Before choosing windows for a new home or windows to replace your current units, you should be aware of your alternatives. Depending on the manufacturer, each of these styles is available in wood, plastic, aluminum, and combinations of those materials.
This article will discuss the different styles without regard to the material, hardware, or the windowpane.
A hung window is a vertical slider, whereby the inner window unit slides up and down in the frame. It gets its name because the window that moves is connected to weights via a rope. This is the most common window in older homes. Because of the way the window is designed there must be some clearance, even if it is small, to allow the window to slide in the vertical channels. Because of this necessary clearance, this window is the worst when it comes to air ingress.
Double Hung Window:
Very similar to the hung window with the exception that the upper window in the frame has the ability to move down. This allows for the escape of hot air through the upper window, while cool air enters the room. Because the top window must have clearance to slide in the window frame channels as well as the lower window, air ingress is worse than a hung window. If you are purchasing a double hung window, make sure that it is actually double hung and will open from bottom to top and top to bottom. Many retailers will call a simple hung window a double hung window.
A slider window moves horizontally within a frame. In some cases, both windows will slide in opposite directions. These windows have become very common for low-end housing, as they are inexpensive to manufacturer. However, because clearance is required between the window and the frame in order for the window to be able to slide there is always some air ingress.
A casement widow is usually hinged on one side and opens in the same manner as a door. Most casement windows use a crank mechanism of opening and closing which holds the window in almost any open position. Some casement windows use a pivot instead of a hinge and the window opens from a point approximately 25 % of the width of the window. Because of the mechanical cranking mechanism, the window can be closed very tightly against the elements. A well designed, casement window is the best defense against air ingress if you require a window that opens. The negative for casement windows is that screens must be placed on the inside of the window frame.
An awning window is a casement window that has been turned on its side with the hinges at the top. The advantage to this design is that the window can remain open during periods of light rainfall.
Definitely not as common as the awning window, this is a casement window that has been turned on its side with the hinges on the bottom. Its only advantage is that small pets cannot exit the window as easily as they can with a regular casement window or awning window.
Fixed or Picture Window:
These windows are fixed and do not open. They are usually part of a larger window arrangement that includes windows that open on the side or bottom of the fixed window.
A skylight is a window that may or may not open that is mounted on a flat or sloped roof.
For additional information on windows for your home or other renovation projects, including landscaping, visit Renovation Headquarters.