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Window Comparison Chart Glossary

Manufactured or Fabricated: A Manufacturer makes the window from raw resins with their own machinery from the beginning to the end. They design the window just the way they want it.

A Fabricator on the other hand buys extrusions from Manufacturers (along with other required parts) then puts the window together in their "Factory". A Fabricator makes concessions in putting them together in this way.

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I.G. Unit: Insulating Glass Units are two pieces of glass (double pane) sealed together with a spacer providing a dead space of air or argon gas. They are considered a Unit because if the seal should break, allowing condensation inside the unit, the unit must be replaced.

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Glazing: Glazing is what seals the glass to the vinyl frame around it, the Sash. It acts as an access to the removal of the I.G. Unit should it need repair or replacement. It's the trim pieces at the edges of glass either inside or out. Inside glazing is not exposed to the elements, where outside glazing is.

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Interlocking Meeting Rails: Is where the two Sashes, in either a Single Roller or a Single Hung, meet. The rails (part of the sash frame) in the middle of either style window. When the window is closed shut they lock together. This meeting rail lock protects against prying between the two in order to open the latch lock. It also helps maintain a tighter sealing window.

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Header and Sill:The Header is the same as the window Sill only at the top of the window.

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Weather Stripping:Protects against air and dust infiltration. The more strips the better the protection.

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Spacer Type: The spacer is what separates the two panes of glass in a double pane window. It is sealed to the glass on both sides as to maintain an insulating dead air space. Foam spacers will typically increase the energy efficiency, however, the direct sunlight, along with the accordion of glass effected by temperature changes could result in deterioration of the hermetic seal between the two panes of glass.

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Equal Width Glass: The width of the glass from side to side. The bottom sash on some windows are wider than the top sash. This is due to using the same size extrusions for both the top and bottom sashes.

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Balance Covers: Covers the Balances in the double hung style windows.

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Balance Type: Balances provide a constant force to the double hung style windows so that the window stays where you have opened it to.

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Screens: Are usually aluminum frames with nylon mesh. Some frames are extruded, have mitered corners and are rigid. Others are roll-out formed with plastic caps in the corners which make for a fairly flimsy screen frame.

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NFRC U-Factor Rating: The National Fenestration Rating Counsel. Conducts tests for the Energy Star Program. The U-Factor is the rating for the entire window. The lower the number the better.

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Relative Price: Relative price lets you know how each windows pricing relates to the other windows on our site.

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Value Rating: These windows were value rated by John Chipman in order to give you some guidance in choosing your windows. Though the windows themselves support these ratings, incorporated are things not included on this chart, including warranty service, price, delivery, and local support.

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Sashes: The frames around the glass, that move, are called the sashes. In a window the sections that move (side to side or up and down) to open it are the sashes. They move inside the window frame.

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Extrusions: The parts that make up the window frames and the sash frames. Are manufactured in long pieces and then are cut down to meet the required window size.

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Fusion Welded: Fusion-welded frames provide much greater strength and durability than frames that are mechanically fastened together. Combined with other quality construction processes, fusion welding practically eliminates the possibility of air and water infiltrating windows at the corners. Fusion welding is a process involving heat and pressure. Four-point fusion-welded windows provide the best possible square joint. If done properly, these joints will be stronger than the original vinyl frame.

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