While tilt and turn windows have been popular in Europe for decades, they are only now beginning to enter into the North American market. These European windows use an entirely different mechanism to open and close compared to traditional windows. A hinge on the bottom allows the window to be tilted inward, and a hinge on the side allows the window to swing open towards the inside like a door. When the window is closed, a locking mechanism secures the hinges firmly in place so that it cannot be opened easily from the inside.
This novel method of opening and closing the window allows you to control exactly how much air to let inside your home, and opening the window towards the inside from its side hinge allows you to easily clean it. One of the best features of a tilt and turn window is that its design increases energy efficiency, and replacing your home's windows with these European windows can substantially save you money on your home's energy bills. Here are three reasons why.
1. Provides a Tighter Seal Against Outside Air Than a Double-Hung Window
A tilt and turn window improves energy efficiency because the window fits more snugly in its frame compared to traditional double-hung windows. In order to open and close a double-hung window, you need to move the bottom sash up and down on its track in the frame. There needs to be a tiny gap between the sash and the frame in order to allow for movement — if the sash was perfectly snug against the frame, you would be completely unable to move it. While the gap between a double-hung window's sash and frame is small, it provides a place for outside air to leak in. This makes them less energy efficient compared to a European tilt and turn window, as a tilt and turn window fits securely in its frame when it is locked.
2. Features Energy-Efficient Vinyl Frames
European tilt and turn windows frames are most often constructed from unplasticized polyvinyl chloride (uPVC), which is a type of vinyl frame that acts as an excellent insulator compared to aluminum or steel window frames. Metal window frames act as conductors rather than insulators, which means that they will transfer some of the heat energy from sunlight and the hot outside air into the interior of your home. This can substantially increase your cooling costs during warmer months. Vinyl acts as an insulator, so it blocks outside temperatures from being transferred inside your home. uPVC frames are sometimes reinforced with steel or aluminum girders that provide them with extra strength and stability, but this does not reduce energy efficiency since the metal is covered in an insulating layer of vinyl.
3. Offers More Security, Allowing You to Freely Leave Your Windows Open
When the weather outside is cool, you can save on energy costs by opening your windows instead of running your air conditioner. However, there are several concerns that you may have with leaving traditional double-hung windows open. For example, you may be worried about burglars using the open window to break into your home, or you may be worried about your pets escaping through the open window.
Tilt and turn windows offer more security than double-hung windows because of the way that the bottom hinge works — the window tilts inwards at an angle, leaving a gap that allows air to flow freely inside your home while not allowing burglars or pets to pass through the window. When you replace your windows with European tilt and turn windows, you can rest easier about leaving them open and allowing a cool breeze to circulate through the inside of your home.
Overall, replacing your home's windows with European tilt and turn windows will make them easier to clean, provide more security and increase your home's energy efficiency. Since tilt and turn windows are new to the North American market, you may have difficulty finding them in your area. For the best selection, it's best to look for European windows online — you can have them shipped to you and then install them yourself or have them installed by a professional window contractor.