Back to Blog

Important Terms You Need To Know Before Buying Vinyl Windows

Vinyl bay windows over a yellow-cushioned reading a nook, overlooking wooded area from a hill.

Vinyl windows have become popular worldwide for their economical price, energy efficiency, and minimal maintenance requirements. That doesn’t mean they’re all equal in quality, so you’ll need to assess a few important features before you settle on a product.

Exceptional-quality vinyl windows will save you money in the long term by keeping your home insulated while withstanding the elements. They’ll last longer and offer better curb appeal than lesser products.

Window Energy Efficiency Terms

Energy-efficient windows will help lower your utility bills while helping your HVAC system achieve better climate control. Look for several properties when purchasing new windows:

  • R-value: The R-value tells you the thermal resistance of your frame. An R-5 rating will give you average insulation, while a higher rating will provide exceptional thermal resistance.
  • U-value: The U-value tells you how much heat loss your window will experience. Look for a U-value of 0.20 to 1.20. The lower the number, the better.
  • DP rating: A DP rating refers to the window’s resistance to high winds. Hurricane-prone areas need a rating of 50 or more.
  • ENERGY STAR®: ENERGY STAR is an EPA-run enterprise that helps U.S. citizens choose the most energy-efficient products. ENERGY STAR products can reduce your utility bills by up to 15%.
  • Insulated glass unit: Insulated glass consists of two or three panes separated by an inert, insulating gas. This improves your energy efficiency without affecting your natural light.

Parts of a Vinyl Window

Today’s vinyl windows have a complex structure built of moving and insulating parts. Three terms will guide your choice:

  • Frame: The frame is the material around the edges of your window glass. It holds the pane and sash in place and is a core part of your window’s insulating property.
  • Sash: This panel enables the window to slide or track by attaching to the master frame. Fixed sashes can’t be moved.
  • Pane: This is the sheet of glass seated inside your window frame. Today’s high-performance products contain double or triple panes, often filled with an insulating gas.

Explore your window designs with the Potomac View Energy team by calling 410-795-3110 or contacting us online.

Common Vinyl Window Styles

The aesthetic you choose for your windows adds more than mere architectural sophistication. Each design has its own benefits. Some offer exceptional airflow while others offer added insulation, and some offer added security.

Popular vinyl window styles include:

  • Casement windows: These windows open on both sides like a door, offering superior airflow, security, and energy efficiency.
  • Double-hung windows: This design has two operable sashes that can slide up and down, letting you adjust your home’s airflow to take advantage of heat’s tendency to rise, improving your indoor climate control.

Additional window styles include:

  • Bay windows: Bow and bay windows offer unobstructed views.
  • Awning windows: Awning windows are compact enough to add ventilation to any room. They open outward from the upper frame and can be used with other windows or on their own.
  • Sliding windows: Sliding windows slide open horizontally without taking up space. They usually have a horizontal orientation and are the best way to display a spectacular view.
  • Hopper windows: These windows tilt downward and inward in a small frame, so they’re usually used in rooms that lack the wall space for larger designs.

Schedule Vinyl Window Installation With Potomac View Energy

Potomac View Energy takes a customized approach to window design so you can achieve the windows of your dreams. As industry leaders, we’re famous for our innovative features, precise engineering, and exceptional design. That’s why we can provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee. 

Speak to Potomac View Energy for window replacement today at 410-795-3110 or by contacting us online.

Request an
Estimate Today!


See What Your Neighbors
Are Saying

“The entire company from the owner down to the crew who did the installation were top notch. The crew discovered a lot of rotten wood in the frame wo...


I needed to replace an eyebrow window in the master bedroom and checked with three different window dealers. Potomac View Energy responded very quickly...


I truly enjoyed working with Potomac View Energy. Chris was super easy to work with, gave me a no-frills price, and was always super responsive. The cr...


Replacement Window Project $50 OFF Expires 04/30/24
New Door Installation $200 OFF Expires 04/30/24

Schedule Your

Free Estimate Today!

Free estimate

Proudly Serving

Proudly Serving These

These MD, VA, WV and PA Counties

MD, VA, WV and PA Counties

Anne Arundel   |   Carroll   |   Frederick   |   Howard   |   Montgomery   |   Washington   |   Adams   |   Franklin   |   Loudoun   |   Berkeley   |   Jefferson

Anne Arundel   |   Carroll   |   Frederick   |   Howard   |   Montgomery   |    Washington   |   Adams   |   Franklin   |   Loudoun   |   Berkeley   |   Jefferson

View All