Review our listing of window terms and phrases.

Window Terms

A

ALUMINUM CLAD - Clad in extruded aluminum is a material option that won't ding or dent. Extruded aluminum is more durable and increases the structural integrity of the products. This is combined with either vinyl or wood interiors.

ARCHITECTURAL SHAPES - A variety of shapes and configurations of shapes are available.

ARGON GAS - Argon is a colorless, odorless, nonflammable, non-reactive, inert gas. Argon gas fills are used to reduce heat loss in sealed units by slowing down convection in the air space. Argon gas is very cost efficient, and works in unison with LowE coated glazing.

AWNINGS - A venting window that is hinged on the top, and swings outward from the bottom. It is operated usually by a cranking mechanism at the bottom.

B

BALL-BEARING HINGES - Heavy duty hinges equipped with internal ball bearings to allow for smoother operation and allow for heavier doors such as over height doors and fibreglass doors.

BAY - Bay windows are comprised of three or more windows, typically featuring a large center unit and two flanking units at 35° or 45° angles to the wall.

BOTTOM SWEEP - The continuous barrier attached to the bottom of the door to create a barrier against air leakage and drafts.

BOW - Bow window features four or more window units in a radial or bow formation.

BRICKMOULD - Attached to the frame on the exterior side to create a finished overlap with the siding material covering the exterior of the building.

C

CASEMENT - A venting window that is hinged on the side, and swings outward similar to that of a door. It is operated usually by a cranking mechanism at the bottom.

CLEAR GLASS - is standard on all windows and is the base glass provided in windows prior to any upgrades or glazing options being added.

CONDUCTION - Conduction is a term used to describe heat loss through solid materials (frame, spacer bar). Each individual material has a different rate of conduction, which is measured by its U-Value.

CUSTOM SIZING - Ply Gem windows (all materials) and patio doors (vinyl only) can be ordered in 1 mm increments to accommodate any replacement application providing a perfect fit and minimizing installation time and special trimming requirements.

D

DP CERTIFIED - Ply Gem Windows are tested to meet the air, water and structure requirements of AAMA/WDMA 101/I.S.2. Our products meet various Design Pressure (DP) ratings. 

DUAL (DOUBLE) GLAZING - Glazing that consists of two pieces of glass sandwiched together using a spacer bar to separate the pieces

E

ECO GAIN 180 - High Solar Gain Glass. A great choice for our northern climate because it allows solar energy to pass through the glass to provide “free heat” in winter. LoE reflects heat back into the room, reducing home heating needs. Throughout the year, Eco Glass Gain 180 protects furnishings from fading and insulates against extreme temperatures.

ECO MAX SHIELD 366 - Ultimate Performance Glass. This “spectrally selective” glass provides the highest level of comfort, energy savings and fade protection. Instead of one or two layers, the glass is coated with three layers of silver to block summer heat and retain your home’s heat in winter – with no room-darkening tints and virtually no exterior reflectance.

ECO SHIELD 270 - Solar Control Glass. A good choice for variable climates. In summer, Eco Glass Shield 270 can reduce solar heat gain by 50% or more compared to ordinary glass. In winter, argon fill and LoE work together to maintain comfort and reduce energy needs. Throughout the year, Eco Glass Shield protects against fading without darkening your view.

EMISSIVITY - A term used to describe a surfaces’ relative ability to absorb and re-radiate heat. A surface with high emissivity will radiate heat faster than a surface with low emissivity. Emissivity is recorded on a scale of 0-1, where 0 would be the perfect white surface reflecting 100% of heat while 1 would be the perfect black surface that absorbs 100% of heat. Standard glass surfaces have an emissivity of 0.84, while Low E glass surfaces have emissivity ratings of 0.08 to 0.04.

ENERGY STAR® - A government-backed program that rates products based on energy efficiency for specific Climate Zones of Canada and the USA. Zones 1, 2, 3 are designated by how harsh the climate is.

F

FIXED WINDOWS - Windows that do not open. They generally are more energy-efficient and secure than non-fixed windows.

FOAM/WOOD CORE - An insulating agent injected into the core of a steel or fibreglass door to reduce thermal loss.

FRAME (WINDOW) - The outer structure of a window which gets fastened to the building wall, and provides the structure for the rest of the window unit.

FRAME (DOOR) - The outer structure in which the exterior door is supported. It is most often made of wood to facilitate being fastened to the exterior structure of the building. Frame materials can also be made of PVC, composite or metal, but wood is the most common.

FRENCH INSWING PATIO DOORS - These doors provide classic style and unbeatable performance with wide stiles and rails coupled with door panels to give you a true French look and include a sliding screen.

FRENCH OUTSWING PATIO DOORS - These high quality doors provide classic style with wide stiles and rails for a true French look with a venting panel.

G

GARDEN DOORS - These doors give you the option of full length window ventilation with the look of a door.

GLASS INSERT - A glazed unit which is installed in the exterior door panel itself. They allow light into the dwelling, and can be decorative for design purposes.

GLAZING - The part of a window which you can see through and which lets light pass through from the outside.

H

HARD COAT - A term used to describe the type of Low E coating used and how it was applied. Hard coat is applied after the glass has cooled during manufacturing.

HARDWARE - The operating portions of a window. Includes cranks, handles, screens, latches, etc.

HINGED PATIO DOORS - These doors elevate elegance and performance with their historically accurate design and are sturdy as they are beautiful with an elegant wide rail profile.

HINGES - The hardware that is mounted to the frame and door slab, allowing it to swing. Hinges are available in multiple different colours and different purposes.

HORIZONTAL SLIDING WINDOW - These windows offer a horizontally-sliding sash in a single frame.

I

IG (INSULATED GLASS) UNIT - A glass system in which two or more pieces of glass are assembled together using a spacer bar. IG units provide greater energy efficiency, as well as providing sound insulation.

IGU - Insulating glass unit. This is another term for sealed unit.

L

LAMINATED GLASS - A type of safety glass comprising of two pieces of glass and a clear vinyl interlay. This glass may break under impact, but typically remains integral. Splinters and sharp fragments adhere to the interlay. Laminated glass is ideal for areas where someone might fall against the glass, or to prevent forced entry.

LOW-E - (low-emissivity) GLASS has a secondary, very thin metallic dual layer coating. It reflects radiant heat waves, so it helps keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

LOW-E-2 (“SQUARED”) - A sealed unit that has two coats of Low E on one surface. i.e. Eco Shield 270.

LOW-E-3 (“CUBED”) - A sealed unit that has three coats of Low E on one surface. i.e. Eco Max Shield 366.

N

NEAT® EASY CLEAN GLASS - Optional a treated glass that sheds water and organic material off the surface of the glass to make it much easier to clean and eliminates frequent exterior window cleaning compared with ordinary glass. 

O

OBSCURE - Glass that has limited visibility through it. Used to provide privacy for windows such as bathrooms or sidelights in doors.

OPERATING WINDOWS - Windows that open to allow for fresh air ventilation from the outdoors.

P

PRESERVE - An optional plastic film applied with static electricity to sealed units manufactured by Cardinal Glass. Protects the window from things like paint and scratches during construction or renovation and peels away after the work is completed leaving your glass protected.

R

RAILS - The continuous horizontal supports in the exterior door. In steel and fibreglass doors the rails are covered by a door skin, but in wood doors they are exposed.

R-VALUE - A measure of heat flow through a window. The higher the number, the better the glass is at blocking the heat.

S

SAFETY GLASS - Glass less prone to breakage and designed to break in a manner less conducive to personal injury, such as tempered, laminated, or Georgian Polished Wire (GPW).

SASH - The inner structure of a window, the portion of the window that moves (either slides or cranks).

SCREEN - A mesh that is placed in the window frame to protect against insects and flying debris when a venting window is opened. Meshes can be made from various materials such as nylon, fiberglass and metal.

SEALED UNIT - Two or more sheets of glass sealed together with a “spacer bar” between them around the edges and sealed with a special adhesive designed to maintain an air tight seal between the sheets of glass.

SELF-CLOSING HINGES - Special hinges that are designed to close an exterior automatically without human intervention. Often used in commercial applications, as well as in doors that lead from garages into the home.

SIDELITES - Separate glazed units that can be attached to either side (or both sides) of an exterior door system.

SILL - The bottom portion of the frame against which the bottom of the exterior door rests when it is closed. Usually constructed using metal, and incorporates a thermal break of rubber, wood or PVC to reduce thermal heat loss.

SINGLE HUNG - These windows come with one vertically-sliding sash in a single frame.

SLIDING PATIO DOORS - The timeless style of these doors offer space-saving sliding configurations, full-perimeter weatherstripping and adjustable rollers for smooth operation.

SOFT COAT - A term used to describe the type of Low E coating used and how it was applied. Soft coat is applied before the glass has cooled during manufacturing.

SOLAR HEAT GAIN COEFFICIENT - A measure of solar radiation transmitted through the glass, also referred to as SHGC. Higher numbers mean more heat gain in a home.

SPACER BAR - The material used to maintain equal space between pieces of glass in a sealed unit. Typically a metallic channel or tube held in place with an adhesive. There are several types of spacer bars used in the window industry and most have trademarked names. i.e. Super Spacer, XL Edge, Intercept, etc.

STILES - The continuous vertical supports inside the exterior door. In steel and fibreglass doors the stiles are covered by a door skin, but in wood doors they are exposed.

T

TEMPERED GLASS - Glass that is treated with heat in its manufacturing, creating a product that can withstand abnormal force or pressure on its surface, and which does not break into sharp pieces; code requires tempered glass in all doors (including patio doors) and on windows that are located near doors.

TRANSOM - A glazed unit than can be attached to the top of an exterior door system.

TRI (TRIPLE) GLAZING - Glazing that consists of three pieces of glass sandwiched together using spacer bars to separate the pieces. Triple glazing is more energy efficient than dual glazing, and can also afford more resistance to sound transmission.

U

U-FACTOR - is a measurement of the window's ability to prevent heat loss from the house. The lower the U-Factor rating is on a window, the greater its ability to prevent heat loss.

UPVC (VINYL) - Stands for ‘Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride’. A special type of plastic that is used for windows, plumbing pipes, downspouts, gutters and many other building materials. It is a durable alternative to aluminum and wood for use in window manufacturing. uPVC typically will not warp, split, and is not susceptible to rotting or decay. uPVC is by far the most popular material for window construction.

UV TRANSMISSION - Ultra Violet Light is able to pass through glass to a certain degree and will vary depending on the amount of Low E coatings used on the glass. The UV Transmission percentage rating on glass refers to the amount of damaging UV light that is allowed to pass through the glass. The lower the percentage of UV Transmission, the better the glass performance.

V

VERTICAL SLIDER (SINGLE-HUNG) - A venting window in which one portion is fixed, and one portion slides vertically. The bottom portion is usually the venting portion.

VINYL - offers homeowners with long-lasting, weather-tight material for extended performance and beauty.

VISIBLE LIGHT TRANSMISSION - The amount of light that is able to pass through a piece of glass versus being reflected away. Different percentages of light are able be “seen” through glass and this varies when Low E coatings are applied to the glass.

W

WEATHER-STRIPPING - A flexible seal or gasket that protects the window unit against the outside weather when an opening window is in its closed position.

WOOD - offers homeowners traditional looks with natural wood finished interiors that are ready for paint or stain to match any décor.