The Pros & Cons of Awning Windows
When building or renovating your home, selecting which type of windows you want to install takes a lot of research. There are many different options to choose from, and each of them comes with its own pros and cons.
In this informative article, we break down the pros and cons of awning windows. But before we get into the details, you need to know what awning windows are. Awning windows are different from other styles of windows because they are hinged at the top and open outward from the bottom. When an awning window is open, the glass creates a roof or awning-like covering, earning the window its name. Now let’s get into the pros and cons of awning windows.
Pros of Awning Windows
Privacy and Security
Due to the size, placement options, and method of opening, awning windows are much more comprehensive when it comes to providing privacy and security compared to other window types. Their low vertical height requirements means you can install them higher up on walls, making it more difficult for people to see inside, and discouraging potential intruders from attempting a difficult break-in. These attributes make them ideal for bathrooms and bedrooms.
Improved ventilation is one of the best aspects of awning windows. Because of their unique size and placement versatility, you can install awning windows to improve the ventilation in your home in various ways. During weather conditions like a rainstorm, you would likely keep other windows closed to prevent water from entering the building. But since awning windows open differently, you can keep them open, increasing airflow without letting rain in the opening.
In the summertime, when the weather is hot, you want windows to be placed higher on your walls to let out the hot air that rises. This is where the size and placement versatility gives awning windows an advantage.
Protection From Weather Damage
As we alluded to earlier, the nature of opening the windows from the bottom out creates a mini roof or awning over the window. This roof-like structure provides natural protection from external damage like corrosion and wear and tear from weathering.
Ease of Use
Most awning windows are opened using a standard or nested fold-down crank handle, although some use a sliding-handle mechanism instead. Either way, opening and closing the window is extremely easy to do. This makes awning windows a great option for placing them in areas where opening a traditional window might be more difficult, like behind your kitchen sink.
Generally, awning windows are less costly than other types of windows. Getting more bang for your buck is always an enticing benefit of awning windows.
Cons of Awning Windows
Awning windows offer many features and benefits, but we also need to consider their drawbacks to get the complete picture. Below are the cons of awning windows.
Difficult to Clean
Since awning windows open from the bottom out, the glass is awkwardly located when you try to get in there for cleaning. The open slant makes some areas hard to reach, making cleaning more frustrating and time-consuming than it is for other windows.
While the compact nature of awning windows gives you more opportunities for choosing where you want the window installed, the maximum size for them is limited. If you are looking to get as much natural light as possible with large windows, other window types are likely a better option.
They Can Get in the Way
When you open an awning window, the window sash will end up sticking out from the wall, taking up the space around the window. If you install the window in high-traffic areas, it’s not uncommon for people to accidentally walk into the protruding window. Possibly damaging the window or even causing personal injury.
Emergency Exit Limitations
Every home needs a fire escape plan. Unfortunately, awning windows aren’t optimal for emergency situations. The way they open, their size limitations, and their tendency to be placed higher up on walls make them effective at keeping intruders out, but the same logic applies to keeping you in. When installing awning windows, check your local building codes and regulations to ensure you’re compliant with all safety precautions.
Lynn Place is Vice President of Marketing for SolvChem Custom Packaging Division. She has 30 years of professional experience in the manufacturing industry and specializes in consumer packaged goods, new product development and strategic planning.