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Understanding Replacement Window Terms
If you are considering replacement windows for the first time, some of the terminology may be new, unfamiliar or even confusing. In this article we list many of the terms commonly used in the replacement window industry.
Of course, we will be happy to come to your Costa Mesa or Orange County home, to explain in detail what these window terms mean, show you examples of different window types and styles, and help you choose the replacement windows that are best for your home, your budget and your lifestyle.
Glossary of Replacement Window Terminology
The Window Apron is the piece of casing – in some cases a decorative trim – that is installed against the wall immediately beneath the window sill.
Argon is a colorless and odorless gas with excellent insulating properties that is used to fill the airspace between two panes of glass. The addition of Argon greatly increases the energy efficiency of the windows – keeping hot air out on summer days and keeping cold air at bay on cool days.
These are the hidden weight mechanisms (block and tackle system) inside the jamb liner of double hung or single hung replacement windows. These weights essentially keep open windows up, and shut windows closed.
These are small, barely visible tubes inserted into the insulating glass spacer, which allows the inside and outside air pressure to equalize (especially in higher elevations).
The window clutch is the mechanical assembly on which the “pivots” of a double hung or single hung window rest. The clutch is attached to the block and tackle balances (above) which allow opening and closing of the window.
Window Daylight Opening (DLO)
A replacement window’s Daylight Opening – or DLO – refers to the actual width and the height of the visible portion of the window’s glass.
A drip cap is a specially formed piece of vinyl that is installed at the top of windows and doors to allow water to run off, which helps prevent moisture from seeping into the window, door or walls..
The window frame is the complete stationary portion of a window that encloses the glass and the sash. The frame is comprised of several components – all of which have their own names, including the head jamb (top), sill (bottom), sub-sill, and side jambs (sides).
French doors is a general term, used primarily to doors that swing outwards (or inwards) rather than sliding along a track like “patio doors”. French doors typically contain glass separated by grids – or in some cases louvres.
Glass Size (GS)
This term is a bit tricky – as it is the measurement of the actual glass, not just the visible glass that you see.
Glazing is the technical term for installing glass into windows and doors. Single glazing refers to a window with a single piece of glass. While double glazed windows have two panes of glass separated by a spacer and sealed together air or insulating gas between the panes.
A window glazing bead is the strip of vinyl used to hold the window glass in position in the sash.
Window grilles – sometimes called grids – are the dividers that create square or rectangular pattern over the window, giving a traditional or classic window appearance.
A term used to describe which way the operation of a window or door works – left or right.
The head jamb is the top piece of the replacement window’s frame.
Laminated glass is a safety feature wherein two sheets of glass are fused together with a sheet of transparent plastic between the sheets. When smashed or broken laminated glass “cracks” but does not shatter into pieces and therefor does not leave any opening in the window.
Low E Glass
Low E window glass stands for “low emissivity” which means radiation is blocked – thereby improving thermal performance. Low E glass is coated with a virtually invisible metal or metallic oxide layer that reduces heat flow through the window. Low E windows are also filled with Argon gas (see above) for further insulative properties.
The masonry opening is the hole or opening in the brick, stone, block or stucco into which a window or door is installed including the outside casing.
Replacement window illustrations will be marked with Xs and Os. X indicates an operating, window, while O signifies a stationary. The letters will identify the operation of windows or doors as they are viewed if looking at them from the outside.
OSM is the abbreviation for the outside measurement of the window frame. OSM refers to the height and width of the full frame.
ISM is the abbreviation for the inside measurement of the window frame. ISM refers to the height and width of the inside of the window frame or existing sash.
This is the operating and/or stationary portion of the window unit that surrounds the glass but is separate from the frame. The sash consists of several parts:
Stiles: Vertical (side) pieces
Rails: Horizontal (top and bottom) pieces
Check Rails: Horizontal sash pieces that meet in double hung windows – or vertical pieces that meet in sliding windows and door.
Tempered glass is heated and then cooled rapidly during manufacturing, which makes the glass several times stronger than regular glass. When broken, tempered glass yields small pebble-like fragments, rather than sharp shards.
The replacement windows U-Factor measures the total heat flow through a window or door between the room air and outside air. A low U-Factor Number means the replacement window has greater insulating capabilities.
Window sellers and installers frequently refer to a single product – such one window or one door panel as a unit.
Weather-Stripping is a resilient material installed to seal the sash and frame to reduce air and water infiltration.
Costa Mesa’s Best Replacement Windows
At Can-Do windows we want you to understand what you are buying – so you make the best purchase for your lifestyle and your budget. There are many more terms used in the window manufacturing and installation process – but this list simply covers “the basics”.
When you schedule an estimate with the replacement window experts from Can-Do Remodeling, we will to come to your Costa Mesa or Orange County home and carefully explain window styles, features and costs so that you can select the replacement windows that are perfect for you!
NO Money Down
NO Payments or Interest for 1 Year!
Can-Do Windows & Doors
151 Kalmus Dr. – Suite J2
Costa Mesa, CA 92626