the retractable Insect Screen can provide unobstructed views, the retractable Solar Screens and Thermal Blinds allow for unprecedented control over how much solar light and heat enters the home.
8. Safety and Security
This secure locking system holds the window in place in two or more places simultaneously. The locks grab the sash and pushes it firmly up against the frame.
A cam locking mechanism consists of both a base and a cam. The cam sweeps or rotates on the base before latching onto the sash, holding it locked in place against the frame. Magic Window Innovations fashions both our cam and multipoint locking systems from stainless steel to ensure security and peace of mind. Our products, such as our Window Wall, have a grade-40 security rating, which is the highest attainable security rating for a product in its class.
9. The HI FLO® Drainage System
Windows come in frequent contact with the elements and it’s normal that water will need to drain from their structure. Some windows come equipped with drainage systems that take care of this for you. Our windows use the HI FLO® Drainage System. This patented polycarbonate drain eliminates the buildup of water while simultaneously preventing air drafts and insect penetration so that all of our windows are able to maintain their performance they were designed to create.
Find Performance Enhancing Window Features at Magic Window Innovations
Regardless of this information, homeowners will inevitably have more questions regarding the performance-enhancing capabilities of their replacement windows. That’s why we offer free, no hassle consultations.
One of our certified project managers will help to explain the innovative design features that set our windows apart and how they can be customized to suit any home. Book a free consultation today and see first-hand why Magic Window Innovations produces the world’s most advanced replacement windows.