If you are considering window replacement for your home, it helps to understand the “lingo” used to describe different window parts. Here we offer a comprehensive guide walking you through the different window parts, so you can know what to look for in high-quality windows.
Window frames provide support for the window, surrounding the sash and pane. They come in different materials, including aluminum, fiberglass, wood, or vinyl. Fiberglass windows are the most durable, offering a maintenance-free, energy-efficient option. Window frames consist of several parts, including:
- Head: The top of the frame.
- Sill or Stool: The bottom of the frame
- Jamb: The vertical sides.
- Apron: A decorative piece sometimes installed below the sill.
- Weep Holes: Openings are at the bottom of the frame to allow precipitation to drain off the window tracks.
Window Sash and Panels
The central part of the window is either a sash or a fixed panel. A sash is operational, while a panel is stationary. The sash is a movable part housing the glass. It also consists of several parts, including:
- Pane: The pane can be a single piece of glass or several pieces of glass.
- Rail: These pieces are the top and bottom of the sash. Double-hung windows have two sashes and four rails, while single-hung windows have one sash and two rails.
- Spacers: High-quality windows are either double or triple-paned to improve insulation. Spacers are placed between the panes and contribute to insulation.
- Sash Lock: The lock secures the window to prevent entry while keeping the window in place, so it doesn’t rattle in the wind.
- Lift: The lift or handle raises and lowers the window sash.
- Weatherstripping: Weatherstripping provides a seal between the sash and window frame, improving energy efficiency and preventing drafts.
The fixed panel is stationary, so it can’t be opened. It is most common in single-hung windows where the bottom or top of the window is operational, and the other half is fixed. However, you can install fixed panels for areas of the home where you want to increase natural light and maintain security. Double-hung windows have two operational sashes allowing you to open the window from the top and bottom to help control and improve airflow.
The casing is installed on the exterior of your home, creating a window frame to prevent air and water infiltration.
Mullions connect two or more windows together and are commonly used for bay and bow windows.
Energy-Efficient Window Components
Energy-efficient windows include additional components that provide insulating qualities. They also protect your home from UV light and control the heat entering and leaving your home. Elements that improve energy efficiency include:
- Low-E Glass: Low-emissivity glass, commonly known as low-E glass, is designed to regulate the amount of UV light entering your home. Less heat enters in the summer, and less is lost in the winter to maintain a comfortable temperature year-round. As a result, you use less energy for heating and cooling costs. The glass also prevents UV rays from damaging your home’s furnishings, carpets, drapes, art, etc.
- Argon Gas: Argon gas is an insulator used in double and triple-pane windows. Windows with argon gas and Low-E glass help keep windows at room temperature, increasing energy efficiency and eliminating drafts.
- Fiberglass frames: Fiberglass is eight times stronger than vinyl and contributes to low thermal conductivity to manage heat flow in and out of the home.
Other Window Considerations
You also need to consider the window style and design features for your window replacement. This is important as style and design impact window function and appearance. These considerations are just as important as energy efficiency as they contribute to curb appeal and affect your home’s value.
Windows come in several styles, including:
- Casement window: These window sashes open outwards using hinges on the side of the window frame.
- Single-hung window: This window has a fixed panel on top and a sash on the bottom that slides up to open it.
- Double-hung window: Two sashes allow you to open both the top and bottom sashes to improve air circulation.
- Bay window: Usually consisting of three window panels, the bay window has a center fixed panel with two operational angled windows, such as casements, depending on the window size. They jut out from the home, improving views and creating a more spacious interior.
- Bow window: Like a bay window, the bow window has several panels, but in this case, the window design creates a bow effect that extends outwards. The window can include as many as five panels.
- Slider windows: The slider opens horizontally, running on a track. They are ideal for wide, short windows.
- Awning windows: These open outward like casements, but in this case, they open upwards instead of swinging to the side. As a result, you can leave them open when it rains.
- Custom shapes: Many window manufacturers offer custom shapes, whether it is circular, a hexagon, or a unique configuration suited to your needs.
Window design options allow you to customize the look of your windows. Design choices include:
- Grilles: Window grilles mimic traditional grills used to hold windowpanes together. They come in various finishes and configurations and sit between windowpanes without interfering with energy efficiency.
- Color: Today, windows come in a wide variety of colors allowing you to match your siding, roof, brick, and other exterior features to create a unified look.
- Glass: You can often select the glass style to add texture or privacy, such as frosting or raindrop textures.
Transform Your Home with Window Replacement: Consult with Lakeside Renovation & Design
The right windows will improve energy efficiency and home comfort, increase curb appeal, reduce maintenance, and add to your St. Louis area home’s value.
When you are ready to learn more about window replacement options, speak to the team at Lakeside Renovation & Design. We are here to answer your questions and provide a free consultation to help you make the right choices.