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Retractable Window Screens vs. Fixed Window Screens

| January 20, 2023
retractable window screens

For 40 years, Magic has provided the GTA with some of the most advanced residential windows in the world. Our innovative replacement windows, patio doors , Window Walls and retractable window screens and blinds 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.


When choosing window screens, homeowners are faced with a big decision: Going with retractable window screens versus fixed window screens. 

The main difference between the two is that fixed screens are fixed in place and installed right into your window frame, while retractable window screens can be pulled open when needed and slid shut when not in use. 

The option you choose depends on how important a view, natural light, clean air, and flexibility matter to you and your family. Read on as we compare retractable window screens to fixed window screens (there is one clear winner).

Fixed Window Screens

Pros: Affordable and Easy to Clean

Conventional screens are a popular choice for many homeowners. They’re affordable, easy to clean and maintain, and the repairs are simple. The main function of stationary screens is to keep dust and insects out of your home when your windows are open. But what about the rest of the year when the windows are closed? 

Con: Have More Wear and Tear

There is a fair share of negative qualities of fixed window screens that outweigh the good. Integrated screens are fixed in place by being permanently secured into your windows. Once they’re in, you can’t remove them. This is not good if you live in a cold climate like Canada because fixed window screens succumb to the harsh winter, accelerating wear and tear. They aren’t strong enough to withstand the weather and need to be replaced more frequently, which adds up in time and money.

Con: Block 50% of the View

One of the biggest downsides of fixed window screens is that they block 50% of your view. This makes it much more difficult to enjoy the scenery around you—whether it’s a lake, ravine or your kids playing in the backyard. Think about the colder months in the fall and winter, when your windows remain closed. Fixed screens won’t do anything but block your view. 

Con: Block 50% of Natural Light

In addition to obstructing outdoor views, fixed window screens can block up to 50% of the natural light that comes in through your windows (trust us, we have the tests to prove it). For home and cottage owners in Ontario, this means even less natural light during the winter months — a time of year when light is already hard to come by. Ridding your windows of fixed screens can help maximize natural daylight year-round and reduce your dependence on artificial light.

Con: Collect Dirt, Dust, and Allergens

Last, fixed window screens trap a lot of dirt, dust, and other allergens that blow into your home when you open the windows. If you don’t clean them often, which, let’s face it, most people won’t, fixed window screens can go so far as to affect your air quality.

Fixed Windows Aren’t Ideal

For the most part, homeowners only ever really need window screens when they are open. And even when the windows are open, there are certain days when unimpeded sight lines to the outside are preferable. 

Retractable Window Screens

Pro: Flexibility

Retractable window screens are functional, user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing and, most importantly, could disappear when they aren’t needed. This adjustability gives home and cottage owners complete control over when, where and how they use their insect screens. Retract them for unimpeded views of the outdoors, and close them when you’re looking for extra protection from insects or the elements — it’s entirely up to you! 

Pro: Unobstructed Views

Retractable window screens work to provide unobstructed views of the outdoors all year round. 

In sunnier, warmer conditions, retractable solar screens help filter sunlight without cutting it off entirely. This means you can still let in the natural light while blocking out much of the added heat that can lead to uncomfortable interior temperatures during the summer. 

Pro: Improve Energy Efficiency by 40%

When retractable screens are in use, they can also help to improve a home’s energy efficiency. By contributing to a 50% improvement in Visible Transmittance (VT) and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) — the use of retractable window screens can improve a window’s overall efficiency by 40% or more.

In warmer, sunnier conditions, retractable window screens can keep the sun’s rays from heating your home, lowering your cooling bills. In colder but sunnier weather, retracting the screen allows you to capitalize on the sun’s heat and use it to lower your heating bills. 

Retractable screens also prevent UV ray penetration from fading your home’s furniture and interior décor.

Pro: Easier to Keep Clean

Retractable window screens won’t get dusty or dirty nearly as quickly as traditional systems. What’s more, the ability to retract the insect screen makes it far easier to give the exterior panes of your windows a quick clean. This means you won’t have to go through the hassle of popping fixed screens into and out of place.

The ability to fully retract the blinds out of sight when they aren’t in use can transform your windows’ aesthetic and create a cleaner, more modern look.

Find Your Retractable Window Screens at Magic Windows

At Magic, we set out to improve and optimize every single part of the window. This approach meant re-thinking window screens and blinds to make them more useful, user-friendly and aesthetically forgiving. That’s why we integrated our patented, fully retractable screens into every single one of our window and door products. We designed the Retractable Slide ‘N’ Hide® Screens in Insect Screens, Solar Screens, and Thermal Blinds to improve the performance, functionality, and aesthetic value of your windows. 

The innovative Retractable Slide ‘N’ Hide® systems allows our blinds and screens to seamlessly retract inside the frame and remain fully out of view when not in use. It gives homeowners an unprecedented amount of control over things like insects, dust, natural light, and heat.

1. Retractable Insect Screens

Our patented Insect Screen comes standard in every single one of our window and door products. This gives homeowners complete control over when, where and to what extent they want to keep out those pesky buggers. 

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2. Retractable Solar Screens 

Homeowners can also opt to include our Retractable Solar Screen. These additional screens retract seamlessly into the wall when they aren’t in use, and allow for incredible control over how much heat and natural light enters a home through the window.

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3. Retractable Blackout Blinds

Wave farewell to those clunky, outdated blind systems. The Magic Thermal Blind is a sleek, stylish, seamless addition that fully retracts into the window’s frame when it’s not in use. The Thermal Blind provides complete black out as well as thermal efficiency. It adds privacy and gives you the opportunity to create a very clean, contemporary look.

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Once switching over to our retractable window screen, it’ll be hard to imagine going back to an outdated fixed window screen.

Discover the Benefits of Window Innovation. Book a Free Consultation Today!

Book a free consultation with one of our technicians to learn more about these screens and blinds and the numerous other benefits of our revolutionary window and door systems. One of our certified project managers will help to explain the innovative design features that set our systems apart and how they can be customized to suit any home. Contact us today and see first-hand why Magic produces the world’s most advanced replacement windows for homeowners in Toronto, Oakville, Mississauga, Ontario cottage country, and beyond. 



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