As a homeowner, it is essential to be familiar with the various parts that make up your windows. Knowing the different window parts can help you identify issues, perform maintenance, and make informed decisions when it’s time to replace or upgrade your windows. Here are some of the essential window parts that homeowners should know about:
The frame is the outer part of the window that holds the glass in place.
The frame provides the structural support for the window and is responsible for keeping the glass in place. Here are some of the most popular:
- Vinyl Frames: Vinyl frames are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and are popular due to their low cost, durability, and energy efficiency. They are easy to maintain and come in a range of colors and styles.
- Wood Frames: Wood frames are popular for their aesthetic appeal and natural look. They are also energy-efficient and can be painted or stained to match the home’s interior or exterior.
- Aluminum Frames: Aluminum frames are durable and low-maintenance. They are favored for their strength and are often used in commercial buildings. They can also be painted or anodized for various colors and finishes.
- Fiberglass Frames: Fiberglass frames are strong and durable and are also energy-efficient. They are popular due to their ability to resist weathering and are often used in coastal areas or regions with harsh climates.
- Composite Frames: Composite frames are made of a combination of materials, such as wood and vinyl or wood and fiberglass. They offer multiple materials’ strength and durability while being energy-efficient and low-maintenance.
Glass is a transparent or translucent material that allows light to enter the home.
Modern windows are typically made of double or triple-pane glass, which is more energy-efficient than single-pane glass. Double-pane windows have two layers of glass with insulating gas in between, while triple-pane windows have three layers.
There are several types of window glass that homeowners can choose from. Here are some of the most common types:
- Clear Glass: This is the most basic type of glass used in windows. It is a standard glass that is cooled slowly to reduce internal stress, making it less likely to break than regular glass. However, when it does break, it can shatter into sharp, dangerous pieces.
- Tempered Glass: This type of glass is heated to a high temperature and then cooled quickly, making it four to five times stronger than annealed glass. If tempered glass does break, it shatters into small, rounded pieces that are less likely to cause injury.
- Laminated Glass: Laminated glass is made by sandwiching a layer of plastic between two or more pieces of glass. It is more durable than annealed glass and can withstand more impact. Laminated glass is commonly used in areas where safety is a concern, such as in skylights and car windshields.
- Insulated Glass: This is also known as double-pane or triple-pane glass and is designed to provide better insulation than single-pane glass. Insulated glass consists of two or three panes of glass separated by a spacer bar filled with air or a gas such as argon. The space between the panes helps reduce heat transfer, saving homeowners money on their energy bills.
- Low-E Glass: Low-E (low-emissivity) glass is coated with a thin layer of metallic particles that reflect heat and light. This coating helps to keep heat inside during the winter and outside during the summer, making it an excellent choice for energy-efficient windows.
- Tinted Glass: Tinted glass has a film or coating that reduces the amount of sunlight that enters the home. This can help to reduce glare and protect furniture and carpets from fading. Tinted glass is available in a range of colors and shades.
- Reflective Glass: Reflective glass has a metallic coating that reflects light and heat. This can help reduce the heat entering the home, making it a good choice for homes in hot climates. Reflective glass is commonly used in commercial buildings but can also be used in residential homes.
The type of glass best for your windows will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Pick Unified as your local window contractor to help you choose the right type of glass based on factors such as energy efficiency, safety, and aesthetics.
Weatherstripping is a material that seals the gap between the window sash and frame to prevent drafts and leaks. There are several different types of weatherstripping that can be used to seal windows and avoid air and water leaks. Here are some of the most common types:
- Foam Tape: Foam tape is a type of weatherstripping made of foam with an adhesive backing. It is easy to install and can be used on windows and doors. Foam tape is a good choice for sealing small gaps and cracks.
- V-Strip: V-strip weatherstripping is made of vinyl or metal and is shaped like a V. It is installed in the corner of the window frame and sash to create a tight seal. V-strip is a good choice for sealing more significant gaps and cracks.
- Spring V-Seals: Spring V-seals are made of metal or plastic and are installed on the sash of the window to create a tight seal when the window is closed. They are durable and long-lasting but can be challenging to install.
- Felt: Felt weatherstripping is made of compressed felt and is typically installed on the sash of the window. It is inexpensive and easy to install but may not be as durable as other weatherstripping types.
Hardware refers to the various mechanisms that enable the window to open and close, such as locks, hinges, and handles.
Different types of windows require different types of hardware. For example, double-hung windows typically have a balanced system that helps to counterbalance the weight of the sash.
Other parts of a home window
The sash is the part of the window that holds the glass in place and moves up and down, side to side, or tilts in and out.
The sash is the moveable part of the window that holds the glass in place. The sash can be fixed or operable, depending on the window type. Single-hung windows have one moveable sash, while double-hung windows have two. Casement windows have a sash that opens outwards on a hinge while sliding windows have one or more sashes that slide horizontally.
Glazing refers to the material that holds the glass in place.
This can be a putty-like material called a glazing compound or a strip of rubber or silicone called a glazing gasket. The glazing helps to seal the window and prevent air and water from entering the home.
Grilles are decorative bars that divide the window into smaller panes of glass.
Grilles can be made of wood, vinyl, or metal and can be fixed or removable. They can be used to add style to a home or to match the architecture of the house.
The casing is the decorative trim that covers the gap between the window frame and the wall. The casing can be made of wood, vinyl, or composite materials and is often painted or stained to match the home’s interior.
The jamb is the vertical part of the frame that forms the sides of the window opening. The jamb provides support for the window and helps to hold it in place.
The sill is the horizontal part of the frame that forms the bottom of the window opening. The sill supports the window and helps prevent water from entering the home. Some sills have a sloping design that allows water to drain away from the window.
Is it time to replace your home windows?
Understanding these different window parts can help homeowners identify issues with their windows and communicate more effectively with window contractors or repair professionals. When selecting windows for your home, it is essential to work with a professional like our Unified Home Remodeling experts, who have experience installing and designing home windows in New York.
Founded in 1989, we aim to create a unique and better window replacement experience for homeowners throughout Long Island, Staten Island, and Putnam and Westchester counties, including all of Brooklyn and Queens. Through our commitment to excellence and client loyalty, we’ve grown to five window showrooms in Baldwin, Huntington, Patchogue, Brooklyn, and Scarsdale.
Contact us at (888) 631-2131 or request a free estimate on your replacement home windows, whatever the type. You can count on us to provide the best service and products to help you have the home of your dreams.