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Learn what it means

Have you ever asked yourself what uPVC windows actually mean? Or composite doors? Or Double-glazed windows? We get lots of questions like this from our customers so we prepared this quick jargon vocabulary.


Double Glazed: 2 panes of glass separated by a vacuum or gas filled space to reduce heat loss.
Triple Glazed: 3 panes of glass separated by a vacuum or gas filled space to reduce heat loss.
Low E-coating: A low e-coating is a thin microscopic transparent layer that reflects long wave heat. Some low e-coatings may also reflect short wave heat. When the heat tries to escape from inside to the outside cold during winter the low e-coating reflects the heat back in, reducing heat loss. The reverse occurs during the summer.
U-Value: U value is a measure of how effective a material is as an insulator. The lower the U-value is the better the material is as an insulator. Better insulating materials in your home leads to lower heating and energy costs. Below is a table showing the different u-values associated with the varying types of glazing and coating. Remember that the lower the u-value the better the insulation.

Product                             U-Value
Single Glazed                       5.8
Double Glazed                     2.8
Triple Glazed                       1.3
Low e-coating                      1.0
Acoustic Transmittance: Acoustics describes the sound control ability of a product. Sound transmission through windows and glass is largely dependent on the window assembly. Increasing the glass thickness improves noise levels but its stiffness limits the improvements. Likewise using multiple glazing (double/triple) improves noise levels but is mostly dependent on the separation of the layers.

Solar Transmittance/Visual Transmittance: Is a measurement of the amount of light that enters through a window. The higher the VT number the more light enters into the property and with correct installation and planning should lessen the requirement for electrical lighting.

Argon Filled: Argon gas is an inexpensive, non-toxic and odorless gas that is heavier than. It is used to fill the space in between panes of glass and to provide extra insulation to the window and to prevent frost from forming at the bottom of the window. In addition, argon filled windows offer higher sound proofing characteristics, blocks some ultraviolet light and minimizes heat exchange.

Weather Seal: The system put in place to help the window defend against the elements. This can be done in a variety of ways including the use of silicon and expanding foam.
Air permeability: This refers to the amount of air that can get through a window when it is in a closed position. The European Standard regarding Air Permeability in windows and doors is EN 12207.

Wind Load: Is the force applied to a structure arising from the impact of wind on it. In relation to windows, this is the force that window can withstand.

Weather tightness: A combination of water tightness, wind resistance and air permeability.

Gasket: A gasket is a shaped rubber sheet or another material used to seal a junction between two surfaces.

Materials Used:
• Aluminium: Aluminium has a slim profile with narrow sight lines. It is a low maintenance and durable material. It is a light and strong material that can be used to create a wide range of finished products. Aluminum is not recommended in beach homes for while the material is water resistant, it can suffer corrosion from salt water and salt air. The corrosion affects hardware operation and frame performance.
• Wood: Wood has the advantages of having excellent insulating properties as well as being able. It can be painted or can be stained and sealed to maintain the wood grain. Compared to aluminium wood requires a lot of maintenance. Frequent touch-ups and the occasional sanding resealing and applying of a new coat of the product is almost needed. A good solution to this is Aluclad. On the outside of the timber frame sits powder coated aluminium claddings, This provides resistance against moisture and weather elements while still maintaining the warmth and insulation of wood.
• PVC: PVC is a versatile flexible plastic that can be manufactured to look like other materials, such as wood. Unplastisized PVC or UPVC is commonly used to make windows as it is durable to weather conditions and stresses, although some manufacturers will refer to this as PVC. UPVC will not change shape under normal weather conditions but may change shape under high temperatures.