Window Replacement Terms You Need to Know

Suppose you are looking into having the windows in your North Carolina or South Carolina home replaced soon. In that case, you might have found yourself confused by specific terms you’ve seen online or while talking to installation contractors you’re thinking about hiring. This guide is here to clarify this terminology for you. 

Below, you will find a helpful window replacement glossary that you can use to familiarize yourself with essential words that are related to the window installation process. Not only will knowing this information make it easier for you to shop for new residential windows, but you’ll be able to have more educated conversations with your contractor. 

  • Air Chambers: Small, honeycomb-shaped spaces between the frame and sash. They provide strength and added window insulation. 
  • Argon Gas Fill: An odorless, colorless, non-toxic gas that is found between window panes in double-, triple-, and quadruple-paned windows. Argon is effective at reducing heat transfer. 
  • Casing: The visible molding or trim that is used to cover the space between a window frame and an exterior wall of a home.  
  • Double-Pane Windows: Windows with two panes of glass with a narrow spacer between them. The space between the two panes is filled with air or argon gas. 
  • Double Hung Window: A type of window has two sashes that allow the window to open and close vertically.
  • EnergyStar: EnergyStar is a government-backed program that “grades” windows, appliances, and other products based on certain criteria. It is always wise to purchase EnergyStar-rated replacement windows.
  • Insulating Glass Unit: Often referred to as an “I.G. Unit,” refers to two or more glass panes separated by spacers and sealed along the edges. 
  • Jamb: Window jambs, like door jambs, are the vertical edges of the window frame on the left and right. 
  • Low-E Coating: A thin, invisible coating that filters UV rays and significantly reduces heat transfer. It is applied to double-glazed windows, allowing them to offer insulating properties akin to triple-glazed windows without the high price tag. 
  • Fixed Panel: A window pane that is “stuck” in place and cannot be opened. Typically, it is installed above or beside a movable window panel. 
  • Flashing: Window flashing is a type of tape, metal, or rubber that is used for waterproofing. If your current windows don’t have flashing, you need to make sure your new contractor uses this material. 
  • Frame: The window frame encompasses the top (header), sides (jambs), and base (sill) of a window. Window frames can be made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum, or cladded metal. 
  • R-Value: Measures how resistant a window is to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more energy-efficient a window is. 
  • Sash: The frame that holds the glass in any window that can be opened. Some styles have one sash, some have two, and some have none. 
  • Sill: The base of a window frame. Often has a ledge where plants, photographs, or other knick-knacks can be displayed.
  • Sill Extender: The sill extender, more commonly called an “apron,” is a piece that attaches to the sill to conceal the gap between the frame and the wall. \
  • Single Hung: A window style that has only one sash.
  • Tape Glazing: Tape that is two-sided and used to seal and secure the glass with the sash.
  • Triple-Pane Windows: Windows with three panes of glass with a narrow spacer between them. The space between the three panes is filled with air or argon gas. These are an efficient option for extremely cold areas but are not usually necessary in the Carolinas.
  • U-Value: Refers to the amount of heat that passes through a window. The lower the U-value, the higher the insulation quality.
  • Weather stripping: An adhesive strip that is placed between the sash and the frame to prevent air from escaping and water from entering. 
  • Weep A grid of small holes in a window sill designed to help condensation escape.

If you keep these terms handy, you’ll have no trouble discussing your upcoming project with any North Carolina or South Carolina window installer you choose. There are many trustworthy contractors who serve the southeastern United States, so you should have no trouble finding a reliable professional. 

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