Homeowners can be excused for thinking that casement windows are less efficient than sliding windows. A standard sliding windows moves up and down in its frame, whereas a casement window pivots outward along a vertical or horizontal hinge. Opening the window outward exposes a much greater area that can allow leakage of warmed or cooled air. Yet the overall efficiency of casement windows is not determined when the window is open, but is instead measured when the window is closed securely in its frame. The tight closure of a good-quality casement window can create a very efficient seal.
In order to slide up and down, the seal on a standard double hung window needs to be more flexible. A very tight seal on a standard window would make it almost impossible to open or close. This does not mean that double hung windows are inefficient or less efficient than casements. Rather, the looser seal on a double hung window should be considered for comparison to better understand the energy efficiency of a casement window.
The seal on a casement window can be manufactured to be very tight because the window itself is not sliding within that seal.The window tucks right into the frame with little or no horizontal or vertical travel. With good hardware, the window locks into the frame and creates a solid barrier between interior and exterior spaces.
Modern higher-quality casement windows are also manufactured with materials and techniques that enhance their energy efficiency. Casements are now available with double and triple-pane glass that are sealed with an inert gas (typically argon or krypton) between the panes. The glass panes themselves can be coated with materials that reflect warmed or cooled air back into interior spaces. Those coatings have no effect on a homeowner’s view out of the casement windows. Manufacturers of casement windows are also using combinations of frame materials, including wood, vinyl, aluminum, and composites, that add to the overall efficiency of the windows.
Casement windows can provide other advantages beyond energy efficiency. Because they can generally be opened wider than standard double-hung sliding windows, casements are ideal for better emergency ingress or egress to or from a house. This can be a critical consideration for building code compliance. A homeowner who might prefer to maintain the overall appearance of his house with standard double hung windows, but who is required to install casement windows for building code compliance can now get casement windows that are made to look like sliding double hung windows. This gives the homeowner the best of energy efficiency, appearance, safety, and code compliance.
Lastly, casement windows are an ideal choice for areas in a house where access to a window might be limited by countertops or other structures. Rather than leaning over the counter at awkward angles to open and close a window, a homeowner can simply turn a crank.
Advantage Window & Door Company in Columbus, Ohio, carries casement windows from a number of the top window manufacturers in the United States. We can analyze your home to determine if casement windows are a good choice for performance and energy efficiency, and we can recommend the best product to satisfy your aesthetic preferences and budget.
If you have questions about installing casements or any other type of window in your central or southern Ohio home, please contact our support staff at 614-532-4693 to schedule a consultation.