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What are Awning Windows? Breaking Down What Homeowners Need to Know

| September 1, 2021


What are awning windows? Get to know window designs around the home

Recently, we put together a visual guide to the casement window, which is arguably the most popular type of window design on the market today. We did it to help you understand how they work, why they are so popular, and what makes one design better than another. But in order to gain a more complete understanding of the windows around your home, and why certain styles work better for different applications, it helps to dig deep into other common designs as well. With that, let’s have a look at what awning windows are, how much they cost, and what to look for when replacing or installing new units.

awning window

To start, what are awning windows?

As their name suggests, awning windows open partially outward from the bottom, enabling ventilation. Depending on the window’s hardware, awning windows will open by means of a roto-gear and crank or a simple push-out lever. Awning windows close by sealing the sash (the moveable part of the window) against the frame, which helps to create an airtight compression seal.

Awning windows can typically be made up to 50” (approximately 4 feet) wide, whereas most single casement windows max out at 3 feet wide. This makes them a great option for homeowners that want large glass surfaces without the mullions (vertical or horizontal elements of a window frame that form a division between the different glass units) typically found on double or triple casement windows.

When should I replace my awning windows?

Aging, faulty, leaky, improperly sealed windows can be a major source of unnecessary heat loss, high home energy consumption, cold drafts, and issues with condensation. In fact, windows can account for up to 25 percent of the total heat loss for a home. It’s important to keep an eye on your windows and ask yourself:

If you answered yes to any one of these questions, it’s time to replace your windows.

How much do awning windows cost?

Committing to quality replacement windows is a significant investment, but it’s one worth making. Investing in quality now can mean saving time, money, and energy in the long run.

Comparing the Cost of Awning Windows to Other Common Designs

Type of WindowPoor QualityLow QualityHigh Quality
Awning Window$500 - $700$700 - $1000
$1200 - $2100
Single Casement$300-$700$600-900$1300 - $2000
Double Casement$600 - $1200
Single Hung$300 - $600$700 - $1000$800 - $1600
Double Hung $400 - $900$600 - $1300$1100 - $2080
Single Slider$300 - $700$800 - $1000
$800 - $1600
Double Slider$400 - $800$600 - $1400$1040 - $2080

What are the parts of an awning window?

The Frame: The frame is the structure that both surrounds and supports the entire window unit. A frame’s components can vary depending on the type of window being installed.

The Glazing: This term refers to the cut piece of glass that fills the window frame. If a window has one pane of glass, it is a single-glazed window; if it has two panes, it is double-glazed; three panes, triple-glazed. Most domestic windows on the market are either double-glazed or triple-glazed.

The Sash: The moveable panel that holds the glass and the framework of the glass firmly locked in place. When you open an awning window, this is the part that actually swings outward from the bottom.

The Casing: The decorative mold that goes around the window frame on the inside of the home.

The Sill: The horizontal section that forms the bottom of the window frame.

The Jamb: A vertical section that connects to the interior of the window frame.

The Head: The horizontal section that forms the top of the window frame.

Multi-Point Locks: The locking system that holds the window sash in place in multiple parts along the frame when it is closed.

Locking Handles/Levers: These handles or levers release the locking mechanisms, allowing the window to push out and open.

Roto-Gear and Crank: An alternative to the push-out system, these hardware pieces facilitate the window’s opening via the turning of a crank.

The Hinges: The components of the awning window that secure the sash to the window frame (jamb), allowing the window to swing outward and inward.

awning windows

Awning windows and energy efficiency

Now that we have an understanding of the various awning window parts, let’s zoom in a little further to understand how frame and glass come together to create an efficient window that helps keep your home insulated.

What makes up an insulated glass unit?

what are awning windows

Low Emissivity (Low-E) Coated Window Glass: This transparent, incredibly thin coating helps the window reflect unwanted solar heat, allowing homes to cool more efficiently in warmer temperatures. It also reflects the radiant heat emitted by objects inside the home (such as an HVAC unit) back into the home. This helps reduce heat loss during the colder months.

Krypton & Argon Gas Fills: Gas fills are an essential step in creating an insulated glass unit. Manufacturers fill the space between the glass units with gases like krypton or argon. Why not just air? These heavier noble gases can better impede the transfer of heat through a window.

Warm-Edge Spacers: These seals insulate the edges of the glass unit and keep the glass panes firmly apart from each other. Warm-edge spacers are essential to a window’s ability to remain energy efficient over the long term. For the best performance, be sure to inquire about duralight soft edge spacers. These are made of 4-layer material that naturally expands and contracts with any movement of the unit. This makes seal failure virtually impossible.

For More Information on Energy-Efficient Windows, Consult Our Guide Here!

Is vinyl the best window frame material for awning windows?

From wood, fiberglass, and composite materials to aluminum and vinyl PVC, window frames are made from a variety of materials. But when it comes to replacement windows, vinyl PVC is by far the most popular frame material on the market. Why?

  1. It’s a cheap, synthetic material with a very low thermal conductivity that makes it very energy efficient.
  2. These frames are a combination of different plasticizers, pigments, and chemicals with hollow chambers that allegedly make for a lighter, more flexible product.
  3. It’s a frame material that allows manufacturers to weld the corners to create a perfect seal.

The problem, however, is that vinyl is not a particularly strong or durable material on its own. In fact, it completely lacks structural integrity.

what are awning windows?

While they are certainly a cheaper option, they are ultimately a poor investment. Over the long run, these frames will expand, contract and often become damaged, resulting in another window replacement venture. The main reason why homeowners replace their windows is that the hollow vinyl frames have failed or lost their seal. With that in mind, it begs the question: why replace one flawed window design with a newer version of the same thing?

Hybrid Fusion Frames®: Aluminum, Steel and Highly-Efficient Vinyl U-PVC

We’ve established that vinyl frames are efficient, yet lack strength and durability. The solution, then, is to combine this material with a strong support system to create a window frame that ticks all the boxes. In combining aluminum and vinyl PVC — along with the added strength of galvanized steel — Hybrid Fusion Frames are both extremely strong and highly efficient. Because of the added strength, these frames can have a slim, stylish profile that places visual emphasis on the window’s glass and the outdoors beyond.

Fixed screens vs. retractable screens for awning windows

Like many other operable window systems, awning windows can come with fixed insect screens. While these fixed screens can seem benign, they can actually block up to 50% of the natural light that streams into your home via windows. Plus, these models will accumulate dirt, dust, and other allergens over time. That said, insect screens can come in handy.

The solution? Retractable insect screens give you complete control over when, where, and to what extent your screens are in use. With a 50% improvement in Visible Transmittance — a metric that gauges how much natural light enters your home via a window — the difference between fixed and retractable screens is a hard one to ignore!

There is also the option to add retractable solar screens and blackout blinds to your awning windows. These retractable models allow for a cleaner, less cluttered look while retaining all the heat-saving and privacy benefits.

Want to learn more about replacing or installing awning windows? Contact us today!

Replacing or installing windows can be a stressful process. For homeowners, having the right knowledge — from cost and energy efficiency information to understanding the materials used and added features — can make all the difference. Not only will the process go smoother, you’ll also end up with a better product that you can count on for years to come.

If you’re looking for more information about awning windows, or more general guidance on window replacement, we are ready to help! Book a free, no-hassle consultation today with one of our representatives. We will walk you through the replacement process, answer any questions you may have, and introduce you to our innovative product line.



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