Window Replacement 101 Glossary
As a homeowner, it is important to understand terms within the window industry. Below are some of the most common terms you may come across within the window world.
Vinyl - also known as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and commonly used for industrial products. It is the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer and the most versatile plastic. It is composed of common salt and ethylene.
Wood - an organic and porous material, which is found in trees, shrubs, and lianas. It has a hard substance and fibrous structural tissue. It could be classified into hardwood, which comes from deciduous trees, and softwood, which comes from coniferous trees.
Composite - made up of several distinct parts, substances, or elements. In other words, it is a combination of two or more materials with different properties that would produce a new and improved product.
Aluminum - a silvery, non-ferrous metal that is a chemical element with the symbol of Al and atomic number 13 in the periodic table. It is lightweight and resistant to rust. It also doesn’t stick to a magnet and could be an excellent conductor of heat and electricity.
Fiberglass - a type of fiber-reinforced plastic. It is made with extremely fine fibers of glass, which are woven, flattened or used as a reinforcement for particular polymer products.
Sill - a horizontal piece or a slab of wood, metal or stone that forms the bottom of the window frame. It works to support the window and hold it architecturally in place.
Glazing - the act of fitting or installing glass to a window.
Seals - used to provide tight and complete closure. They are widely used for thermal and sound insulation in windows.
Installation - the act of setting up in position for use.
Energy-Efficient - bringing about the result or effect wanted with the least waste of energy consumption. Otherwise stated, using the minimum amount of energy required to perform an activity with the same output.
UV Rays - are invisible rays of light emitted by the sun, which can provide vitamin D in humans, animals, and plants. It could also be radiated through artificial sources and could kill certain germs. However, over-exposure from UV Rays would risk health issues, such as skin cancer, sunburn, eye disease, and premature aging.
Edge Spacer - also known as Warm Edge Spacer. It is a type of spacer bar that separates the window glass panes and seals the air cavity in between.
Sash - a sliding frame that jointly holds the glass pane or panes of a window and typically moves them upward and downward. It would as well vary based on the window type.
Low E Glass - also known as Low Emissivity Glass. It is a type of glass that functions by reducing the amount of UV rays and infrared light that pass through the glass but allows sufficient visible light to enter at the same time.
Ventilation - the method of bringing in fresh air and driving out stale air for the benefit of having a healthier indoor environment. It can be carried out naturally, mechanically, or in mixed-mode.
Window Repair - the action of fixing one or more parts of a window in order to be restored into good condition again. It is usually done if the window has only a simple or minor problem.
Window Replacement - is the process of measuring, fitting, and installing a window into a pre-existing opening. It is accomplished faster than a new window construction and fewer modifications.
Single Hung Windows - have a movable bottom sash, which could be operated in a vertical direction, and an immovable or fixed upper sash. They are not complicated to close and to open. Moreover, they are one of the most in-demand operational windows in Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex.
Double Hung Windows - have an operational bottom and upper sash that moves vertically. They could be an excellent choice for windows on the second floor of your house. They are also easy to clean since the panes could be inclined inwards.
Casement Windows - are hinged from the side. They usually function with a crank handle, which is also called a casement operator. The crank causes the inward and outward movement of the window and would also serve as its lock. Furthermore, casement windows could be the best type of window to have natural maximum ventilation.
Awning Windows - are similar to casement windows. They are also typically operated using a crank handle. It is, however, located at the bottom part of the window and used to open in an outward direction. Contrary to Hopper windows, they are hinged at the top.
Bay Windows - have multiple panels and protrudes outward from the walls of the structure. They are designed in different shapes, such as rectangular, polygonal and curved. Having bay windows could also add a classy and scenic look on one’s home.
Egress Windows - are designed to provide a safe entry or exit in case of an emergency. But in order to qualify as an egress window, certain criteria mandated by the International Residential Code (IRC), Section R310.2 on Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings, should be met.
Hopper Windows - use a crank handle like Casement Windows. However, it is positioned at the upper part of the window and would cause it to open in an inward direction. They are the opposite of Awning Windows and are hinged at the bottom instead.
Sliding Windows - are also known as Gliding Windows. Their sash would slide in the left and right direction, so they could be opened and closed horizontally.
Storm Windows - are the supplementary windows installed and frequently added to the top or exterior part of pre-existing windows. They function as further wind protection and increased insulation.
Air Infiltration - Also referred to as air leakage. It occurs when the outside air spontaneously enters and flows through cracks and unwanted openings on the structure.
Argon Gas - is an odorless, flame-retardant, nontoxic, and natural gas with a chemical symbol of Ar and atomic number 18. It is used as a gas fill in a window with double and triple panes.
Caulking - the action of filling up cracks, seams, or gaps in order to prevent unwanted air leaks. According to the Department of Energy, the common caulking compounds used on windows are water-based foam sealant and butyl rubber.
Condensation - the condition when water vapor transforms into a liquid state. In the case of windows, it is the event of catching a thick mist that makes viewing from the glass difficult.
Dew point - when the temperature in the air must be cooled and eventually come into saturation. The residual water vapor will then condense and form a dew when it falls into contact with a surface. Dew point is also the measurement of moisture content in the atmosphere.
Egress Code - pertains to the Egress Window requirements that should comply with the International Residential Code (IRC) Section R310 - Emergency, Escape and Rescue Openings.
Pane - a single sheet of glass placed in the window frame.
Tinted Glass - a glass upon which color is added to its composition in order to reduce the heat transfer or transmission of light. It could as well provide privacy and prevent people from seeing what’s inside the house or building.
Tempered Glass - also known as Toughened Glass. It is made by heating up the glass in a tempering oven followed by a cooling process. It is a type of Safety Glass that is stronger and more durable than normal glass. The purpose of which is to enhance safety and protection. Its thickness ranges from 1/8 to 3/4 inches.
Single-Strength Glass - commonly used in a picture frame. It is delicate and more fragile. Its approximate thickness is 3/32 inches.
Safety Glass - designed to be less susceptible in breakage and less likely to cause harm when fragmented. Its common designs include Tempered Glass, Laminated Glass, and Wired Mesh Glass.
Laminated Glass - a type of Safety Glass, which provides increased safety and security. It is made by bonding two sheets of glass with polyvinyl carbonate (PVC) in order to hold the glass fragments together. As a result, it wouldn’t shatter or fall into pieces when broken.
Obscure Glass - reduces the level of transparency and visibility because of its translucent or opaque surface. It offers better privacy since it would obscure the view on the other side of the glass. Its frequent designs are frosted and patterned.
Insulating Glass Unit - also referred to as IGU. It has double or triple panes which are separated and sealed. The space or spaces between the glasses are filled with natural, nontoxic gas. It minimizes heat transfer and improves energy efficiency.