A Glossary of Window Replacement & Installation Vocabulary
Are you thinking about replacing your old worn out builder’s grade windows but confused by all of the industry terminology? If the words: frames, shims and sashes leave you feeling perplexed, let us help you get a better understanding of all the bits and pieces that go into replacement windows and the installation process.
Glossary of terms that should help you understand the main window buzz words, lingo and terminology regarding residential window replacements and the installation from Cambridge Doors & Windows.
- Air Chambers: These are small spaces that look like honeycombs that are between the frame and the sash and help strengthen and insulate the window.
- Argon Gas Fill: An odorless, colorless, gas that is non-toxic. In windows, Argon gas is used as a replacement for the air between the two panes as a way of reducing the transfer of temperature.
- Casing: Casing is the molding you see from inside or outside of the home that covers the exposed space between the window frame and the house wall.
- Double-Paned or Double-Glazed Windows: They have two layers of glass, separated by an air spacer. The space between the panes of glass is filled with an inert gas such as (Argon).
- Double Hung Window: A double hung window has two sashes that operate vertically.
- Energy Star: Energy Star is a government-backed program that uses specific criteria to ‘grade’ the efficiency of replacement windows. You should always check for products that are “Energy Star” rated. All Cambridge Windows are Energy Star Rated.
- Insulating Glass Unit: “I.G. Unit” are two pieces of glass separated using a spacer and sealed at the edges of the glass. All Cambridge Windows are insulated with Factory Lifetime warranties.
- Jamb: The jambs are the vertical sides of the window frame.
- Low-E Insulating Glass: A thin, invisible coating that allows light to come through but filters out UV rays and prevents the transmission of heat. It is used in double-glazed windows, giving them similar insulating properties as triple-glazed windows but at a lower cost.
- Fixed Panel or Picture Window: A fixed panel is basically a window that cannot open.
- Flashing: Flashing is a tape or piece of bent metal that is used to weatherproof the house. This may or may not have been used when windows were initially installed, but should definitely be considered when replacing windows when you can.
- Frame: The window frame is the head, jambs and sill that make up the exact opening where the window sash will fit. Window frames are available in a variety of different materials including wood, clad wood, aluminum, vinyl and fiberglass.
- R-Value: The measure of the resistance that the material has to the flow of heat. Higher R-values equate to greater resistance.
- Sash: The sash is the frame that holds the glass that will be the window or the portion of the window where the glass is contained.
- Shims: Shims are small wedges of wood that are used to fill small gaps in between windows and their casings.
- Sill: The sill is the bottom area of the window’s main frame.
- Single Hung Window: Single hung windows only one lower sash that slides up and down, top is fixed-non-opening.
- Spacer: The spacer is material that is between the glass as a way to maintain the uniform width of the glass and the sealant distortion.
- Triple-Pane Or Triple Glazed Windows: Contain three layers of glass. The extra pane and air space generally provide better insulating values making this a better option in extremely cold climates. In Texas we don’t use.
- U-Value: The amount of heat that is transferred through the material. Lower U-values mean that the heat flow is slower and the insulating quality is higher.
- Weather stripping: A material that goes in between the sash and the frame and stops air from escaping and water from entering the house.
- Weep Hole: A system of tiny holes in the window sill that allows water condensation or rain to escape outside rather than inside the house.
Believe it or not, these are just some of the vocabulary you will need to understand before you decide to take on a window replacement project. At Cambridge Doors & Windows Inc. it is our main priority to ensure that you understand window replacement and installation. If you have any questions about these, any terms we didn’t include on this list, or are ready to get your window replacement project started, please contact us at 281-530-8100