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Window Replacement Glossary: Terms You Should Know

December 20, 2021

There’s a lot that goes on behind a quality window. Everything from what materials are used in the glass, to the components in the construction of the window itself has a name. When it comes to replacing your windows, knowing just a few of them can be a huge help. By better understanding your options, you can make a more-informed decision about what features are important to you, and purchase replacement windows that are a good investment. 

If words like PVC and Phthalate-free leave you feeling perplexed, this glossary of window replacement words is for you. By the end, you’ll understand the most commonly used words in the wide world of window replacements. And, in the process, discover what to look for in a window that’s well-made and fair-priced. 

Window Lingo: Replacement Window Words To Know

PVC: When it comes to windows, PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride—the world’s third most widely used synthetic plastic polymer. PVC is simply a type of plastic that’s used to create the frame of the window. Since PVC doesn’t produce condensation and is resistant to mold, it’s often a better option compared to standard UPVC (Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride) windows. 

SunShield PVC: At Green Energy of San Antonio, we make our replacement windows with SunShield PVC. SunShield PVC is PVC that’s been further enhanced with Titanium Dioxide to shelter your home from damaging Ultraviolet rays that could otherwise damage your furniture or carpet. 

Phthalate-free: Phthalates are "plasticizers,” commonly used in plastic products to make them more flexible. Unfortunately, many healthcare professionals recommend staying aways from phthalates because of studies indicating that they have adverse health effects. Fortunately, our replacement windows made from SunShield PVC are completely phthalate-free, meaning that your windows will never emit toxic off-gasses.

BioPreferred®: The BioPreferred® Program is a voluntary labeling process designed by the The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help businesses’ catalog products that are biobased—products that are entirely (or, significantly) composed of biological products. By choosing industrial products that are BioPreferred®, you can trust that what you’re buying is derived from raw materials that are renewable. 

EcoClean Foam: EcoClean Foam—used in all Green Energy replacement windows—is the first polyurethane window foam to achieve BioPreferred® certification by the USDA. In addition to being sustainable, it also features better thermal performance, greater energy efficiency, and reduced condensation. 

Fusion Linked Welds: When windows are made, each of its four corners need to be welded to seal the unit. Windows with fusion linked welds are those that have been welded together by fusion—heating both materials to their melting point, so that they literally fuse together, making the frame virtually unbreakable. Green Energy of San Antonio windows are created with fusion linked welds. 

ENERGY STAR®: Energy Star is a program run by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) that helps enforce regulations on products and practices that are considered energy-efficient. Replacement windows that are ENERGY STAR® certified can decrease your home’s heating and cooling costs, saving you money on your energy bill. All Green Energy of San Antonio windows are Energy Star certified. 

Window Sashes: One of many parts of a window, a window sash is the part of a window that moves and holds the glass panes together. A window sash that is distorted can cause the window to leak and to not lock properly. That’s why it’s integral to choose quality replacement windows that they’re multi-chambered and fusion-welded, so they don’t sag, bow, or warp over time. 

Interlocks: In the context of replacement, interlocks or “interlocking panels” are the internal “locks” between panels that prevent access. Interlocks can be integrated in various positions for different uses. For example, a manufacturer might utilize an interlock to connect the bottom sash of a window to the window’s frame, to keep wind and moisture out. They may also embed an interlock into the center point of the window—the window’s most vulnerable part—to prevent exterior access. 

Camlocks: In contrast to interlocks, camlocks are the physical locks you can visibly see on the interior of a window. When activated, premium quality camlocks will clasp your window sashes together to secure them in place when closed and to prevent exterior access. 

Weather-Stripping: Weather-stripping is a type of material that is used around your windows, to help seal air leaks and improve indoor air quality. Green Energy of San Antonio offers Anti-Microbial Triple Weather-Stripping which is a premium type of weather-stripping that is triple layered with an antimicrobial sheath that blocks your home from dust and allergens to enhance protection and provide superior insulation.

Window Balances: For windows that open vertically, window balances are the mechanism—embedded in the vertical sides of the window—that allow them to open and close smoothly. Essentially, a window’s balance acts as a counterbalance, countering the force of gravity, and keeping the window upright when opened. 

Surelift Balances: Replacement windows come with a variety of window balances—some more durable than others. Green Energy of San Antonio offers windows with surelift weight balances—modern balances that are custom-made for the size and weight of the windows themselves—which  ensure your new windows continue to open and close smoothly, even as they age.

Design Pressure Rating: The strength of your windows is measured by the window’s design pressure rating (DP), which is the amount of pounds per square foot (psf) of pressure the window can withstand before failing. The higher the rating, the stronger the unit. Choosing windows with a DP of 30 or more can ensure that your windows are strong enough to withstand a peak wind speed of 164 miles per hour without incurring permanent damage. All replacement windows that Green Energy of San Antonio offers have a design pressure rating above 30.  

Noise Reduction: Concerned about noise? Green Energy of San Antonio gives you the option to upgrade to a noise reduction package for your replacement windows. WIth our SERENITY package — whether it’s the traffic from nearby roads or a loud neighbor, noise pollution is a great concern for many homeowners. The Serenity Sound Control Package enhances the joy of the indoors by combining the thermal performance of the Genesis’ South package with sound abatement.


Get Your Replacement Windows With Green Energy

At Green Energy of San Antonio, we know that purchase of replacement windows is an important investment. That’s why we work so hard to deliver only the best products for our customers, taking into account all of the aforementioned factors and features when designing and constructing our replacement windows. 

Ready to replace your windows with the best windows possible? Contact us today to get a free estimate on your San Antonio window replacement windows, or use our financing calculator to see how much you can save with our windows.