All About Operable Windows

Are you trying to make a decision between operable windows and fixed windows? This dilemma plagues plenty of property owners who aren’t really sure what’s best for their home.

operable windows

Arguments exist for the installation of these windows, as well as against them. Knowing what you can expect from operable windows is a great starting point to deciding whether they’re the right addition to a new property or your latest remodel.

Types of Operable Windows

You can choose from a variety of operable windows that could be perfect for your property. Consider all of the options available to fit every budget:

  • Double hung windows: double hung windows  have two operable sashes that move up and own. They’re very easy to clean thanks to the tilt latches found on top of each sash
  • Slider windows: slider windows tend to be much larger than many of the other options included in residential properties, but they’re low maintenance and energy efficient
  • Awning windows: awning windows have a unique top hinge that allows for a completely open window with a lot of ventilation and can result in fewer break-ins
  • Hopper windows: hopper windows are the opposite of awning windows – they’re hinged at the bottom and open into your home. They’re perfect for basements
  • Casement windows: Casement windows give you a clear view of the outside and allow for a fully open window by opening on a hinge

Each window style has a unique advantage over the others. Deciding which windows are the right choice for your property requires a lot of research in and of itself.

However, there are a few things that all of these styles have in common. Mainly, each style is fully operable and allows you to open the window to let in outdoor air. As a result of this resemblance, all of these operable windows will have similar benefits.

What Are the Benefits of Operable Windows?

Before you commit to installing operable windows, you should be aware that there are many inherent benefits for your wallet and your health. These are the major reasons why many property owners ultimately select operable windows to complete their renovations and constructions. Not only are operable windows practical, but they also have a major advantage over their inoperable counterparts.

Potential to Reduce Heating and Cooling Costs

The primary benefit of operable windows should seem relatively obvious. You can open them to allow fresh air into the room and potentially decrease the need for external heating and cooling during certain seasons.

Breezes can blow in and out of the building, eliminating the need for traditional HVAC work. Not only does this lower your monthly electric bill, but it can also reduce wear and tear on the HVAC system and lead to a reduced number of expensive future repairs.

Even during the prime seasons for operating the HVAC system, your operable windows may be better equipped to lower the cost. These newer windows can be constructed with upgraded materials including new weather stripping, insulated panes, and other key features. With better seals in place, operable windows can still provide better efficiency than older windows that might currently be installed on the property.

Increase Ventilation

Opening the windows also helps to increase the ventilation in a particular area which can be helpful in homes or businesses that are exposed to a lot of chemicals. It’s a known fact that the air pollution inside our buildings tends to be two to five times higher than that found outdoors.

Many people continue to be shocked by the fact that our outdoor air pollution isn’t nearly as bad as we once imagined. However, we’ve replaced this issue with an even greater pollution level found indoors where we spend the vast majority of our time.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

You can have improved indoor air quality with the simple addition of operable windows. This can lead to a reduction in allergy symptoms and cold-like symptoms that previously plagued you. How can you tell if these symptoms could be related to your air quality? If they disappear when you walk outdoors or leave the building, it’s a pretty clear indicator that you might need cleaner air in your home or workspace.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Operable Windows?

With all of the proposed benefits that come with operable windows, it seems like there could be very few disadvantages. Many of these disadvantages could be easily avoided with a few advance preparations and a little mindfulness. However, they should still be factored into a decision about whether these windows could be right for your property.

May Cause Higher HVAC Costs

Most people would have the forethought to turn off their HVAC system prior to opening the windows. Once the HVAC system is turned off, the potential breeze and airflow generated by an open window can definitely cool down the interior of a building.

Unfortunately, not everyone thinks to turn off the heating and cooling prior to opening their new operable windows. By forgetting this essential step, you’re releasing the manufactured air into the great outdoors and forcing your HVAC system to work harder.

Without turning off the air conditioning or heating, you could see bills increased by thirty percent. You may also see the need for more intensive repairs caused by the additional wear and tear on the units.

May Need HVAC Zoning to Save Electricity

If you don’t think that the operable windows are going to be able to cool down the entire property while the HVAC system is turned off, you may need to install various zones. This allows you to turn off the HVAC unit in areas with the operable windows while allowing it to run in other areas with less exposure to the breeze. Installing zones can be an expensive initial investment, but it may yield greater savings over a long period of time.

Operable Windows Are a Great Option for Your Home

Selecting the right windows for your property starts with understanding all of the inherent advantages and disadvantages of the different types. Operable windows are one of the most popular options because most people are familiar with them. Almost every home and business will have some windows that can be opened to the outside world.

a home with many operable windows

In fact, most homes could really benefit from having operable windows due to the increased safety factor. Particularly in residential properties, operable windows are essential in bedrooms and main living areas. They can be used as a secondary means of escape in the event of emergencies such as fires. Choosing operable windows is a good idea, no matter what type of property you might have.

You may also choose to install a mixture of operable and inoperable windows such as picture windows. This would give you a unique combination that accommodates all of your design preferences without sacrificing the benefits of operable styles. Consider what your goals are and how you hope the home will look when finished. This can help you to make the perfect decisions regarding which windows are best suited for the property.

Whether you’re looking for an operable or inoperable window, Feldco has you covered. Our double-pane, argon gas-filled, vinyl windows are energy efficient, durable and absolutely stunning. Get a free quote now and see why over 400,000 homeowners have trusted us with their home improvement projects.

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