Choosing the right option for your bathroom window shouldn’t be difficult if you know what’s best for the energy efficiency of your home. Although bathrooms aren’t always a room where serious energy efficiency is required from your windows, there are still several reasons why you should consider getting a well-performing unit. Besides good energy efficiency, it is also important that your new bathroom windows can ventilate the bathroom and offer some privacy while allowing natural light in.
What you need to know when buying bathroom window
Bathrooms and showers are an area of increased humidity in your home. All the moisture that accumulates in the air when you run a shower or bath needs a place to escape. This is why it is important to have at least one window in your bathroom that opens. Installing operable windows will help you rely less on the fan or extractor. By ventilating your bathroom for just 15-20 minutes you can significantly reduce the humidity levels in the air and prevent moisture damage to your home in the long run. One of the biggest risks associated with poor ventilation is the growth and spread of mold on windows, surrounding walls, and around the bathtub. Mold grows in warm, very humid environments. If left untreated it can spread and in some cases lead to respiratory problems, not to mention the destruction of your walls. Properly ventilated spaces are much better resisting mold.
The increased humidity level also dictates a need to get more efficient windows for bathrooms with bathtubs or showers. Where the humidity in the air is high, the dew point (the point at which water turns into condensation) will also be higher. That’s why you want efficient windows that will have the warmest possible glass surface on the inside of the home. The colder the glass surface, the faster your windows will get condensation. If left on windows condensation can freeze and leave your windows stuck, preventing you from properly ventilating your bathroom and resulting in more ice on windows. It’s a cycle that can have bad consequences on your home.
All of these factors determine that the best windows for your bathrooms have to be operable and offer superior energy efficiency.
Crank Windows For Bathrooms (Casement and Awning)
When it comes to energy-efficiency performance, crank windows are the best option. Unlike sliders which have weatherstripping, these windows have a compression seal around the part where moving sash meets the frame. The compression seal creates an airtight unit when the window is closed and allows for minimal heat loss. Although crank windows are more efficient, they can also cost up to 15-20% than sliders.
Crank windows can come in the casement or awning style. Casement windows are usually used in vertical openings and have a hinge on the side of the window. These windows are popular for use in bedrooms and other rooms, but many people still opt to put them in their bathroom.
But awning windows are better suited for use in bathrooms. Awnings have a hinge on the top side of the frame, and the bottom of the sash opens away from the frame. A big plus of this design is that an awning window can be left open in any weather. In the open position, the sash allows air to pass through while blocking our rain or snow.
Another benefit of using awning windows over casements in a bathroom is that when these windows are used with privacy glass, the window still conceals the inside view when it is open. Because casement windows open to the side, the privacy is lost once the window is opened.
A more decorative solution for awning windows is to use them in a combination with a “fixed” (inoperable) window. The picture below has a shaped window on top of the awning. Combining awnings with a fixed window can help increase the energy efficiency of the unit while maintaining the operational functions to properly ventilate the bathroom.
Although they are not efficient as awnings or casements, slider windows are still a good choice for a window replacement in the bathroom. These windows cost less than cranks, but still offer decent energy efficiency and the ability to open your window to ventilate the bathroom. As we mentioned above, slider windows rely on weatherstripping to fill the space between the sashes. These areas can be especially prone to freezing during cold temperatures. If you do want slider windows in the bathroom, you may want to consider some additional upgrades like Low-E coatings or ETI foam to improve their efficiency and reduce the possibility of ice build-up when temperatures drop below -20.
Multiple Windows in the Bathroom
As we mentioned above, the main function of bathroom windows is to be able to ventilate the area while providing acceptable levels of comfort and energy efficiency. That is why in bathrooms with multiple windows, it is important to have at least one window that will open to allow airflow. Check out some examples of projects our customers decided to do.
As you probably noticed, many pictures in the post feature privacy glass. Privacy glass is exactly what it sounds like-patterned to prevent visibility but allow light to pass through.
When considering privacy glass for bathroom windows, keep in mind that different designs allow different amounts of light through. A project consultant will be able to suggest a solution that fits the amount of natural and artificial light in your bathroom. Below is an example of all privacy glass options that Ecoline Windows offers.
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