Replacement Windows

What Are the Different Parts of a Window?

6 min read

You may be familiar with terms like windowsills and window panes, but it’s understandable if you can’t name every window part. If words like aprons, mullions and jambs aren’t in your vocabulary, our window terminology guide is here to help. We’ll teach you basic window anatomy that’ll help you speak the lingo like an expert the next time you’re looking to upgrade the windows on your Pittsburgh home.

Why Should Pittsburgh Homeowners Be Aware of the Correct Terminology?

Knowing the correct window terminology can greatly benefit Pittsburgh homeowners during the window replacement process. Once you learn, you can more accurately and confidently discuss your preferences and requirements with window professionals. This will also help protect you from misleading sales pitches and allow you to make sound decisions, preventing costly mistakes. Armed with window knowledge, you’ll enjoy a more successful and satisfying window replacement experience.

Common Window Types

Windows play a crucial role in defining the character and functionality of a home. They allow in natural light, add beauty inside and out and affect your home’s energy efficiency. When it comes to selecting the right windows for your Pittsburgh home, it’s essential to know the most common window types and their distinguishing features. Explore what replacement window style is right for you:

Vinyl Awning Window

Exterior Parts of a Window Frame

The window frame surrounds and supports the window pane and can be made of aluminum, fiberglass, wood or vinyl. Each part of the exterior frame is a distinct component of a window:

  1. Head: The head of a window is the horizontal top part of the frame, which helps to support the structure and maintain the window’s integrity.
  2. Sill: The window sill is the horizontal bottom piece of the window frame that serves as both a structural support and a barrier against moisture infiltration.
  3. Jamb: The jambs are the vertical sides of the window frame that provide stability and contain tracks or rails that let the windows open.
  4. Apron: The apron is a decorative molding that is installed below the windowsill. It adds an aesthetic touch while protecting the wall beneath the window from moisture.
  5. Weep Holes: Weep holes are small openings built into the bottom of metal and vinyl window frames. They allow precipitation that collects in the window tracks to drain off.

Interior Parts of a Window Sash

Your window sash is the moveable part of the window that houses the pane of glass. But it’s much more than just the part that holds the glass. Here are the components of a window sash:

  1. Pane: The window pane is the piece, or pieces, of glass in your window.
  2. Window Rail: The horizontal part of the frame at the top and bottom of the sash is called a window rail. They contain grooves that hold the window panes.
  3. Spacers: Spacers separate and support the different panes of glass in a window. Window World of Pittsburgh windows use the Intercept™ warm-edge spacer system to provide superior insulation and extend the life of your windows.
  4. Sash Lock: This is the locking mechanism that prevents rattling and drafts and keeps your windows secure.
  5. Lift: The lift is the handle for lifting and lowering the sash.
  6. Weatherstripping: Weatherstripping is used to seal gaps and cracks where the window frame and sash meet. It provides an extra layer of energy efficiency and protection against the elements.

Additional Window Parts

A window is more than a frame and a pane. Here are some other window part names you should know:

  1. Casing: The casing (aka window trim) is the decorative molding that surrounds the exterior window frames. It seals gaps between the window frame and the wall to prevent drafts from entering your home.
  2. Mullion: A mullion is a vertical or horizontal structural piece that divides the frame into different sections. It creates the appearance of separate smaller windows within a larger window frame. 
  3. Grilles: Grilles are decorative pieces that create a visually appealing grid pattern on the window. They can also provide additional security and protection.
  4. Fixed Panel: Also called the stationary or picture window panel, a fixed panel is an unmovable, non-operable glass pane that does not open or close. It is most commonly seen in single-hung windows.

What Makes a Window Energy Efficient?

Windows are so much more than just their parts. It’s important that they’re energy efficient. Here are some key terms about energy efficiency to help you select the most energy-saving windows for your needs!

  1. Low-E Glass: Low-E glass (short for low-emissivity glass) is a type of window glass that has been treated with a thin, invisible coating designed to filter the amount of UV light that enters your home. This coating helps reduce heat transfer and energy costs all year.
  2. Argon Gas: Argon gas is used as an insulator in double and triple-pane windows. Combined with Low-E glass, this colorless, odorless gas keeps the window closer to room temperature, helping eliminate drafts and increase energy efficiency.
  3. Intercept™ warm-edge spacer system: This spacer minimizes condensation and keeps the edges of glass windows warmer, creating a more comfortable temperature year-round.

Tips for Pittsburgh Homeowners After Learning Window Terminology

Having knowledge of window terms is just the first step when replacing your windows. Pittsburgh homeowners should watch for signs to upgrade their windows like higher energy costs, more drafts, visible damage, condensation between panes or an outdated appearance. While minor repairs might be enough, major damage may necessitate a full window replacement.

Ready for a window replacement consultation? Make sure to get multiple quotes to compare prices and services, ask about warranties offered by the window professional or the manufacturer, explore energy-efficient options and review what to expect when you purchase new windows. Getting this information upfront can help you find the perfect windows for your Pittsburgh home without future hassle.

Upgrade for Premium Window Design 

At Window World of Pittsburgh, we take pride in offering the highest quality windows that offer exceptional strength, security, beauty and energy efficiency. Our team of window specialists is ready to guide you through all the terminology and advantages of window replacement. Contact us today to request your free estimate.