Many people confuse hopper windows with awning windows and casement windows because all three types are hinged, open into or out from a room, and do not slide or lift. A typical casement window hinges on either the left or right side and opens out while a French casement window consists of two panes with hinges on either side that open in the middle. An awning style casement window is hinged on the top and opens out from bottom up, creating an awning like appearance when it is open.
A hopper window, on the other hand, is hinged on the bottom and tilts open at the top so the entire window can be opened. It has a crank handle and a mechanism that holds the window in place, preventing it from slamming shut in the wind. The window screen attaches on the outside. People usually confuse awning windows with hopper windows. When either a hopper or awning window is positioned over a door, it is called a transom window.
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How Hopper Windows Work
Hopper windows are typically used in areas that require small openings, like basements and bathrooms, that also need as much ventilation as possible, for which a hopper window is ideally suited since, unlike windows that slide, it opens completely and requires a limited amount of space. The hopper window accommodates a full window screen because the window opens inward, away from the screen.
A hopper window is more effective at preventing air leakage than other standard window types because the sash presses against the frame when it is closed. These windows seal more tightly than is possible for the sliding seals in traditional windows, keeping heat or air conditioning in and the elements, out. Windows with compression seals allow about half as much air leakage as double-hung windows and horizontal sliding windows with sliding seals.
Because it opens outward at an angle, it helps prevent debris like leaves and paper from blowing into your basement
Hinged design provides maximum ventilation in a minimal space
Energy efficient because of the tight seal
Easy to open because you only have to be able to reach the handle and not the entire window
Since the corners of the window are on the top, there is no danger of accidentally banging your head
Disadvantages of Hopper Windows
On the other hand, hopper windows afford limited privacy because blinds and curtains get in the way when you're trying to open or close them. Films and tinting can be used to provide some privacy.
While the outward and upward slope will keep out trash, it will also funnel rain straight into your cellar if you forget and leave the windows open in stormy weather.
Since these windows are often at or close to ground level, they provide easy access for intruders unless they are securely fastened. The locking mechanism is at the top and may not be easy to reach. Some models fit the operating handle into a locking mechanism for additional security and ease of access.
Casements for hopper windows include wood and vinyl, making them both decorative and practical for most all installations. They are also available in a variety of sizes.