For 40 years, Magic has provided Toronto and the GTA with some of the most advanced residential windows in the world. Our innovative 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 to let in more natural light.
Don’t let your windows cut you off from natural light this winter
Heading into this fall and winter in Canada means shorter days and, perhaps now more than ever, more time spent inside. It’s a time of year that’s always a little jarring, as we move quickly from enjoying an ample amount of natural light in the summer to it being increasingly harder to come by. But just because you’re spending more time inside does not mean you should be cut off from natural light. Your home — namely your windows — should be configured and formulated to let in as much natural light as possible.
Too often, however, homeowners have windows that do the opposite.
Read on to learn about light transmittance, why your current windows could be cutting your home off and how our innovative window design features can give you access to twice as much natural light.
How is natural light transmittance measured in windows?
Visible Transmittance (VT) is the metric that determines how well a window permits the flow of natural light into a home. The higher the VT, the better. By allowing more natural light, a window helps reduce the need for artificial light sources.
VT is one of the main factors used by third-party organizations like the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and ENERGY STAR to assess windows and assign an overall rating for energy efficiency.
What factors can negatively affect Visible Transmittance (VT)?
Triple-glazed windows can impede natural light transmittance
If a window has two panes, it is double-glazed; three panes, triple-glazed. The main benefit of triple-glazed windows
is clear: when you add a third pane of treated Low-E-coated glass, energy efficiency metrics like U-Factor (the rate at which heat escapes through a window) and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (how much solar radiation a window lets into the home) of the window will improve.
But what about light? This extra pane of Low-E glass creates a more pronounced tint which will impede visible transmittance and result in less natural light. Seeing as how one of the primary reasons homeowners replace their windows is to create more natural light, this is something that can’t be overlooked.
Fixed insect screens
An insect screen can be a major asset: they block unwanted infiltration from the outside when the window unit is open. That said, these screens also collect dirt, dust and allergens over time. And what about when the unit is closed in the colder months? While they seem benign, fixed screens can block up to 50% of the natural light that flows into your home.
Big, bulky window frames
Bigger, bulkier window frames infringe on the surface area that would otherwise be glass in windows with stronger, slimmer frames. A typical mullion (what separates panels of glass in multi-sash windows such as double or triple casements) for hollow PVC or fibreglass frames is usually six inches wide. Consequently, this leads to a significant reduction in the glass’s surface area.
Our innovative replacement windows can lead to a 50% improvement in natural light transmittance
You’ve heard about factors that negatively impact VT, now learn how our windows can deliver tangible improvements to VT and will help to let in more natural light year-round.
Retractable Window Screens, Shades and Blinds
For the most part, you only ever really need window screens when your windows are open. And even when the windows are open, there are certain days when you just want an unimpeded view outside. So during the colder months when windows stay shuttered, all fixed screens seem to accomplish is to impede natural light.
Not so with our replacement windows. Our fully retractable screens give you complete control over when, where and to what extent your screens are in use. With a 50% improvement in VT, one the NFRC and ENERGY STAR’s three main measurements in grading a window’s efficiency, the difference will be hard to ignore. Plus, with the addition of our dynamic shade and blind system, you can also see improvements to Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) — another key metric used by ENERGY STAR and the NFRC to gauge a window’s energy-saving capabilities. The use of all three Retractable Slide ‘N’ Hide® screens can improve a window’s overall efficiency by 40% or more.
Glass formulation is essential to the manufacture of energy-efficient windows that work for your home. Most window manufacturers purchase their glass units directly from suppliers. Magic is unique in the sense that we do not purchase our glass units. From glass types and glazings to gas fills and coatings, we formulate our own glass packages and customize them to suit your specific preferences, climate and home’s construction. Therefore, we can provide customized low-E coatings that will deliver optimized natural light transmittance.
Thinner, stronger frames
Our Hybrid Fusion Frames come standard with a slim, stylish profile that places visual emphasis on the window’s glass and the outdoors beyond. The profile of our frames is a full three inches thinner than our competition, allowing for more natural light transmission than other replacement windows. This ultra-thin design reduces the frame’s size and maximizes the glass surface to create a more contemporary look. Plus, in combining aluminum, vinyl PVC and galvanized steel, we created a frame that’s also far stronger than the competition. Have a look at the difference here:
Enjoy more light transmittance and better overall performance from your windows.
Putting more emphasis on natural light transmittance is just one of the ways in which we help homeowners get more out of their replacement windows. To find out more about the number of innovative features that we’ve incorporated into our window and door products, book a free, no-hassle in-person or video consultation with one of our representatives today! We will walk you through the window replacement process and help you understand the products and configurations that will work best for you and your home.