Replacement Windows 101: The Basics

An Introduction To Replacement Windows

Replacement windows are designed specifically to fit into an existing frame in the walls of your home. If you have outdated windows in your home that are drafty, hard to clean or even require painting, it might be time to consider and upgrade. Replacement windows make an immediate impact on the aesthetics of your home and can even improve energy efficiency and save you money. If you’re considering an upgrade in the near future, this post will help you get a grasp on the basics of replacement windows.

What’s In A Replacement Window?

There are several different components that make up replacement windows. As a potential buyer, knowing what’s in a window allows you to make an informed decision about which features are least important and which features are worth an extra investment.

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1. Frame – The frame is the entire support system for the window including the head (top part), sill, (bottom part), and jambs (sides). Unlike windows made for new construction projects, replacement windows are designed specifically to fit into existing frames and trim for minimal disruption during the replacement process.

2. Cladding – A protective layer of cladding is applied to the exterior parts of the window to keep it protected from the elements. Vinyl, fiberglass and aluminum-clad are the most popular choices for replacement windows in newer homes while bare wood is common in restoration projects that require preserving historical details.

3. Sash – The moving part of the frame that holds the glass.

4. Balance Systems (Not Pictured) – The balance systems are mechanisms inside the window that allow it to stay open. Malfunctioning balance systems can result in windows getting jammed or not sliding properly.

5. Glass – Comprised of two or more panes filled with air or argon and sealed to insulate the windows.

6. Low-E Coating – This transparent coating helps your windows reflect heat but let light pass through. It improves the energy efficiency of your windows.

7. Grilles – Decorative pieces on top of the glass that come in a variety of different designs to match your home’s architectural style.

8. Lock – Keeping the window locked ensures maximum efficiency and no air infiltration. Quality windows will have a continuous inner lock at the meeting rails of the windows.

If you’re thinking about installing replacement windows in your home this summer or just want to get some quality advice, call (540).908.2400 to chat with the experts at Heartland Home Improvements today!