Anatomy of a Replacement Window

Replacement Window | Window | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling

Knowing the components of a replacement window will help you choose the best option for your home in Madison WI. CLICK TO ENLARGE

When shopping for a replacement window there are several options. Variations in styles, materials and budget all influence your window replacement decision in Madison WI.

The process of purchasing a replacement window is easier if you understand the general structure of a window. With added perspective, the options offered and overall efficiency of a replacement window will be easier to match to your needs.

Replacement Window Glazing And Frame Type

Some modern options a replacement window has are glazes, frame types, spacers and the gas(es) filling the space between glazings.

Replacement Window Components

  • Glazing – transparent or semitransparent in-fill material in a glazing system. Windows are often described by the number of glazings they contain. Such as –

o Single Glazed – One pane of glass
o Double Glazed – Two panes of glass
o Triple Glazed – Three panes of glass
o Quad Glazed – Four panes of glass

Note – In the case of Triple and Quad glazed panes one or more layers of glass may be replaced by a lighter transparent material to decrease the total window weight.

  • A gas or combination of gasses fills the areas between the panes of glass. The gasses are sealed in place creating a sealed insulated glazing unit. Gasses used include Argon, Krypton, Xenon, and others. The reality is most replacement window manufacturers have proprietary formulas. The gasses chosen have increased abilities to insulate the window compared to normal air. Should the windows break, the gasses used are odorless and harmless.
  • Window glass may also be treated to further increase the window energy efficiency including improved technology in low-emissivity (low-E) coatings on the glass. There are many glass products available with low-E coatings, typically used with multiple-pane insulating glass units.
  • Emissivity is the ability of a product’s surface to reflect heat. This includes heat reflected back into a room during winter or keeping the heat outside in summer. A high emissivity, such as a clear piece of glass, allows over 84% of infrared energy from a warm room outside to the cold air. Lower emissivity glass lowers the rate of heat loss and results in a lower U-factor.
  • Conductance is the measure of how a material takes on and transfers temperature. An example is in cold weather, materials with a high conductance will become colder. When installed in a home it will cool the warmer air as it passes by. With poorly insulated windows, rapidly cooling air around a window in winter can create a draft as the heated air passes by the window, cools, and falls.  (Energy Ratings for more information on Air Leakage.)
  • A spacer is the component separating and maintaining the space between the glazing surfaces of an insulating glass unit (IGU), excluding any sealants.As with the glazings and frame, there are multiple spacer types with new ways to reduce the window spacer’s impact on the overall energy performance being tested constantly. Present spacers are made of a variety of materials including metal, non-metal materials, and combinations. The location of the spacers in the structure means they can affect overall replacement window performance rating based on the conductance of the material(s) (from which they are made).
  • Frame – The enclosing structure of a replacement window which fits into the wall opening and receives the glazing. Types of frames include –
    • Wood
    • Metal (aluminum)
    • Vinyl
    • Fiberglass
    • Composite (combination of materials)

The replacement window frame choice can depend on many factors. Styles, expense, building requirements or upkeep can influence your choice. Materials chosen may also affect replacement window performance rating. Improving technologies used by replacement window manufacturers incorporating several materials helps gain the advantages of each. The results are improved overall performance.

For more insight on replacement window options for your home, consider using Sims Exteriors and Remodeling. We can help answer questions about window replacement and the issues related to making decisions. We have been installing a wide variety of replacement windows in Madison, WI and the surrounding areas for years. Areas served include Cottage Grove, Sun Prairie, Waunakee, Middleton, Verona, Fitchburg, McFarland, Stoughton and Greater Dane County.

Call or email our experienced specialists to help select and install your replacement windows in Madison, WI.

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