Madison Window Replacement

Window Replacement FAQs & Terms

Homeowners often have many questions about replacing their windows, and rightfully so. ClearView has compiled a list of commonly asked questions, as well as a list of terms and definitions to help you navigate the process. If you have any questions, or would like to schedule a free estimate, please contact us today.

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MAdison Window Specialists


Madison – Including Dane, Columbia, Dodge, Jefferson, Rock, Green, Iowa, and Sauk County for all products. Limited Sales & Installation in all of Wisconsin.

Option 1 (Your Home for a Detailed Final Estimate): Best to start by filling out our contact us form. We will come to your home and measure your windows. Then we will review options and styles of windows at your home or by email/phone afterwards depending on your specific building needs to finalize the details. Finally, we will get back to you with a detailed estimate for your new ClearView windows! This option is normally the best option for most of our customers.


Option 2 (Email/Phone for a Good Ball Park Estimate): Best to start by filling out our contact us form. I will talk with you first on the phone and then have you email any options or details that you would like to include about your window project. Please include your address, phone number, measurements and pictures from the outside and inside of at least one window in your email. Measuring from the inside of the trim to the inside of the trim horizontally and inside of the trim to inside of the trim or sill vertically will get you close to the correct measurement for initial estimate purposes. I would suggest sending pictures in a separate email from your original email in case they are too large to be sent by email, especially if you are emailing more than two pictures. The other option for your pictures and sometimes the easier one is to text them from your phone to (608) 226-9800. Please include your name and address in the text so we know they are your pictures. I would ultimately need to come to your home for the final detailed estimate, but we can normally get into a good ballpark estimate with this option with minimal disruption to your daily routine.

Contact us today to get started.

Windows can be responsible for unnecessary heat loss, high-energy consumption, cold drafts and may contribute to condensation problems within homes. Windows are the biggest single area of heat loss in the home.

Custom replacement windows give you the perfect fit, therefore existing siding and wood trim can remain and do not have to be replaced or modified when installing replacement windows. Conversely, stock windows are available only in standard sizes. If, for example, your window opening is larger than a standard size, you’re left with an opening around the perimeter of the window. This opening is often filled with sheet rock or molding and you are left with extra space to patch and paint. Custom replacement windows allow you to maximize your viewing area without jeopardizing the visual esthetics of your home.

  • When your windows are drafty
  • When your heating and cooling bills continue to rise
  • When your windows are difficult to open and close
  • When your windows won’t open at all
  • When your windows do not provide adequate security for your home and family
  • When your windows allow dust and dirt into your home
  • When your windows don’t block outside noise
  • When your windows appear foggy
  • When you have excessive condensation or icing on the inside of the window panes
  • When your windows are difficult to clean
  • When your windows cost you time and money in maintenance
  • When your windows rattle in the wind
  • When your house is always too cold in winter – or too hot in summer
  • When you are tired of painting your window exteriors or refinishing your interiors
  • When your windows look ugly to you
  • When your windows are falling apart or rotting
  • When your windows are molding

Yes. For the most part we prep, remove and install windows from inside the home, and the amount of time you’re actually without a window can be kept to a minimum to help reduce heat loss in the winter months. We prefer the thermostat to be turned down to 60°F during the day while we are working.

Yes, all of our products are easy to clean and operate. Our double hung windows have a state-of-the-art system tailor made for your custom window, making it one of the easiest operating windows. They easily tilt in for safer cleaning from the inside of your home. Slider windows glide along a track on wheels for ease of operation and lift out for cleaning. Our casement window has an effortless operator that opens the window to a 90 degree slide over position allowing for easy cleaning of the outside of the window from inside the home.

If you still have old leaky windows, the money you are losing every month would pay for new custom windows!

There are three ways you pay the price:

  • Infiltration – Wood sashes shrink in winter which ultimately opens gaps. In fact, just a very thin 1/16” gap around a window is like having a hole the size of a brick in your wall. How many brick-size holes do you have in your house?
  • Radiation – Heat naturally radiates to cold. In winter, the heat goes out. In summer, heat comes in. Radiation through window panes causes at least 21% of total energy loss. The result is that your furnace and air conditioner are working overtime, wasting hard-earned dollars!
  • Conduction – Conduction refers to the energy transfer from one material to another by direct contact.  These straight energy waves seek extreme temperatures. They can waste even more energy than infiltration and eat up your energy dollars without remorse.

Replacement window prices are determined by size, style and the labor involved in removing your old windows and installing your new ClearView Windows.

  • Cost– How much you pay for something.
  • Value– How much you get back in relation to that cost in terms of function and energy savings.

Think long-term about your investment in new windows and doors: you want a quality product that will last and provide years of enjoyment and performance, so the lowest price may not be the best choice. To realize a valuable return on investment, look for a product that will perform up to your expectations and add value to your home, and ultimately your quality of life.

No! They should increase the overall value of your home. In most cases, if your windows are outdated at the time of a sale, the Home Inspector will note that they have to be updated (replaced). In this instance the home buyer will look for discounts in the sale price to cover the cost of updating the windows.

Because custom windows are made to fit perfectly, they provide the best energy efficiency and can be installed much more easily and with very little mess. Also, because of the myriad of options available affecting appearance and efficiency, custom windows allow consumers to get exactly the windows they need and want.

Standard windows sometimes cost less in the beginning, but other expenses and factors, such as additional labor and disruption to the home, far outweigh the original savings. For example, installing stock windows often requires removal and reinstallation of siding on the exterior, and removal and reinstallation of interior trim.

If you select high-quality, energy-efficient windows, your windows will “pay back” your investment in savings realized with lower heating and cooling bills. Well engineered windows have been proven to lower home energy consumption. According to the Department of Energy, R-5 windows (windows with a U-Value of .20 or less) reduce average heat loss through windows by 30-40%.

Windows are one of the most important aspects of regulating home temperatures. Most windows in older homes were designed when energy was cheap and new energy efficient materials were unknown. Today’s newer energy efficient windows are designed with overall thermal efficiency in mind; keeping the heat in and the cold out. Typically, an older home can lose 30 to 40 percent of its energy through leaky, drafty windows and doors.

Energy efficient windows increase the comfort level in your home by reducing cold drafts and making a house feel warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. They help control condensation because the interior surfaces of energy-efficient windows stay warmer, allowing you to maintain a higher level of humidity without worrying about condensation on your windows. They also last longer because condensation can cause premature deterioration of windows, walls and finishes leading to high maintenance and replacement costs. (EPA: Moisture, Condensation & Humidity in Homes)

Most importantly, energy efficient windows save a lot of money. By minimizing air leakage and improving thermal performance of your windows, you could reduce heat loss through windows by up to 500% and reduce your energy costs by up to 40%.

Look for the NFRC Label (National Fenestration Rating Council) on the window or patio door. This label may show the U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain, Visible Light Transmittance, Condensation Resistance and Air Leakage values. Look under our Measuring Windows Efficiency Blog for more information.

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a nonprofit, public/private organization created by the window & door industry in 1989 due to the energy crises in the 1970s. It is composed of manufacturers, suppliers, researchers, architects/designers, code officials, utilities, and government agencies. The NFRC has developed a window energy rating system based on whole product performance.

The NFRC label provides the only reliable way to determine the window energy properties and to compare products. The NFRC label appears on all products certified to the NFRC standards and on all window and door products that are part of the ENERGY STAR™ program.

Window Replacement

Terms & Definitions


Air Chambers

Air Chambers are small spaces within the extruded sash and frame profiles that help to insulate and strengthen the window. Premium windows have insulated chambers.

Argon Gas

Argon gas is an inert, non-toxic, invisible, insulating blanket that replaces most of the air during the manufacturing process between two panes of glass.


Balance System

A balance system is a device for holding vertically sliding sashes in any position through the use of a spring or weight to counter balance the sash.

Bay Window vs. Bow Window

Bay Windows consist of three windows in a single frame. The center lite is always twice as wide as the sidelites. Generally, Bay Windows are a combination of fixed centers, and two operable flankers (casements or double hung windows). Bay Windows project out from the house wall at 9, 15, 30, 45 or 90 degrees.

Bow Windows consist of 3, 4, or 5 windows in a single frame. All of the windows are equal size, and are generally a combination of fixed centers and two operable flankers (casement or double hung windows.) Bow Windows project from the wall of the house at 9, 15, 30 and 45 degrees. Bow Windows are similar to Bay windows, but the Bow Window’s combination of windows has a more circular arch appearance.



Condensation is a natural occurrence on all windows and is caused by humidity, or invisible water vapor, present in the air. When this water vapor comes in contact with a surface that is cooler, the vapor turns into droplets of moisture.  Check out our Condensation & Humidity in Homes Blog to learn more about condensation.

ClearView windows have built-in features to keep the temperature of the glass as warm as possible and thus reduce condensation. Our insulated glass provides superior energy efficiency to reduce the potential for condensation. However, there is no such thing as a condensation-free window in high humidity conditions. Controlling the amount of moisture in your home is the most effective action you can take to avoid condensation.


Double Pane Glass

Two panes of glass in the frame create a thermal break. The space between panes normally is filled with Argon gas, keeping the glass warmer. (Double hung window approximately a .30 U-factor window with Argon gas & Low-E)


Energy Star

Energy Star™ is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Energy efficient choices can save families about a third on their energy bill with similar savings of greenhouse gas emissions, without sacrificing features, style or comfort.

Energy Star™ helps you make the energy efficient choice. If looking for new household products, look for ones that have earned the Energy Star™. They meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and the US Department of Energy.



Fusion-welding is the process of joining materials by melting them together with extreme heat, resulting in the materials bonding into one piece. Vinyl window sashes and frames are fusion welded.


Garden Window

90 degree Bay Window (Box Bay) that has a slanted glass roof with windows that open on each side. They are normally found over a kitchen sink and are used typically to grow plants.

Grids / Muntins

Grids are decorative, horizontal or vertical bars installed between the glass panes or on the outside to create the appearance of the sash being divided into smaller lites of glass


Insulating Glass

Insulating glass consists of two pieces of glass sealed to a spacer. This creates an insulated air space between the two pieces of glass (filled with either Argon or Krypton gas), resulting in better thermal performance. Insulated glass also reduces condensation while keeping the heat in during the winter, and heat out during the summer.


Krypton Gas

Krypton gas is an inert, odorless, colorless, tasteless, non-toxic gas that is denser than air. It is used to replace most of the air between the glass panes in an insulating glass unit to reduce temperature transfer and deter convection (heat transfer by currents that flow from a warm surface to a colder surface). Krypton is a better insulator than Argon gas.


Low-E Glass

Low-E (Emissivity) glass is treated with thin, virtually invisible, transparent coatings of various layers including metal oxide and silver. During the winter, Low-E glass allows the sun’s natural light and short-wave energy to freely pass through while reflecting long-wave heat energy back inside, keeping your home warmer. In the summer, Low-E glass reflects long-wave heat energy to the outside keeping your home cooler and, reduces the penetration of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, minimizing the fading of carpet, furniture and draperies.

Low-E Glass with Argon Gas

Added inside an insulating glass unit with Low-E Glass, Argon gas is an invisible, insulating blanket that replaces most of the air during the manufacturing process. With Low-E reflecting heat away, Argon gas buffers thermal transfer to enhance the performance of the entire glass unit.


Single Pane Glass

One pane of glass generally 1/8” thick. Doesn’t have any thermal break. (Double hung window approximately a 1.00 U-factor)


Tempered Safety Glass

Tempered Safety Glass is treated with high heat for strength. If tempered safety glass is broken, it will shatter into very small pieces instead of shards. It is 400 to 600% stronger than standard glass.

Thermal Break

Area that can slow the flow of heat or cold.

Triple Pane Glass

Three panes of glass often with Krypton gas in the space between panes. Krypton gas is used for thinner/smaller air spaces performing the same function as Argon gas with double panes. Krypton is a better insulator than Argon. (Double hung window approximately a .20 U-factor)


Window Sashes

A sash is the part of the window or door that contains the glass. Sashes can be made out of wood, vinyl, fiberglass or aluminum.