Windows are often referred to as the “eyes” of the home. They provide light, grant views to the outside, and help define the architectural style of a residence. Poor quality windows can significantly increase heating bills. Inadequate insulation in windows allows harmful UV rays to enter the home, potentially damaging carpeting and furniture. Thanks to advancements in construction technology, many contemporary windows bolster home insulation, minimizing heat loss in winter and enhancing energy efficiency. Energy Star-rated windows can reduce energy usage by up to 40%. They also enhance your home’s security, diminish external noise for a quieter interior, and often come with lifetime warranties. Replacing old and inefficient windows can be an expensive undertaking, but we aim to alleviate the stresses of the process. Here’s a brief guide describing the various window styles available:
- Double-hung Sash Windows: Commonly found in the US, this style features two overlapping window parts, or sashes, which slide vertically within the frame. Both sashes are typically of the same size, but not always. Modern double-hung windows often use spring balances for sash support. However, in older homes, you might encounter weights inside boxes on each side, connected by braided ropes or chains with pulleys.
- Single-hung Sash Window: Only the bottom sash is movable, while the top remains fixed.
- Horizontal Sliding Sash Windows: Also known as Gliders or Sliders, these have one or more overlapping sashes that slide horizontally.
- Casement Window: This window type has a hinged sash that swings in or out, functioning similarly to a door. It can be side-hung, top-hung, or bottom-hung.
- Awning Window: Set horizontally, this casement window variant hinges at the top, swinging either inward or outward. It’s often found in older home basements.
- Hopper Window: This bottom-hung casement window typically opens outward, resembling a drawbridge.
- Tilt and Slide Window: The sash of this window tilts inward at the top and slides behind a fixed pane.
- Tilt and Turn Window: This design allows the window to tilt inward from the top or open inward from a side hinge.
- Transom Window: Positioned above doors, exterior door transoms are usually fixed, while interior variants might open from top, bottom, or side hinges. These provided ventilation in homes before the advent of air conditioning and forced air heating.
- Jalousie Window: Comprising glass slats set in metal clips, these open and close akin to shutters. They’re prevalent in tropical regions.
- Clerestory Window: Set high in a wall or roof, these vertical windows often appear in groups, letting in light without providing a direct view.
- Skylight: This window is integrated into a roof, usually not easily accessible from the ground.
- Roof Window: Like a skylight but easily reachable.
- Roof Lantern/Cupola: This multi-paned glass structure, resembling a diminutive building, is placed atop roofs to admit light.
- Bay Window: Comprising three panels set at varying angles, this window extends from the exterior wall.
- Oriel Window: Common in Tudor-style homes, these windows project from the wall, but don’t touch the ground, supported instead by brackets and corbels.
- Thermal Window: Large semi-circular windows usually divided into three sections, or “lights”, by two vertical strips known as mullions.
- Fixed Window: This window variant doesn’t open.
- Picture Window: A sizable stationary window offering clear, uninterrupted views.
- Divided-light or Multi-lit Windows: Featuring small panes separated by muntins (wooden or lead bars), this style was prevalent before the early 20th century due to the unavailability of large glass panes. Modern glazing bars are often decorative, and the small panes align with the desired architectural aesthetic. While wood is the common material, intricate patterns might employ lead.
- Emergency Exit or Egress Windows: Large enough for people to use as an escape route during emergencies. Many local codes have specific requirements for these.
- Stained Glass Windows: Comprising colored glass pieces held together by lead, these often depict scenes and are typical in Victorian homes and churches.
- Palladian Windows: These large, uniquely-shaped windows serve as room focal points.
- Super Window: Highly insulating windows that minimize heat loss to an exceptional degree.
- Replacement Window: A window designed to fit into an existing opening from the inside after the old sashes are removed.
- New Construction Window: Designed for new constructions, these fit into rough openings from the outside before interior moldings and sidings are added.
Why replace your windows?
Original builder-grade windows often lack quality and fit. Made from substandard materials, they might be hard to operate due to inferior tracks and balance rails. Misaligned locks can compromise security. All our windows are installed prioritizing safety and security.
Studies indicate that, on average, homes lose at least 20% of heating energy and gain 40% of cooling demand through windows. Single-paned windows offer no protection against solar heat gain. Aluminum-clad windows lack a thermal break, causing both the exterior and interior frames to heat up.
Frame and Sash Construction:
Frames and sashes can be crafted from various materials:
- Vinyl and Fiberglass: These haven’t been in the market long enough to gauge long-term durability. Some vinyl frames, due to their relative weakness, are reinforced with metal, which undermines their thermal efficiency.
- Modern Metal Frames: Typically, these comprise two surfaces separated by a thermal break made from an insulating material. Though this can double thermal resistance, it’s still less than half the resistance offered by other frame materials.
- Composites: These combine attributes from different materials for both aesthetic and functional benefits.
Glazing and Filling:
Windows can significantly affect heat transfer. To mitigate this, insulated glazing units feature multiple panes. Low-emissivity coated panes minimize heat transfer via radiation, benefiting homes in various climates. Filling insulated glazing units with gases like argon or krypton boosts thermal resistance due to their low thermal conductivity. Effective window seals and meticulous frame construction are pivotal to prevent air infiltration and maintain efficiency.