In addition to letting in light and giving you a beautiful view of your surroundings, windows are a crucial component in maintaining an energy-efficient home.


Replacing your old windows with new energy-efficient windows will have a significant impact on your heating and cooling bills.


Tighter seals and more advanced construction of many modern windows prevent cold and hot air from escaping and help maintain a more comfortable, consistent indoor climate without wasting energy.


New windows also give your home an updated look while increasing its value.

Consider the following questions to help guide you when purchasing new windows and give you a better understanding of window installation:

• What types of windows are available?
• What types of opening mechanisms do windows use?
• How do windows help improve energy efficiency?
• What materials are window frames made from?
• What steps should you take to properly maintain windows?  


Window Design, Energy Efficiency, Materials and Maintenance

Efficiency Windows are designed and installed primarily to provide three things: light, ventilation and a view of the outside world. While most windows accomplish all three tasks, some do so in a more energy-efficient manner than others.

Windows are generally comprised of the following:

Head: The piece that runs horizontally across the top.
Sill: The piece that runs horizontally across the bottom.
Jambs: Runs vertically up the sides.
Frame: The sill, head and jambs combine to form the frame, which may be made from various materials.
Panes: The glass pieces of a window; usually transparent, sometimes translucent or textured.
Sash: A border that frames the panes and holds them in place; made of the stiles and rails.
Rail: Horizontal part of a sash.
Stile: Vertical part of a sash.

Window Types

There are a number of window types available, including awning, double hung, casement, sliding, picture, bay, fixed and more.


The first decision you’ll need to make when purchasing a window is to determine what style is most appropriate for the room where it will be installed. Each has different characteristics and, in many cases, opens in a different manner. Consult the chart below to learn more about some of the available options.


Description and Operation

Uses and Ideal Installation

Awning Horizontal window that is hinged at the top and opens outward, usually using a crank handle. • Provide ventilation even during rain
• Provide ample light
• Often installed above doors or other
Bay/Bow Series of three or more windows that juts outward from the house. • Provide ample light
• Offer a wider viewing angle
• Add style to architecture
• Make rooms appear more spacious
• Ideal for use when creating a breakfast
  nook or in a master bedroom
Casement Vertical window that is hinged and opens outward from the side usually via a crank handle. • Provide ample light
• Offer an unobstructed viewing area
• Ideal for difficult-to-reach areas, such as
  over a sink or countertop
Single Hung Window that opens by raising the lower half with the top sash fixed in place. The bottom moves up to open and down to close. • Take up little space
• Ideal for installing next to patios or
• Frames can be used to complement
  home décor
Double Hung Window that opens by raising the lower half or lowering the upper half. • Take up little space
• Ideal for installing next to patios or
• Frames can be used to complement
  home décor
Fixed, Geometric or Radius Stationary windows available in many shapes and sizes and cannot be opened. • Used for a variety of purposes from
  picture windows to small, decorative
• Can be utilized with other windows
  for design upgrades
• Do not provide ventilation
Sliding or Gliding A side-by-side pair of windows that slide sideways to open rather than opening outward or upward. • Offer a contemporary look
• Ideal for installation near outdoor living
Picture Large, square or rectangular fixed windows that cannot be opened, but add aesthetic value. • Provide ample light
• Allow for a wide viewing area
• Do not provide ventilation

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

Heat can pass through windows, whether it’s leaving your warm house to escape out into the cold winter air, or entering your home and making it stuffy on a hot summer day. Light passes through them as well, and though the light brightens rooms, it can fade furniture and carpeting.


It’s important when you're planning on window replacement or window repair to purchase energy-efficient windows. Windows with the ENERGY STAR approval will save money on heating and cooling costs, compared to units that do not have the rating.

Although the ratings used to determine energy efficiency vary depending upon climate, the two most important factors are U-value and solar heat gain coefficient, or SHGC.
U-value is a measure of how well a window prevents heat transfer. The lower the value, the more effective the window is at stopping heat from passing through.
SHGC measures how much heat from sunlight passes through windows. As with U-value, lower values indicate less heat is transmitted through the product.

• Double- and triple-pane windows are more efficient than single-pane windows and may reduce 
  outside noise
• Low-emissivity (or low-E) window coatings minimize the amount of heat loss and penetration of UV rays that 
  can fade furniture and rugs.
• Tinted windows and window shades help reduce fading as well.
• Make sure windows are properly sealed to prevent air from leaking through
• In new construction, position windows so they won’t be subjected to direct sunlight during the hottest parts of
  the day, particularly in warm climates 

Materials and Maintenance


Window frames may be made from a number of different materials..


Clad-wood windows are very common, as well as vinyl, aluminum and fiberglass. Wood can be painted and stained to match your decor. Vinyl is generally colored all the way through, meaning there's no need to paint. Scratches and nicks will be less evident. 


Both wood and vinyl are non-conductive and perform well in terms of efficiency. It's important to keep both frames and windows clean to maintain performance and keep a good appearance. Make sure your house is well ventilated to help prevent the buildup of condensation on windows.

It’s important to keep both frames and windows clean to maintain performance and keep up appearance. Make sure your house is well-ventilated to help prevent the buildup of condensation on windows.

• Use glass cleaners to remove spots from windows
• Avoid hitting windows with high-pressure streams of water, as they may break
• Some glass coatings help prevent spots and streaks to minimize cleaning
• Clean frames with cleansers that are only mildly abrasive, and make sure to test a small, inconspicuous spot 

 Window Accessories


Skylights and Roof Windows: In addition to conventional windows, another way to add light and create the appearance of space in your home is with the addition of a skylight or roof window.


Stained Glass

Stained Glass Window Film: If you want to add a unique element of beauty to your home, you may want to consider stained glass window film. The designs and patterns from which you can choose are many, allowing you to select a window that suits your décor and personal style.


Weather stripping

Weatherstripping: Weatherstripping is essential to maintaining a high level of energy efficiency. Make sure the windows you purchase include high-quality weatherstripping.


Screens Screens: Having the windows open when the weather is nice is great, but chasing bugs around the house with a fly swatter is not. Screens allow you to enjoy a refreshing spring breeze without having to worry about the buzz of insects interrupting your relaxation.
Storm window Storm Windows: Used in conjunction with existing windows, storm windows help increase energy efficiency. They are especially valuable in areas that experience extreme cold or hot climates. They also help negate the effects of wind and noise upon your home.

Installation Services

Look to The Home Depot professional window installation services to help make your home window installation projects easier. You can call 1-855-892-4401 to schedule your free in-home consultation.
We also provide professional home services with insured service providers to ensure that your projects are done right and on time. View our variety of home installation services and get started today.