What is a replacement window

Last time we talked about if you can expect your news windows to pay for themselves over a period of time. Now lets talk about what a replacement window is and the make up of one.

Buying replacement windows is a big investment and it is important to carefully decide on the type of replacement windows that are best for your home as well as the best company to purchase the windows from.

However, this can be difficult if you are not familiar with some of the terms that you will encounter when you begin your replacement window search.

Here are a few of the replacement window terms that you may come across during your search for new replacement windows for your home. Basically let go over what is a replacement window.

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: This is an option for new replacement windows. Argon gas is odorless, colorless, gas that is non-toxic. The gas is 6 times denser than air. 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.

Balance System: the device that is used to hold the sliding sash in the desired position. It uses a weight or spring to balance the sash’s weight.

Conduction: the transfer of energy from one material to another material through direct contact

Convection: transfer of heat through currents that flow from the warmer surface to the one that is colder.

Dead Air Space: area between the glass panes in an I.G. unit.

Dry Glazing: method of putting glass into a door or window. There is no glazing mastic used. This is recommended if a reflective coating is glazed to the initial surface.

Double Hung Window: window with two sashes that operate vertically

Energy Star: This is a program created by the United States government that has established a set of standards regarding energy efficiency of different products, including windows.

Insulating Glass Unit (I.G. Unit): two pieces of glass or more that is separated using a spacer and sealed at the edges of the glass

Jamb: the vertical sections in the main frame of the window

Window cross sectionLow-E Insulating Glass: Glass that has a metallic coating that is transparent applied to it. The coating reflects infrared energy, but short wave energy is allowed to go through it. This coating increases the U-value of the window.

Main Frame: the jambs, sill, and head of the window

Mullion: horizontal or vertical connection unit between windows.

R-Value: this is the measure of the resistance that the material has to the flow of heat. Higher R-values equate to greater resistance.

Sash: portion of the window where the glass is contained

Shading Coefficient: ratio of heat that transfers through the glazing material, lower numbers mean that the window is more efficient ant reducing gains from solar heat

Sill: bottom area of the window’s main frame

Sill Extender: also called the apron, this is attached to the bottom of the window to cover the gap between the sill and the opening.

Single Hung: window where only one sash slides

Spacer: material that is between the glass as a way to maintain the uniform width of the glass and the sealant distortion.

Tape Glazing: tape that is two sided and used to seal and secure the glass with the sash.

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.

Other Things to Know

When you first look at a window, it seems fairly simple. However, there are several parts to windows that make them work. Windows have to be designed to let in light and in some cases ventilation, but they also have to make sure that the weather is sealed out.

For this reason, the construction of the window is a bit complex. Above you will find a few of the parts of the window and their definitions. This should help you get started on your replacement window search.

That should pretty much cover what is a replacement window, but if you have some more questions about I would love to help you out. You can contact me through the ask the advisor page or just post a question right on our Facebook page.

In the next post we are going to cover the differences in pocket replacement windows and full replacement windows. Which one you choose has a dramatic effect on the overall cost of your project.