Awning windows

With its outward opening and horizontal shape, an awning window is both unique and versatile. Here’s what you should know if you’re considering this type of window for your home.
A window wall created by picture windows with awning windows underneath floods a living room with natural light and showcases views of a green lawn and trees outside.

There’s a lot to love about an awning window. Its unique canopy opening allows you to bring in fresh air, even when it’s raining. Its crank makes it easy to open, even in an out-of-the way space. And its rectangular shape suits a number of different rooms. And that’s not all this window has going for it! Here’s what else you should know if you’re considering this window for your home.

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What is an awning window?

An awning window has hinges at the top and opens outward like an old-fashioned garage door. It’s crank operated. When open, it forms a canopy that helps prevent rain from getting in. Like all our windows, it can be ordered with an insect screen. Its design, with a seal similar to a refrigerator door, makes it one of our most energy-efficient windows.

Where do awning windows work best?

The shape and opening of an awning window lends it to some unique applications. Depending on where it’s used, it can suit a variety of home styles, but it’s often used in modern homes — more on that in the next section. Here are a few places where it’s ideally suited.

High on a wall

Anywhere you want light, fresh air, and privacy, an awning window is perfect. Here are a couple ideas on where you could place it:

  • In a bathroom, where you always want the option to bring in fresh air, it can even be opened in the rain.
  • In a basement, where above-ground space may be limited, it can be placed high on the wall and opened easily with its crank.
  • As a clerestory, or a window placed along the roofline, its horizontal shape fits well, and it can be used to create a modern look.

Did you know: If your window is beyond reach, the 400 Series Awning Window can be ordered with a power operator allowing it to open with the click of a button.

Clerestory windows bring natural light into a bathroom that features a large soaking tub and light-colored maple wood windows, trim, and cabinetry.

The A-Series Awning Windows in this bathroom were placed high on the wall where they could bring in fresh air and natural light without sacrificing privacy.

In a window configuration

If you’re looking to create a showstopping feature by combining multiple types of windows into a larger configuration, the versatile awning plays well with others. Here are a few ideas:

  • Picture and awning windows are often combined to frame big views and bring in fresh air, respectively. You’ll find this classic combo in many modern homes.
  • Above a door (called a transom), awnings have long been used as a way to bring in fresh air, even when the door is closed.
  • Above another window (also called a transom), an awning can expand the opening creating a feeling of spaciousness that’s like the effect created by a floor-to-ceiling window.

Did you know: This type of window comes in sizes perfect for completing large window configurations. For example, the A-Series Awning Window can be up to 6 feet wide and 4 feet tall. If you’re aiming for clean lines and minimal framing, talk to your builder about ordering windows that are designed to be installed together.

A patio with an outdoor fireplace next to a contemporary home with large windows.

Large openings were created on both sides of this outdoor fireplace by combining E-Series Picture Windows with E-Series Awning Windows.

Are awning windows more energy efficient?

Yes! Awning windows (along with casement windows) are some of our most efficient windows. This is due to their sealing design. The harder the wind blows, the more tightly the window seals.

You can also make selections to further maximize your awning window’s energy efficiency — here's how:

  • Consider triple-pane glass: All our windows come standard with dual-pane glass, but an even more energy-efficient glass type is available. Triple-pane glass is an option with A-Series Awning Window and our E-Series Awning Window.
  • Select the right glass coating: All our windows come standard with a low-emissivity (Low-E) coating, which helps reflect heat in a way that maximizes energy efficiency in your climate. Find out more about selecting the right coating (or coatings).
A modern lake home with white siding and metal shed roof has a second-floor entrance accessible via a wooden bridge.

100 Series Awning Windows were a great choice for this breezy lake home. The harder the wind blows against an awning window, the more tightly it compresses into the frame, which is why it’s one of our most energy-efficient window types.

How do you clean an awning window?

Like all windows, awning windows should be cleaned regularly. Cleaning windows twice per year will make the most of your natural light and help maintain them over time.

One thing that can make cleaning awning windows a little bit tricky is that they’re often placed in high locations. If that’s the case in your home, it might be wise to hire a professional window cleaner. If you feel equipped to clean your own windows, here’s what else you should know:

  • Interior cleaning: Cleaning the interior of an awning window is no different than cleaning any other type of window. Get started with our detailed instructions and pro tips about how to clean windows.
  • Exterior cleaning: Some of our windows can be cleaned from inside the home — all our double-hung windows have tilt-wash capabilities, and casements can be cleaned from indoors too. Our awning windows, however, are not designed to be cleaned from the inside. You must go outside to clean their exteriors.
Picture and awning windows are combined in two different openings at the top of a staircase where they serve to bring in lots of natural light.

100 Series Awning Windows above 100 Series Casement Windows enlarge the openings in the wall and flood the hallway and stairwell with light.

Looking for a replacement awning window?

A great option for replacement is available with the 100 Series Awning Window insert replacement. Insert replacements are windows that can be installed into existing frames that are in good condition — not out of square, no rot, etc. An insert creates minimal disruption allowing you to keep your original frame along with interior and exterior trim, and siding.

Find out more about insert replacement windows or consult

Up next: Try an awning window on for size using our design tool, or learn about other types of windows that might suit your home.

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