Replacing Windows and Doors in Mississauga Comes With Many Questions. We’ve Got Answers!
Regardless of whether you’re looking to create a bold aesthetic statement or you simply want more dependable, energy-efficient units, replacing windows & doors is a major investment in your home. But how to choose properly? What styles should you consider? How much do different window styles cost? What makes a window energy efficient? We get these types of questions a lot during the consultation process. So to help you address them, we’ve put together this guide for homeowners looking to replace windows and doors in Mississauga.
Browse the questions here:
- What are some of the signs I need to replace windows?
- What is the best time of year to replace windows?
- How much does it cost to replace windows & doors in Mississauga?
- What window & door styles are available?
- Should I replace my windows all at once?
- What determines whether windows and patio doors are energy efficient?
- What features can make a window & patio door more energy efficient?
- Is ENERGY STAR® ‘s Window Energy Rating important for energy efficiency?
- What window frame materials should I consider?
- What type of warranty should I be looking for when I replace my windows?
1. What are some of the signs I need to replace windows?
To start, it helps to understand common signs that signal it’s time to think about replacing your windows.
Drafts are Coming in Through the Windows: Have a close look at your windows and doors to see if there are any cracks or gaps leading to the outside. Seeing any sort of daylight around the door or window frame is an immediate red flag. If you’re unsure about where specific drafts are coming from, you may want to consider a professional home energy audit.
Damaged or Faulty Hardware: Test all handles, latches, cranks, and locks. Be sure they are easy to use and not getting stuck or strained within an open and close cycle. If there are signs of visible rust and hardware decomposition, this calls for a window replacement.
Warped, Damaged Frames: Inspect the corners of the window frame, as this is typically where deterioration first presents itself. Damaged frames are a definitive sign that you need a full window replacement. When that time comes, consider stronger frames made from vinyl, steel, and aluminum that combine style and performance.
Condensation Forming Between the Panes of Glass: If you notice condensation forming between the two panes of glass, it means the integrity of the window seal has been compromised and that water vapor is beginning to condense into water inside the window unit itself. This is quite common in:
- Newer homes with hollow vinyl PVC frames that expand and contract drastically with weather fluctuations.
- Older homes with aging windows.
While this may not seem like an issue at first, drafty and improperly sealed windows can lead to air leakage, energy waste, and irreparably damaged windows.
2. What is the best time of year to replace windows?
The best time of the year to replace windows varies based on your needs! That said, early spring or fall are certainly the best time from a weather perspective: it’s mild, there is less drastic heat/cold transfer into or out of the house and bugs are not a significant problem. If you’re looking for a deal, many window and door companies see business slow down in the winter months. So keep your eye open for potential cost savings if you are willing to have your windows replaced during the colder months! However, for those replacing windows and doors in Mississauga, installing new windows in temperatures below -20°C is typically problematic due to caulking issues.
3. What does it cost to replace windows and doors in Mississauga?
As we’ve mentioned, committing to quality replacement windows is a significant investment, but it’s one worth making. Investing in quality now can mean saving time, money, and energy in the long run.
The Cost of Window Replacement in Mississauga
|Type of Window||Poor Quality||Low Quality||High Quality|
|Single Casement||$300-$700||$600-900||$1300 - $2000|
|Double Casement||$600 - $1200||$800-$1300||$2000-$3700|
|Single Hung||$300 - $600||$700 - $1000||$800 - $1600|
|Double Hung||$400 - $900||$600 - $1300||$1100 - $2080|
|Single Slider||$300 - $700||$800 - $1000||$800 - $1600|
|Double Slider||$400 - $800||$600 - $1400||$1040 - $2080|
|Awning Window||$500 - $700||$700 - $1000||$1300 - $2100
|Hopper Window||$300 - $600||$500 - $750||$800 - $1600
|Patio Door 2-Panel||$900 - $1200||$1200 - $2500||$4200 - $8000
|Patio Door 3-Panel||$2000 - $3500||$3500 - $5000||$6000 - $11,000|
|Patio Door 4-Panel||$2000 - $4500||$5000 - $8000||$9000 - $13,000|
|French Doors||$1200 - $2800||$1500 - $2500||$4000 - $10,000|
|Window Wall||N/A||N/A||$5000 - $30,000+
4. What window & door styles are available?
Casement windows, hung windows, sliders, awning windows. There are plenty of window styles and models to choose from. Knowing which to install comes down to:
- Understanding how these models differ from each other
- Getting a proper window replacement consultation and home assessment
Here’s a breakdown to help you with the first one
What is a Casement Window?
A highly popular window style, casement windows are attached to the frame by one or more hinges and traditionally swing outward like a door. Typically, they open and shut by means of a crank located at the bottom of the frame. When closed, locking mechanisms on the frame pull the sash up against the frame and lock it tightly in position. These windows can be hinged to open outward or inward and are excellent for natural ventilation.
What is a Sliding Window?
Sliding windows have two panes of glass in separate sashes mounted side by side in the frame. The sashes slide horizontally and are found in single-sash and double-sash designs. Most designs have at least one removable sash.
What is a Hung Window?
As opposed to horizontal slider windows, both single- and double-hung windows operate by sliding the sash up and down.
What is an Awning Window?
Awning windows swing outward from the bottom. They operate by means of a roto-gear and crank or a simple push-out lever. The hardware does not allow these windows to open all the way. Awning windows close by sealing up against the frame, which helps to create an airtight compression seal.
Patio doors bridge the divide between window and door. They are functional, stylish window and door units that should offer security, natural light and a seamless transition between the indoors and the outdoors.
Window Walls: A whole new way to embrace the outdoors
Capable of covering walls up to 50ft in length, the Window Wall is constructed of glass panels that operate independently from one another. This allows homeowners to customize the versatile wall opening to whatever size they please. Yes, it can be as large as 50ft across, offering sweeping views and an open-air experience. However, it can also serve the same function as a traditional window, albeit with a twist.
When it’s installed as a window, it’s designed with two panels to mimic the functionality of a European casement. This means that when the window is open there is no middle mullion obstructing views. This design makes it the perfect option to elevate and modernize a traditional sunroom, veranda, or living room. That said, it can also feature much more than just two panels — for example, you could have a pass-through design with 3-6 panels. Ultimately, it’s up to you!
5. Should I replace my windows all at once?
If your budget permits it, replacing your windows all at once comes with two main benefits: it allows you to have symmetry throughout the whole house and avoid multiple installations. You can also reduce the chances you’ll pay more for your additional windows in the future due to unexpected changes in material costs. All that said, it is not a significant issue to stage your installations over 2-3 visits. Many consumers do this and it should not be a point of concern. As long as you are completing one side of the house at a time and you avoid mixing and matching windows, you will be fine.
6. What determines whether windows and patio doors are energy efficient?
For windows and glass patio doors, energy efficiency comes down to a few key factors:
- How tight are the seals in different temperatures?
- Can the window unit prevent heat loss?
- How well can the window unit regulate solar heat gain?
- How well can the window prevent unwanted airflow?
To help name, classify, and quantify these attributes, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) — a third-party organization —created objective window, door, and skylight energy performance metrics. These metrics are used to rate a window’s energy efficiency and are used by other organizations such as ENERGY STAR® in determining their certifications.
Let’s have a look at these ratings and get a better sense of what they measure:
Metric #1: U-Factor:
Determines the rate at which heat escapes through a window. The lower the U-factor number, the better the window is at preventing heat loss from inside a room. The typical range to look for is between 0.20-1.20
Metric #2: Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC):
Determines how much solar heat enters into a home via a window. The lower the number, the less heat enters. SHGC ranges between 0 and 1 and windows are generally between 0.25 and 0.8.
One note on SHGC: A “good” or “bad” Solar Heat Gain Coefficient rating largely depends on the climate where the home is located. For example, homes in Northern Canada exposed to long winters and minimal warm weather would want a higher SHGC to take advantage of more solar heat gain. Conversely, a lower SHGC is essential in the Southwestern United States, where homes are exposed to ample sunshine year-round. Put simply, a lower SHGC can reduce cooling costs, while higher SHGC can reduce heating costs.
Metric #3: Air Leakage:
Measures the amount of airflow into the building via the window and exfiltration is the flow of air out of the building. The lower the number, the better your windows will be at preventing airflow. Ideally, you will find numbers that are ≤ 0.3.
Metric #4: Visible Transmittance:
Measures how well a window permits the flow of natural light into a home. The range for VT is between 0-1. The higher the number, the more natural light is transmitted.
One note on VT: While many companies will tout a specific VT number, it’s important to note that these tests are done without the fixed insect screen. If you’re buying windows with fixed insect screens, be wary that these fixed screens can block up to 50% of the natural light that flows through a window.
7. What features can make a window & patio door more energy efficient?
Now that we understand how to determine a window’s energy efficiency, let’s have a look at what actually makes a window energy efficient. The following window components are all integral to a window’s energy performance over the course of a year.
Low Emissivity (Low-E) Window Glass Coatings
Influences: Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
Window manufacturers will place this very thin, transparent coating on the window’s glass to help the window regulate solar heat gain. It is an essential component in controlling whether a window will have a high SHGC number or a low SHGC number.
In warmer climates, for instance, glass is usually formulated with a heavy Low-E coating such as Guardian’s Sunguard 62/27 that will significantly reduce the amount of heat coming through the glass. This will produce a much lower SHGC. In Southern Ontario, where the weather changes drastically from hot to cold over the year, a balanced Low-E formula such as the ClimaGuard 70/36 is best. It’s designed to allow you to take advantage of the sun’s heat in the winter, while not having it be overwhelming in the summer months.
Krypton/Argon Gas Fills
Help to Address: U-Factor
Recall that U-Factor is the measure of how well a window can prevent heat loss. In other words, it’s a measure of the insulating properties of a window.
To improve U-Factor and to create a more insulated window unit, manufacturers will fill the space between the window’s glass units with Krypton and/or Argon gas. These are heavy, noble gases that are far better at restricting the transfer of heat through a window than air.
Warm Edge Spacers
Help Address: Seal Failure
Warm Edge Spacers insulate the edges of the window unit and keep the glass panes firmly apart from each other. These spacers add structural stability and mitigate the stress that comes with thermal expansion and contraction in different weather conditions. By expanding and contracting at the same rate as the insulated glass unit, they help to prevent any gas from escaping and the window’s seal from failing.
Retractable Screens & Blinds
Helps Control: Visible Transmittance
While insect screens can be a major asset, recall that fixed models will block up to 50% of the natural light that streams into your home via windows. Plus, these models will accumulate dirt, dust, and other allergens over time.
Conversely, retractable screens give you complete control over when, where, and to what extent your screens are in use. With a 50% improvement in VT, the difference will be hard to ignore. Plus, with the addition of retractable solar shades and blackout blinds, you can also see improvements to Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. The use of all three Retractable Slide ‘N’ Hide® screens can lead to significant improvements in your ability to control natural light and heat.
8. Is ENERGY STAR® ‘s Window Energy Rating important for energy efficiency?
As you meet with certain window and door providers, you may hear them tout their “Energy Rating” (or ER). What is this? The Energy Rating is defined as “a unitless value derived from a formula that balances heat loss (U-factor), air leakage loss, and potential passive solar gain of a fenestration product.”
In other words? It’s a number that takes into account three key energy efficiency metrics in order to easily rate and grade a window’s energy efficiency. The ER grade is a single number — the higher the number, the more efficient the window. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, before you go and place too much stock in the ER, it’s helpful to dig a little deeper.
The Energy Rating is a flawed metric that can cost homeowners thousands of dollars in energy bills over the lifespan of a window. While it sounds great at a high level, it distorts the information that many Canadian homeowners need to make correct decisions regarding energy efficiency and window replacement. Tellingly, it is not used anywhere else in the world as an indicator of energy-efficient windows.
9. What window frame materials should I consider?
So much rides on the strength, durability, and efficiency of your window frames. Here are the types you will typically come across:
- Wood Window Frames: Beautiful and classic, but expensive and very difficult to maintain over a long period of time. They require regular maintenance, are prone to rot and mildew, and can warp in extreme weather conditions.
- Aluminum Window Frames: Very durable and inexpensive. However, on its own, aluminum is an inefficient material that transfers heat and energy very quickly. This means it provides very poor insulation.
- Vinyl Window Frames: A highly popular replacement window frame material. Cheap and highly efficient due to the low thermal conductivity of the material. That said, traditional vinyl frames are highly prone to physical damage and expansion and contraction in fluctuating weather conditions.
- Fibreglass Window Frames: Durable and requires very little maintenance. That said, fibreglass is prone to expansion and contraction. The corners of fibreglass windows must be mechanically pressed which can eventually lead to issues like water and air penetration over time.
A better option? Hybrid Fusion Frames
Magic Window Innovations began as a manufacturer of aluminum windows. As such, we understand and have an appreciation for the structural advantages of these frames. But as we now know, aluminum is not an energy-efficient material. So what to do?
Our solution was to combine the superior strength and durability of aluminum and galvanized steel, with the energy efficiency and welded corners of vinyl frames. In doing so, we opted for more strength, more durability, and more energy efficiency.
What you get with Hybrid Fusion Frames:
- A rock-solid frame constructed from anodized aluminum and galvanized steel
- An outer layer of highly efficient U-PVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride)
- The long-lasting strength and support of steel and aluminum
- A durable and efficient vinyl surface that won’t expand and contract
- A stylish, ultra-slim profile that places visual emphasis on the window’s glass
- A cost-effective, high-performance window frame material that we guarantee will last 40 years or more
10. What type of warranty should I be looking for when I replace my windows?
As a general rule, homeowners in the market for new windows and/or patio doors should be wary of “lifetime” warranties. According to the Canadian Office of Consumer Affairs, lifetime warranties are purposefully vague despite the apparent benefits. Most glaringly, whose lifetime is being referred to? The consumer’s? The company’s? The product’s?
Aside from just being wary of the term, homeowners should study a company’s warranty information closely before making a purchase. The terms and conditions should be very clear and transparent, especially for an expensive, important investment like replacement windows.
Instead of relying on intentionally vague terms like “lifetime warranty”, we stand by our industry-leading 40-year warranty. Not only does it reaffirm our belief in the quality of our products and installation practices, but it also embodies our commitment to provide homeowners with honest, direct information that they can put a number on. Our overall aim is to provide the best products and services to those looking to replace windows and doors in Mississauga and the surrounding area.
For a comprehensive breakdown of our warranty, click here.