Window & Door Glossary of Terms

AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association): A national trade association that establishes voluntary standards for the window, door, storefront, curtain wall and skylight industries.

Air Infiltration: How much air leaks in and out of a window or building through cracks

Argon Gas: A nontoxic gas used in insulating glass units that reduces heat transfer

Awning Window: A window that is hinged at the top and swings outward

Bay Window: A composite of three or more windows, usually made up of a large center unit and two flanking units at 30°, 45° or 90° angles to the wall.

Bow Window: An angled combination of windows (either 3, 4, or 5) when placed together create an arch shape

Cam-Action: The mechanisms that secure the sashes together when placed in a locked position

Casement Window: A Window with a hinge on the side that uses a crank mechanism to open and close the window

Double Hung Window: A window that has two vertical operating sashes

Energy Star: A joint venture between the US EPA and the US DOE that was created to encourage homeowners to purchase energy-efficient products

Fixed Window: A window with no operating sashes

French Patio Door: A sliding door with two panels – both panels operate and swing inward or outward

Fusion-Welded: A process used to join materials together by melting with extreme heat thus creating one unit

Garden Window: A window the extends from the wall to the exterior of the home. Typically is in a square shape

Hopper Window: A bottom hinged window that opens inward

Jamb: The vertical part of the window frame or the horizontal part at the top of the window

Krypton Gas: A nontoxic gas used in insulating glass units that reduces heat transfer

Picture Window: A large window that has no operating sashes

R-Value: A measure of the resistance to heat flow – a high R-Value means the window has a greater resistant to heat flow and has a higher insulating value

Sash: The operating portion of the window that contains the glass

Sill: The bottom part of the window frame

Sliding Window: A window where the sashes move horizontally

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient: The amount of solar radiation allowed through a window – the lower a window’s SHGC, the less heat it transmits and the greater its shading ability

Spacer: The object in between two pieces of glass

U-Value: A measure of the rate of non-solar heat loss or gain through a window – the lower the u-factor, the greater the window’s resistance to heat flow and greater its insulating value

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