If comparing different brands and types of windows for your planned home upgrade is leaving you overwhelmed, you’re not alone. There are numerous options, features and styles to choose from—and that’s a good thing. But it can leave you confused if you don’t recognize terms like R-value or insulating gas.
Not to worry, though! We’ve put together a handy guide to the most common terminology you’re likely to see as you compare your choices. Take a look—and let us know if we can answer any questions to help you select the best replacement windows for your Chicago home.
It may seem surprising, but window glass isn’t one style fits all. You have many options, as you’ll see from the terms below.
This is the glass that sits visibly within the window sash. Options include:
- Single pane — Windows with one sheet of glass
- Double pane — Two sheets, with insulating gas in between (This is the most common type of new windows today.)
- Triple pane — Three sheets, with insulating gas in between
Double and triple pane windows use these metal or plastic pieces to securely separate the glass at a consistent width.
Another term for window glass, glazing refers to the whole glass system, including coating, spacers, and sealant.
The full measurement of window glass includes both the visible pane, as well as the portion set inside the frame.
This glass is made of two sheets, melded together, to reduce the chance that breaks will shatter it.
Made through a rapid heating and cooling method, this glass is super-strong. If it breaks, it yields small, less jagged fragments.
Incorporating wire when made, this glass is safer because it’s less likely to fall out of the sash when broken.
Your window is made up of several parts that contribute to how it functions.
Apron (aka, Sill Extender)
This is the trim that attaches the interior windowsill to the wall beneath it.
The space between your window frame and wall is covered with casing (aka, molding).
The top of the window frame is known as the head.
These are the vertical sides of the frame.
The window’s glass is held firmly in place by the sash.
Tiny gaps between window and casing are filled in with these small wedges.
To draw water condensation outside and away from your window interior, these tiny holes are inserted in the windowsill.
Today’s replacement windows are available in so many looks and designs to fit your home lifestyle. They can be mixed and matched to suit your needs.
These hinge at the top, opening up and outward to create a protective awning that prevents rain from coming in.
Bay and Bow
Projecting outward from the wall, bay windows include three or more attached glass units, while bow windows feature four or more.
The second most popular style after double-hung windows, casements open horizontally, usually with a crank or lever.
Glider (or Slider)
These windows slide open from side to side.
For areas such as basements, egress windows are sized and designed to provide an escape route in case of emergency.
All or part of a window can be purposely designed not to move—to stay fixed in place.
Windows can be made (or hung) with either one sash that opens upward (aka, single-hung) or with both sashes able that open upward and downward (aka, double-hung).
This is a large, fixed window that provides great views and ample light, but doesn’t open.
Energy-Efficiency and Insulation
One of the most appealing reasons to upgrade your windows is the substantial increase in efficiency today’s designs can provide. To get top results, have pros do the installation.
To strengthen and insulate windows, these small, honeycomb-like spaces are built between frame and sash.
Double and triple pane windows contain space that can be filled with a non-toxic, colorless, odorless gas like argon to provide additional insulation.
This reveals how different windows perform, based on national standards of energy efficiency.
Energy Star Certified
Windows that are certified in this manner meet the demanding efficiency standards set by the government.
Flashing or Weather Stripping
Windows use flashing tape and/or weather stripping around the frame to create a weatherproof seal.
A thin, see-through coating that provides great insulation because it filters out harmful UV rays and prevents heat transfer.
This term describes how well the window resists heat transfer. The higher the R-value, the better it resists heat and keeps you well insulated.
This refers to how much heat is lost through a window. A lower U-value means you’re losing less heat and getting better insulation.
Get More Energy Saving Tips
New windows add so much value to your home—from enhancing curb appeal to bringing in more light and fresh air. Today’s designs even boost your home’s energy-efficiency!
Take the Next Step Toward New Windows Today
Ditch those old-fashioned, inefficient windows and boost your home’s looks and function with gorgeous replacements installed by our experienced, trained team at Siding & Windows Group. We’ll help ensure you get the most secure, safest, energy-efficient results with our accurate measurements and precision installation techniques.
Discover how our window replacements delight Chicago area homeowners. We’re here to give you confidence in your home for years to come.