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Hopper vs Awning Windows: What’s the Difference?

You’re in the hunt for a window for a small space but you aren’t sure which is right for you: an awning window or a hopper window.  Do you know the real difference between these two types of windows?

They may look the same when closed shut, but their differences are stark.

hopper vs awning windows

What’s an Awning Window?

You have likely seen an awning window plenty of times before as this style of the window made its debut before air conditioning came to the rescue in our modern age.

An awning window was originally designed to introduce more airflow into a home because, without air conditioning units, a home’s interior quickly became stuffy and far too hot for the liking of its occupants.

The design of an awning window allows the window to open outward to allow a welcome breeze to flood into the home.  Usually, awning windows will be hinge mounted on the top, and also have some type of crank or mechanism used to allow the window to hold open securely, otherwise, the window would slam shut.

The original design of awning windows was much more simplistic than the modernized versions you see today.  Hundreds of years ago, the composition of an awning window was simply held in its opened position with a stick.

Their functionality and aesthetics are derived from a fabric awning, which has a long history of use dating back to the ancient world.  The ancient Egyptians were the first to utilize these fabric awnings, shading their market stalls and homes from the hot sun and adverse weather.

As you can see from their similarity in looks, the awning window takes its operation and style directly from the ancient origins of a fabric awning.  Some ideas begin with greatness and in cases like the awning window, it’s our new technology that improves upon them.

What Are the Advantages of an Awning Window?

The reason why awning windows have held their popularity for so long is because of their versatile function and ventilation advantages.  What could be better than having a window that’s small enough to prevent unwelcomed critters and security threats sneaking through but still allow a cool breeze to pass through the house?

And for that exact rationale, awning windows have prevailed through time.

As we’ve already discussed, awning windows can thank the ancient Egyptians for their original design, yet another invention from the ancient times that has lasted through a centuries’ worth of changes.

Just like the wheel, there’s only so much improvement that can be compounded upon a perfect, simplistically ideal design.

The shape of an awning window allows homeowners to open it outward even during a light drizzle, without moisture seeping into the home and wreaking havoc on structural integrity, just like the days of the Egyptians setting up awnings above market stalls to shade away from the sun or drops of rain on a dreary day.

What’s a Hopper Window?

Take a great idea and run with it—and you’ll end up with a hopper window!  A hopper window is essentially the opposite of an awning window, and when you flip the design, you get a whole new set of perks.  Sure, you’ve probably seen plenty of hopper windows in your day, but a hundred years ago, hopper windows were new on the market—an invention for the “modern” era.

The 19th century was host to a slew of inventions that would change the course of human history, and while a hopper window was invented during this time, we aren’t saying that it matched the significance of the automobile or anything, but its purpose was because of automobiles hitting the streets.

You see, hopper windows shielded homes from the dust kicked up by these brand new automobiles breezing by on dirt roads (paved roads were still a luxury for most towns), and the horses and carriages behind them didn’t help, either.

The hopper window was an early iteration of people adapting to this fast change in society.  Ventilation was needed in homes because central air wasn’t quite an idea yet, but the dust needed to be kept out.

The anatomy of a hopper window has the hinge at the bottom to allow the window to tilt inward—the antithesis of its counterpart, the awning window. These windows are great for small spaces that require ventilation but need the extra security, and where an awning window will tilt outward, the hopper tilts inward, making it ideal for any safety concerns.

hopper windows inside a basement

The Advantages of a Hopper Window

Because they were originally invented to prevent debris and dirt from finding they’re way into homes, hopper windows are excellent at acting as a barrier against unwanted contaminants while still letting air vent through the home.

This is thanks to its bottom hinge, allowing the window to be secured, tilting inward for just enough of an opening but not large enough for debris to pass through.

Similar to awning windows, hopper windows are excellent space-savers.  Many homeowners choose to install them in bathrooms and basements, areas that can’t fit full windows but still require ventilation and light.

Hopper windows function best when installed higher up on the wall, which is why you’ll see this style of window in basements.

Hopper windows are installed in areas where privacy and security are most valued.  Bathrooms, again, are great homes to hopper windows because the style is small enough to allow privacy and a feeling of enclosure, but let in natural light through a small opening to ensure a nice draft and deliver a sense of security.

Hopper vs Awning Windows: The Run Down

Both styles of windows excel in areas that are tightly spaced but still require natural light and the ability to allow an occasional breeze.  Awning and hopper windows are a nice compromise for these small areas in a home that want more light but cannot afford to sacrifice the wall space for a regular sized window.

The best part about both hopper and awning windows is that these styles are extremely energy efficient.  You only have one pane to worry about and when they are not in use, they have a lock that allows for an airtight seal.

Because of their security features, many modern hopper and awning windows are manufactured with thicker glass, making them more difficult to break, and subsequently providing efficient and energy conscious window glass.

There aren’t too many disadvantages to awning and hopper windows because of their inoffensive size and palatable features of slight openings.  If anything, these types of windows tend to collect more dirt and debris than regular paned windows because of their bottom or top hinge.

The angle of their opening is a bit like a trap for dirt, but alternatively, they keep everything out of the interior of your home.  There may also be a consideration for the space hopper and awning windows will occupy when opened, but for most homeowners, this typically is not enough to be of real concern.

Both windows are a smart choice for any small room or basement in your home.  With their energy efficiency and ability to ventilate, you can’t go wrong with a hopper or awning window style.

Trustworthy Window Replacement

Your awning windows and hopper windows will not look the same if they are poorly installed into the opening. You will lose out on energy efficiency and it will cost you a lot of money to keep your home warm during the winter and cool in the summer. At times like these, you’ll want to go with a trustworthy brand like Feldco. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.

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