Granted, most of us “don’t do windows” but it goes without saying that windows are crucial in any home. Here is our introduction to home windows.
Anatomy of A Window — Similar to the walls of the house, windows are designed to protect us from the elements. A window acts as a control feature for the temperature, water/moisture, sun, and, wind. It helps to maintain a constant, comfortable, interior environment regardless of what is happening outdoors.
Windows are largely ignored until they don’t work, or begin to deteriorate. When in top condition they are simple to use but are complex in their design. Like doors, windows can be seen both from inside and outside the home making them a great focus of design.
Window Types — This depends on how you want to classify them based on shape, how they operate or their energy efficiency.
Other important distinctions relate to the material used to make the frame, the type of glazing and configuration of panes, and the application they’re designed for.
a) Common Operating Types — Double & Single Hung, Horizontal Slider, Casement, Awning, Fixed Sash, Pivoting Sash/Single In-swing, Jalousie, and, Single & Double Hopper
Component parts of these windows include: the glass panes that allow light to enter; the sashes holding the glass panes letting them open and close to for ventilation; the frame which anchors the window unit into the wall; and, the hardware that operates and/or locks the sash. With fixed sashes, the components only involve the glass and the frame/sash combination. Each window will have a different type operating mechanism. Other parts of a window include a mullion (a slender vertical member that forms a division between units of a window) and a muntin (a strip separating panes of glass in a sash).
b) Common Window Shapes — bay, bow, oval, circle, half round, triangle, square, rectangle, hexagon, polygon, arched, and, segmented
Where possible, choose window shapes consistent with the style of the house. Often though, you may be able to combine shapes
c) Energy efficiency — double-glazing has twice the R-value of single glazing. Low-E glazing resists heat flow compared with traditional insulating glass. Gas-filled low-E insulating glass windows are more efficient. Regardless, always calculate your return on investment — will the energy savings will offset the higher priced of energy-saving windows within a reasonable amount of time.
The R-value of the glazing is only one factor in assessing the energy efficiency of a window. The overall thermal performance of home windows also takes the transmission properties of the frame into account. It’s also important to inspect a window’s seals to assess their durability and resistance to air leakage.