Every specialized field has their own vocabulary and the door and window industry is no exception. During my sales presentation I talk about things like U-Factor, low-E, DP rating, etc., and it is a foreign language to my clients. I believe translating our language for my clients is essential to the sales process.

An educated consumer is my best friend. When I can translate our language, I can educate the homeowner as to how they might benefit by choosing my products. My clients can be confident they made the right choice based upon their knowledge. They are more likely to be satisfied with their purchase. They understand why a product is more expensive when they understand how it is better. They can make better comparisons with better understanding of our baffling language. When the consumer understands our language, I sell more and for higher profit.

In order to translate our language to clients so they can choose wisely, I need to have a thorough grasp of our language – including our funny habit of using initials to identify some of our industry’s most important organizations, measurements and rating systems.

In my last blog, I made a list of examples where we are more likely to use initials than words in the window and door industry. I called it a Window and Door Word Puzzle. Just in case I stumped you, here are the words that go with the letters of the Window and Door Industry Alphabet I provided in my last blog:


AAMA – American Architectural Manufacturers Association

ABC – Always Be Closing

AIA – American Institute of Architects

ASCE – American Society of Civil Engineers

ASTM – American Society for Testing and Materials


BBB – Better Business Bureau


CRF – Condensation Resistance Factor


DOE – Department of Energy

DP Rating – Design Pressure Rating

DH – Double Hung

DWM – Door & Window Manufacturer Magazine, of course!


EPA – Environmental Protection Agency

EREN – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network


FMA – Fenestration Manufacturers Association


GBG – Grids Between Glass


HUD – Housing and Urban Development


IBC – International Building Code

ICC – International Code Council

IGU – Insulated Glass Unit

IRS – Internal Revenue Service




Kr – Chemical element symbol for Krypton Gas


LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

LoE – Low Emissivity


MMPA – Moulding & Millwork Producers Association


NAHB – National Association of Home Builders

NARI – National Association of the Remodeling Industry

NFRC – National Fenestration Rating Council

NGA – National Glass Association

NSA – National Sunroom Association


OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration


PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride


Q-lon – Door weatherstripping manufactured by Schlegel


RESNET – Residential Energy Performance Network

R-Value – Measures insulation value

RRP – Renovation, Repair and Paint (lead paint rule)


SGCC – Safety Glazing Certification Council

SHGC – Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

STDL – Simulated True Divided Lites


T-mull – T-shaped mullion used to join multiple fenestration units


U-Factor – The inverse of R-Value

UFI – United Frame Inches

USGBC – United States Green Building Council


VI – The Vinyl Institute

VT – Visible Light Transmittance


WDDA – Window and Door Dealers Alliance

WDMA – Window and Door Manufacturers Association


XO – Left handed sliding door viewed from outside looking in (X is the operating panel and O is the fixed panel)






  1. Mark, yes, we’ve long been an industry of acronyms, as I suspect most industries are.

    But to your first point regarding U-Values, DP ratings and Low-e… the focal points of builders, remodelers and consumers at least since the 30/30 legislation of 2009. There has been so much confusion over the various thermal ratings as well as structural ratings, and how these various performance criteria often work at cross purposes to each other, that we produced a no-spin educational piece that breaks down for the lay person what the various tests actually test for so that they can make an educated decision.

    As you so correctly pointed out, “an educated consumer is my best friend.” (That piece is available for download on our website, or can be emailed electronically (PDF version).

  2. Being a window geek, I immediately went to your site – http://www.matthewsbrothers.com – and downloaded your “Whole Window Performance” pdf from your resources section. I am very impressed. This is an excellent piece of information. It does a great job of educating clients so they can make better decisions when they purchase new windows. I
    also love your quote from Plato, “A good decision is based on knowledge, not numbers”… Hard to believe he said that something like 2500 years ago, but it is still true today. Great job!

  3. Everybody in the window business should check out the great info on the Matthews Brothers Website… You’ve got to love a guy who says:

    “Ever since the first caveman decided to punch the first hole in the first wall of the first cave in order to create the first window, architects, builders and homeowners have been struggling with balancing the dual purposes of windows. When you think about it, windows have two basic functions: allow light into the home and keep everything else – rain, wind, bad guys – out”…

    Very cool stuff… No wonder Matthews Brothers is America’s oldest window manufacturer. Thanks for putting up a great website….

  4. Thanks for the kind words, Mark. Excuse me if I point out that you have made the same error 99.95% of the population makes… Mathews Brothers is spelled with one “t”. Trust me… it’s such a common error that it has become the tag line on our radio spots, which can be heard on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/mathewsbrothers

    For those readers who need our correct website, it’s http://www.mathewsbrothers.com

    Like the ad says, “Mathews Brothers, with one “t”… America’s Oldest Window Manufacturer

  5. Oh, you have to scroll down to hear all six… we’re on our second rotation of three spots, and will be rolling out our third rotation after Labor Day. “Like Us” on Facebook, and you’ll be notified when the new spots are posted.

  6. I’m more than happy to discover this website. I wanted to thank you for your time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it and i also have you book marked to look at new things on your website.

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