Winters in Wyoming are inescapable. Winters in our area are cold. We know it. Cody has recorded temps as low as 46 below. The all-time record low in Wyoming was 66 degrees below zero in Yellowstone National Park in February 1933. Even so, a summer high can shoot past 100. Well-insulated windows are must-haves because according to the Department of Energy, “heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25% to 30% of residential heating and cooling energy use.”
Windows today are efficient, beautiful, and stylish with all the elements necessary to make them smart choices. The key is in understanding how they’re made and how different options change or improve their functionality and efficiency.
The main parts of a window are the frame and sash. The sash is the unit that holds the glass. Classic double-hung windows, for example, have two sashes—an upper and a lower sash. If you’ve heard the terms stiles and rails, they’re a way of further breaking down the sash to describe it as vertical stiles and horizontal rails. Grilles are the gridlike decorative pieces that can give glass the appearance of rectangular or diamond-shaped panes.
The sash assembly holding the glass then sits in the frame, which also can be further broken down into horizontal and vertical elements. The top horizontal is called the head while the bottom horizontal is called the sill. The verticals or sides are called jambs.
What makes one window different from the next is more than the brand name:
- Quality frame materials should be durable and low-maintenance, yet reduce heat transfer and help insulate the interior environment from the exterior one.
- Multiple panes of glass use air- or gas-filled spaces as extra insulation. Double-pane glass is more energy-efficient than single-pane glass. Likewise, triple-pane is even more energy-efficient.
- Gas fills, such as argon or krypton, between panes of glass can offer insulation properties superior to plain air.
- Low-e glass uses special coatings that reflect infrared light. This means that heat stays inside in the winter and outside in summer. Low-e glass also reflects UV light, protecting home interiors and furnishings from fading and damage.
- Warm edge spacers not only maintain the insulating spaces between panes of glass but also insulate the pane edges to help mitigate heat transfer and loss.
These technologies are available in every type of window: double-hung, awning, casement, gliding, picture, bay, bow, custom, or any other combination or hybrid design.
Manufacturers such as JELD-WEN and Andersen offer windows that are not only energy-efficient but also come in every shape, size, configuration, and color. Andersen’s E-Series line offers 50 exterior colors of maintenance-free aluminum along with a host of stained interiors. JELD-WEN’s EpicVue combines stylish glass expanses with AuraLast pine, an exclusive wood product providing protection against water damage, wood rot, and termites.
Adding a bit of tech and security to the window equation, Andersen’s E-Series windows are also available with its patented VeriLock sensors that will tell you if your windows are open or shut, as well as whether they’re locked or unlocked. Let us help you find your perfect window at our Builders FirstSource location in Cody or start designing a custom one right now. Just start clicking and planning. We will do the rest.