Mercury Excellum Inc.
HomeCT Vinyl Replacement Window ManufacturerCT Vinyl Building Products Distributor / ManufacturerFAQsHelpful LinksContactBlog

New and Replacement Windows

General Window Questions

Storm Windows

Replacement Windows

Energy Efficiency

Financial Information


General Window Questions

Why Should I Replace My Windows?

  • They are energy inefficient!  Old, worn-out windows or patio doors are often leaky, let in too much air and can result in high energy bills during peak heating and cooling months.  In addition condensation or fogging can occur between the glass of older windows hampering your ability to see through them.
  • Your old windows make your home look old and tired.  Perhaps you have old storm windows that detract from the look of your home or maybe you want to contemporize the look of your home with a slider, bay or bow or a casement.  New windows could help decrease your energy bill AND increase the value of your home at the same time!
  • You can’t open or close your windows.  Perhaps the sash or the hardware is broken or the window is painted shut.  Windows that are painted shut are often older and of poor quality.  Operational trouble can also result from a warped frame or sash often caused by your house settling, which skews the rough opening where the window sits. In this case, the entire window or patio door must be removed and the opening reframed and squared. After that, the most common course of action is to insert a brand new window or door.  Keep in mind that windows that don’t operate correctly could be a matter of life or death if it should prevent escape in the event of a fire.
  • Your double-hung window won’t stay open.  If it’s an older window, there’s most likely a problem with the connection to the sash weights. Older double-hung window sash are counterbalanced with heavy weights connected to the sash on a rope. As the windows age, the rope dries out and becomes brittle, eventually breaking.
  • Your windows are difficult to clean.  Some homes must weather tough environmental conditions such as those in areas of heavy industry or along the shore. Airborne particles in these environments, stick to windows requiring frequent washing. Many double-hung windows now feature tilt-in sash designs enabling the windows to be cleaned from the inside by tilting the sash inward. New windows with grilles built-in between the glass also ease the window cleaning chores.
  • Moisture is collecting on your window interiors.  Most interior condensation problems are the result of poor household ventilation. By controlling your home’s humidity, you can usually limit interior window condensation.

Back to top

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.

  • If the windows were improperly installed, the defects can normally be corrected without removing or replacing the window. Proper caulking and flashing should prevent perimeter air leakage.
  • However, if the installation twists or racks the window frame causing the sash weatherstrip not to be able to seal the sash to the frame, removal of the window to correct the problem may be necessary. If the problem is installation, you will have to work with the builder or a contractor to correct the problem.
  • If the leak is between the frame and the sash and the window has been installed square, plumb, and level and is not twisted or racked, the problem may be construction of the window or window design.
  • If your windows are not efficient in your climate and particularly if it does not have insulated glazing, the air may not be leakage but simply cold room air flowing down the surface of the window.
  • If the problem is the construction of the window in a new house or a recent retrofit, you will have to work with the builder or contractor and the window manufacturer to correct the problem.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

What is standard lead time for ordering windows?

Two to four weeks.

Back to top

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.

Back to top


Storm Windows

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.

Back to top

Can I get LowE in a storm window?

No

Back to top

Can I get frosted glass in a storm window?

Yes

Back to top

Can I get tempered glass?

Yes

Back to top

How do I measure for a storm window?

We recommended that you have a trained professional measure and install your windows to determine the perfect size.

Back to top


Replacement Windows

What is a replacement window?

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.

Back to top

Are the windows Energy Star rated?

Yes, if they have LowE glass.

Back to top

Are test results available for the windows?

Yes, complete test reports are available upon request.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

Do replacement windows really pay for themselves?

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.

Back to top

What is the difference between a Thermovyne and an Advantage?

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.

Back to top

What types of grids are available for my windows?

Flat, contour, diamond and prairie style grids are available.

Back to top

What options are available with my vinyl windows?

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.

Back to top

How do I determine the size of my new windows and doors?

We recommended that you have a trained professional measure and install your windows and doors to determine the perfect size.

Back to top

Are replacement windows really easier to clean?

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.

Back to top

Will new windows eliminate condensation?

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.

Back to top

What is the difference between condensation and seal failure?

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.

Back to top

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:

  • Doesn't deteriorate or rot
  • Can be extruded and shaped into brilliant window designs
  • Doesn't damage or corrode when scratched
  • Can be fusion welded to eliminate air and moisture leaks at the joints
  • Offers excellent insulating properties—especially when used in multiple-cavity frame designs

Back to top

Are there differences in the vinyl used by window manufacturers?

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

Can I install an air conditioner in my window?

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.

Back to top

Can I install the same air conditioner I used prior to replacing my windows?

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.

Back to top


Energy Efficiency

What makes a window or door energy efficient?

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.

Back to top

What is ENERGY STAR® and what does it have to do with windows and doors?

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.

Back to top

What is an R-value and how important is it in selecting windows?

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.

Back to top

What is a U-Factor and how does it relate to ENERGY STAR?

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.

Back to top

What is LowE and, how important is it to have it on your windows or doors?

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.

Back to top

Where do I go to buy an efficient window?

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.

Back to top

What is the NFRC and what should I know about it?

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.

Back to top

Does argon or krypton gas between glass panes really make a difference in energy efficiency?

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.

Back to top

Why is weatherstripping important?

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.

Back to top

What are the different types of weatherstripping, and what benefits do each have?

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.

Back to top

Can windows and doors reduce outside noise?

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.

Back to top

Can windows keep out UV radiation that fades carpeting, furniture, draperies and upholstery?

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.

Back to top


Financial Information

Are there any tax credits or rebates available for ENERGY STAR qualified windows?

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:

  • WRAP Weatherization Program by Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) for customers who use more than 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year with a household income at or below 60 percent of the state median income qualify for free inspection of windows, weatherization stripping and other relevant parts of the home (www.cl-p.com/clmres/energy/wrap.asp).
  • Energy Conservation Loan Program from the Connecticut Housing Investment Fund offers loan financing for home renovations (including windows) with up to $15,000 for single family homeowners and up to $2,000 per unit for owners of multifamily property (www.chif.org/owner_borrowers/index.shtml#energy)
  • Massachusetts Residential Conservation Services Program provides information on in-home programs, incentives, and rebates towards the installation of ENERGY STAR® qualified equipment and products offered by Massachusetts member utility companies (www.masssave.com).
  • If these programs don’t apply to you, check with your utility company for local resources or visit www.energystar.gov for listings by state.  Contractors in your state who participate in a locally-sponsored Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program can help you cost-effectively improve your home’s energy efficiency. These specially-trained contractors evaluate your home using state-of-the-art equipment and recommend comprehensive improvements that will yield the best results. They can also help you take advantage of Federal tax credits for energy efficiency improvements.

Back to top


Energy Star - ct replacement windows     National Fenestration Rating Council - connecticut replacement windows

Web Solutions Connecticut CT Web Design & Development Company