Casement windows offer the best combination of energy efficiency, ease of cleaning, ventilation, style options and security than any other type of window. They are available as single, uninterrupted pane of glass for a contemporary look and with various grille designs for more traditional styles.
The defining characteristic of casement windows is that they swing open (like a door) by pivoting on a hinge or hinges that attach the window to the window frame. To be clear, casement window hinges on are the side of the window (windows with hinges on the top are called awning windows). Casement windows can be hinged on either the left or the right and are found as a single window, in pairs or paired with non-opening windows.
Some open outward and some open inward. The inward opening version is useful when there are shutters, grates or some other window treatment on the outside of the house. The windows are typically opened with a crank but other opening methods are also used.
Casement windows offer more ventilation than any other window type because entire window opens. A picture window with casement windows on either side is very popular configuration. The picture window provides great uninterrupted view but doesn’t open and the casement windows on the sides make up for it by letting in maximum air. An added bonus of outward opening setup is that when opened, the window itself acts as a deflector to funnel additional breezes into the window opening.
A casement window with similar construction and glass options will be more energy efficient than a single hung, double hung or sliding window from the same manufacturer. The crank and locking mechanisms allows for a tighter seal than most other types of windows. Once cranked all the way closed, the locking lever then pulls the window even tighter against the seal creating a very effective water and air seal. Additionally, other windows often have mechanisms that allow them to be removed or tilted for easy cleaning and these mechanisms often create challenges to allow the windows to close extra tightly.
Casement windows are suitable for new construction or for remodels. One thing to keep in mind is that you need room (either on the inside or outside) to open. You generally need a clear space the width of the window (the pivot point is on the side the window opens to and pushes the window out a bit). This makes them a poor choice for windows that open out to a porch, patio or walkway. Inward opening models are not that common for a couple reasons. Aside from being a little odd (having a windows open inward), it makes it harder operate the crank and you loose the advantage or the window sticking out acting as a funnel to direct more air flow into the home.
If a casement window opens outward the screens will be on the inside. This can be a good or bad depending on your situation. Because they are on the inside the screens will not get as dirty and will need less cleaning. However, because they can be more easily damaged by pets or children.
Casement windows are one the most secure types of windows and many don’t even have a separate lock as the only way to open them is by operating the crank. Push out windows are becoming more popular for their clean look but they are not as secure as crank casement windows. Push out windows open by pushing out and lock with a lever instead of a crank – a friction hinge keeps them from swinging in the wind.
Modern casement windows are one of the easiest windows to clean. Their opening mechanism allows them to swing inward so the exterior glass be cleaned easily from the inside.
Casement windows – style options
A wide variety of construction materials (vinyl, wood, aluminum and composite) and glass options (dual pane, low-E, argon gas, etc.) are available and many are Energy Star Qualified. Lots of grille options (divided lite look) are available including no grilles, removable grilles and grilles sealed between the panes of glass.
Casement windows cost
Another positive of casement windows is that they generally cost less than a comparably sized single or double hung window from the same manufacturer with similar specifications. The reduced cost is attributable to fewer moving parts.