The Reality is, Energy-Efficient Windows Aren’t Cheap
It’s true: premium, high-performing windows often come with a higher price tag. But this isn’t without good reason. Not only do they outperform cheaper models, but they are an investment that can save you more money down the line. Better build quality means fewer repairs and replacements, plus, an energy-efficient design can help you keep those utility bills in check. And while many window companies will claim they have a premium product, homeowners should always consider the following:
- Has this retailer considered energy efficiency at each stage of the design, manufacturing and installation process?
- Are these windows manufactured and installed with my home’s unique characteristics in mind?
- Are there features on these window units that go above and beyond the industry standard?
It’s these important factors that separate some of the most energy-efficient windows from cheaper models. In this blog, we’ll break down these key features that you can find in each and every component of our windows. Read on and learn about the standout features that make the MagicTM difference!
Component #1: The Glass
Unlike most retailers, we formulate our glass in-house. This way, we can design custom, insulated glass units tailored to the needs of each and every customer. From gas fills to low-E coatings and warm edge spacers, each glass unit is custom-made to maximize its thermal efficiency in your space. Keep reading to learn more about these components of glass formulation.
In the cooler seasons, your windows and doors are essential for keeping cold out and keeping heat in. The energy efficiency metric associated with this job is U-Factor, which ultimately describes how well your windows can insulate your home and retain heat. Gas fills can improve this metric:
Noble gases such as krypton, argon and xenon fill the space between the glass panes in your window units. The addition of heavy gases allows the unit to resist air transfer and retain heat. Most manufacturers will fill just ½ – ¾ of an inch of space with gas. With our innovative approach to glass formulation, we’re able to extend that gap to a full inch. This means we can fill our units with 25% – 50% more gas, and more gas means better insulation!
Low-E coatings are transparent, ultra-thin coatings added to the glazings of a window. They help to control and regulate the passage of solar radiation. Given that they are added to individual glass panes within the unit, it’s essential that window manufacturers tailor low-E coatings to meet specific solar and energy-control needs of different regions and climates.
Applying low-E formulations is about balancing how much solar heat the window unit retains and how much it reflects. For example:
- In warmer climates, we can formulate glass with a heavy low-E coating such as Guardian’s Sunguard 62/27 which will significantly reduce the amount of heat coming through the glass.
- In Southern Ontario where the weather changes drastically throughout 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, without it being overwhelming in the summer.
Customizable features found in the most energy-efficient windows like low-E coatings help homeowners find energy savings, regardless of the formulation that works best for them.
Warm Edge Spacers
As the seasons change and temperatures fluctuate, windows run the risk of expansion and contraction. As a result, seal failure in cheap or aging windows is incredibly common. This can lead to major issues that will compromise your windows’ ability to keep your home insulated. This is why we use warm edge spacers on all of our window and door products.
Warm edge spacers insulate the edges of a window unit and keep the glass panes firmly apart. They add structural stability and mitigate the stress of thermal expansion and contraction. By expanding and contracting at the same rate as the glass unit, they help prevent gas from escaping. Features such as this offer homeowners an easy way to future-proof their units and maximize their insulation capabilities.
Component #2: The Frames
When choosing between window frames, new customers often lean towards vinyl frames, and it’s easy to see why: they’re affordable, low maintenance and thermally efficient. Unlike some other frame materials, the corners can be welded together to make a perfect seal, which makes them excellent for insulation.
Unfortunately, the benefits of vinyl are quickly overshadowed by major structural flaws. Without any reinforcement, these frames lack strength, rigidity and durability, making them highly susceptible to wear-and-tear and expansion and contraction from fluctuating temperatures. This might mean that those “affordable” vinyl frames end up costing more than you anticipated after repairs and replacement.
We take a different approach with our premium windows – combining the insulating benefits of vinyl with the strength and durability of steel and aluminum for a frame that prioritizes long-term performance.
Hybrid Fusion Frames® from Magic consist of a skeleton of stainless steel and anodized aluminum, providing the vinyl shell with the reinforcement it lacks to create a stronger, more well-rounded frame. In this way, we’re able to offer the best qualities of vinyl without any of the drawbacks. It also means you can enjoy low-maintenance, thermally efficient frames you can count on season after season.
Component #3: The Screen
You may be thinking, “what does an insect screen have to do with energy efficiency?” The answer may surprise you. Traditional, fixed screens found on cheaper windows often work just fine when needed. But when they’re not needed, they aren’t doing much but blocking your views and your natural source of light.
Retractable screens that come on every door and window from Magic offer an innovative solution to this. They allow homeowners an unimpeded line of sight to the outdoors, improving the Visible Transmittance of the unit. Visible Transmittance is an important energy efficiency metric that describes how much light permits through glass. With more natural light available, you can rely less on artificial light sources.
What’s more, homeowners can opt to add more energy-efficient screens from Magic built with our patented technology:
- Retractable Thermal Blinds increase your windows’ insulating capabilities and add an extra layer of privacy.
- Retractable Solar Shades help reduce unwanted heat gain that comes through your windows and doors.
Together, all three screens can improve your windows’ overall efficiency by 40% or more.
Energy Efficiency is The Investment That Keeps on Giving
Investing in energy-efficient windows now means doing yourself a favour in the future. Let us help you redefine your space with innovative windows and doors that are just as high-performing as they are modern and stylish.
Connect with one of our representatives today! Find out how our energy-efficient windows and doors can be customized to suit the unique needs of your home. Call us today or simply book online!