New and Replacement Windows
General Window Questions
General Window Questions
Why Should I Replace My Windows?
Why are my windows drafty and will new windows stop the draft?
Drafty windows and air infiltration could have several causes. Improper installation is often the culprit but not always.
Who should I buy windows from?
You should select a window manufacturer who manufactures and sells energy efficient products (i.e. meets the recommended U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient in your climate), has a reputation for service and stability, and provides a warranty on the unit. The Better Business Bureau is often a good source for the names of businesses you can trust.
What is standard lead time for ordering windows?
Two to four weeks.
What do I do if I have a problem with my windows?
Always contact the business from whom you purchased your Mercury Excelum windows originally. If they are unable to assist you, then you can call us and we will help identify a solution to your problem.
Why Storm Windows?
For those looking to preserve their current windows, storm windows are a practical, cost-effective way to protect your home from harsh weather, helping to lower your energy bills and enhance the appearance of your home. Be sure to choose only high-quality, custom-built storm products for your existing windows to ensure the tightest possible fit and to seal out the elements.
Mercury storm windows are available as horizontally sliding units and in a double-hung format (most common). Mercury Excelum, Inc. was founded in 1953 as a manufacturer of aluminum storm windows, so you can be assured that our product is high quality and will give your home a beautiful new look while maintaining the interior charm and beauty of your existing windows.
We recommended that you have a trained professional measure and install your windows to determine the perfect size.
A replacement window is custom built to fit within the opening of an existing window and can be installed without disturbing the interior or exterior areas around the window.
Yes, if they have LowE glass.
Yes, complete test reports are available upon request.
What are the advantages of custom replacement windows over pre-made, standard-size windows stocked at retail stores or lumber yards?
Custom windows allow you to create exactly the windows and doors you need and want because of all the options available to you that affect appearance, performance and functionality. Because they are made to fit your window openings perfectly, custom windows provide the best energy efficiency and install easily with very little mess. Also, custom windows allow you to design exactly the windows you want or need to solve specific construction challenges. Although standard windows typically cost less in the beginning, other expenses and factors - like additional labor or possible additional building materials required to complete the installation - far outweigh the original savings. For example, installing standard-size windows may require that you add brick or siding to the exterior—and drywall or other materials to the interior.
If you select high-quality, energy-efficient windows you can experience energy savings, reduced outside noises and potential increased home value. Savings will vary, but expertly engineered and well-built Energy Star qualified windows can lower home energy consumption. Vinyl-framed are virtually maintenance- free and require no painting or scraping. These energy and maintenance savings will allow you to recoup your replacement window investment over time.
The difference is in how the window is assembled. The sash and frame of a Thermovyne are screwed together. In an Advantage, the sash and frame are miter cut and fusion welded.
Flat, contour, diamond and prairie style grids are available.
You can custom design your own quality vinyl windows that are beautiful and unique. Choose from sculptured or sleek window styles; white, almond or woodgrain vinyl finishes; standard or diamond grids; and beveled, leaded, etched or stained glass.
We recommended that you have a trained professional measure and install your windows and doors to determine the perfect size.
Absolutely! Mercury Excelum high-quality replacement windows are actually engineered to make cleaning easier. For example, our double-hung windows are manufactured with the latest internal constant force balance system enabling you to easily maneuver the sashes up and down and tilt them in for easy cleaning. You can now clean the outside of your window from the safety of the inside of your home. Our sashes lock securely in place.
Condensation is a direct result of interior humidity and the difference between indoor and outside air temperature. If you keep the humidity in your house low, then the likelihood of experiencing condensation is also low. However, the efficiency of your window can also impact the temperature and humidity level at which condensation occurs. High performance windows with low U-factors help reduce condensation by keeping inside glass surface temperatures much closer to the room air temperature. Windows with warm edge technologies and non-metal frames are also less likely to have condensation on the frame or at the edge of the glass because they're much less thermally conductive than other window types and they help keep the temperature of the window warmer minimizing the hot and cold differences that turn moisture into condensation. Insulated windows with three or more layers will virtually eliminate condensation on the interior surface of the glass -- even under extreme cold weather conditions.
Condensation is a moisture layer that forms on the inside of your window as a result of temperature differences between the inside and outside of the window. Seal failure allows moisture to penetrate into the space between the panes of glass making your insulated window appear foggy or cloudy. Condensation is naturally occurring and can only be fixed by replacing the window with a more insulated window style, seal failure is an indication of a faulty window and can only be repaired by the manufacturer.
What are the advantages of vinyl windows over windows made with wood, metal or a combination of materials?
Vinyl is the ideal window material because vinyl:
Absolutely. Vinyls are like any other man-made compounds. There are numerous components in vinyl compounds and there are many vinyl manufacturers that produce numerous types and grades for window manufacturing. Lesser-quality vinyls typically have problems with brittleness or impact resistance, color consistency, and expansion and contraction. The best vinyls are proprietary compounds formulated specifically for manufacturing high-quality windows.
Do woodgrain vinyls really simulate the look of wood and how well can they match different wood types?
Advances in vinyl technology allow quality woodgrain vinyl laminates to come very close to the look of real wood. It's very attractive and it often matches the color of the wood trim in homes. An added benefit is that woodgrain vinyl laminates never need to be stained or sealed.
Placing the air conditioner directly on the vinyl sill can damage the sill. We recommend that you put a 2 x 4 into the sill track that measures 1-2” higher than the sill to rest the air conditioner on.
Possibly. The replacement window will have a smaller opening than your old window, so the air conditioner may fit, but you may have to purchase a new unit. Ask your installer to check if your existing unit will fit in the new window.
Numerous factors, including how the frame and sash are engineered and built, the type of glass used (single-, double- or triple-pane), the weatherstripping, the type of low-emissivity coating on the glass and the presence of argon or krypton gas.
ENERGY STAR is a U.S. government program administered by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency with the cooperation of manufacturers that is designed to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels through the education of consumers. Windows and doors can only carry the ENERGY STAR label if they are tested by an independent laboratory through the NFRC program and meet specific, predetermined U-value ratings. By selecting ENERGY STAR products, you can reduce your energy costs and help make the environment cleaner.
Although the U-value is actually the important number in evaluating windows and doors, most people are more familiar with the related concept of R-value (or R-factor). The R-factor of a window is the measure of its resistance to the transfer of heat flow. The higher its R-value, the greater its insulating ability.
U-Factor (or U-Value) is the measure of the rate of heat loss through a material, the lower the U-Factor, the less heat that is escaping. To be eligible for the ENERGY STAR, products must be rated, certified, and labeled for both U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) in accordance with the procedures of the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) at levels which meet specific ENERGY STAR qualification criteria one or more climate zones. In the areas where Mercury Excelum products are sold (the New England states and NY) a U-Factor of £.35 is required for ENERGY STAR qualification. Click here to see a sample of an NFRC label. Visit www.energystar.gov to learn more.
Low-E stands for low emissivity and is a microscopic, metallic coating applied to a surface of glass that reflects and re-radiates heat energy either into or out of a home thus saving heating and cooling costs. Windows with "clear" glass are the least efficient, while windows with LowE are much more thermally effective. The best performing windows are those using LowE/Argon glazing. In addition to energy savings, LowE also effectively reduces the amount of transmitted ultraviolet light which can damage carpets, fabrics, and drapes. Argon gas is much heavier than air, making it more difficult for warm or cold air to pass through. Theses glazing choices will meet or exceed most local building code requirements and provide ENERGY STAR® qualified performance.
Before you buy a window, we recommend that you do your research and then shop around. Educate yourself about what kind of window is right for your needs. Learn about the NFRC and ENERGY STAR® labels and why they are important. Visit retailers or distributors. Look for the product you want within your price range. Ask questions of the sales staff and let them tell you about the energy efficiency features of the products. Remember to 1) look for the ENERGY STAR®, 2) look for the NFRC label, 3) select a product that is right for your climate and your budget.
Installation is a very important part of the window buying process. If you have a contractor whom you trust, ask for a detailed description of the installation process. Make sure your contractor knows as much about ENERGY STAR® products and NFRC labeling as you do.
The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a program established by the U.S. Department of Energy to help consumers compare window products and options. Window manufacturers participating in the program are required to label every window to its specific thermal performance level. Customers are then ensured that the products they select meet the requirements for their application. Participation in the NFRC program is voluntary and not all manufacturers participate because it requires outside third party inspection and extensive product testing. Mercury Excelum, Inc is a participant in the NFRC program.
For air to insulate well it needs to be as still as possible because moving air carries energy. Both argon and krypton are heavier than air so they're less prone to convection or thermal movement. The bottom line is that heavier-than-air gases offer a higher level of insulation. Both argon and krypton are found naturally in the air you breathe and are completely harmless.
Weatherstripping provides the barrier against air and water in windows and doors and is the only element of operating windows or doors that make them reasonably air tight. High-quality weatherstripping that's applied and compressed properly improves the insulating performance of windows.
Although there are many different types of weatherstripping, they basically fall into one of three categories - woven piles, flaps, and hollow or foam bulbs. Which is best depends on the window style, design and application. Windows and doors that are expertly engineered are designed with weatherstripping that creates the tightest possible seal and holds up to time and heavy use.
All windows and doors reduce noise to some degree. The best solution, however, is to use a laminated, insulating glass in windows and doors which can significantly improve sound deadening over other glass types.
Using a low-emissivity glass in your new windows or doors will filter more than 50 percent of the damaging UV light. The absolute most effective glass for this purpose, however, is laminated insulating glass which features a polyvinyl butyral inner layer and a low-emissivity coating that filters more than 99 percent of UV radiation that fades interior furnishings.
Thanks to the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005, homeowners in the US can claim tax credits if they upgrade their primary residence with energy efficient building components, including exterior windows, in 2006 and 2007. Ten percent of the window purchase price, up to a maximum of $200, can be deducted from the home owner’s income tax. IRS Form 5695 and documentation from the window manufacturer is required to request this tax credit.
In addition, the State of Connecticut declared a sales tax exemption on home weatherization products purchased between June 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007. If you purchase low-e windows or doors, caulking, window film, or window and weatherstrips, during this time period, no sales tax will be charged.
Additional programs available to assist with window purchase costs, worth investigating, are:
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