A Guide to the Parts of a Window

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Parts of a WindowReplacing your windows can not only enhance your home’s aesthetic and improve curb appeal but also make your home more energy efficient and ensure more effective climate control.1

Before you start window shopping for the perfect style to complement your home, learning the lingo — which begins with defining the parts and components of a window — will help you work with manufacturers and installers to find the windows you need.

SEE ALSO: A Guide to Window Styles

Parts of a windowParts of a Double-Hung Window

Frame

The framework that surrounds and supports the entire window system, which is comprised of the head, jamb, and sill.

Glass

The framed sheet of glass within a window frame.

Head

The main horizontal part that forms the top of the window frame.

Jambs

The main vertical parts that form the sides of the window frame.

Sill

Sometimes referred to as the “stool” of the window, the sill is the main horizontal part that forms the bottom of the window frame.

Jambliner

The strip placed on the sides of a window, providing a snug fit for the window sash.

Sash

The movable part of a window that holds the glass.

Rails

There are three rails on a double-hung window. The upper and lower rails, which together comprise the horizontal piece of a window sash. The check rail, in the middle of the window, is where the bottom part of the upper sash meets the upper part of the lower sash.

Balance

Normally spring-loaded, the mechanical device used in single- and double-hung windows to counterbalance the weight of the sash during opening and closing.

Lift

The handle for raising the lower sash.

Sash Lock

The locking mechanism that engages with the sash lock strike to reduce rattling.

Weep Hole

Individual openings in the window sill that enable water or condensation to escape.

Additional Window Features and Options

Fixed Panel

The inoperable panel of the window. This can be a decorative accent or sidelight, a fixed panel on a single-hung window, or the entire window can be fixed and inoperable.

Hinged Glass Panel

The glass panel that opens inward, allowing for ease of access to snap-in between-the-glass blinds, shades, and grilles.

Mullion

The major structural piece, either vertical or horizontal, that connects two or more windows together.

Grilles

A piece designed for decorative purposes, achieving the appearance of multiple glass panes by visually dividing the window panels.

Screen2

A woven mesh of metal, plastic, or fiberglass that stretches over the opening of a window to allow for air to pass through.

Exterior Aluminum Cladding

The exterior wood parts of a window, which are covered with extruded aluminum and come with a factory-applied finish to help deter the elements.

Casing

The decorative molding or framing around a window that covers the space between the window frame or jamb and the wall.

Weatherstrip

A strip of resilient material for covering the joint between the window sash and frame in order to reduce air leaks and prevent water from entering the structure.

Lock Handle

A locking mechanism located on the jamb of a window.

Operator

A crank-operated device for opening and closing the window.

Window Material Options

Vinyl

The interior and exterior frame and sash surfaces are extruded rigid PVC.

Fiberglass

The window frame and sash are a five-layer pultruded fiberglass material.

Wood

Wood windows include window frame and sash made of solid wood.

SEE ALSO: Parts of a Door

Other Parts of Window Anatomy

Apron

Installed beneath the stool of the window, the apron is a decorative piece of trim that helps provide the interior of the window with a modern look and design.

Hinges

The location of the hinges varies based on the type of window. For a casement window, the hinges are on the jambs of the side that does not open. On an awning window, the hinges are on the head of the frame, since the window opens from the bottom. Conversely, for hopper windows, the hinges are on the sill, since that window opens from the top.

Spacers

Found at the top and bottom of the window frame, spacers hold together at least two or more panes of glass to help insulation.

1Source: Energy.gov

2Warning: Use caution when children or pets are around open windows and doors. Screens are not designed to retain children or pets.

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