European vs American Windows: What’s the Difference?

/ May 19, 2024/ Still Building Tips & News

In the windows and doors market, two main types of windows have been prominent. They are the North American Windows and the European windows.
Climate, energy costs, and energy policies have mainly influenced the two continents to manufacture windows and doors differently.

From fuel to electricity, energy is much more expensive in Europe than in America. And for that reason, European homeowners usually ensure their homes are as energy-efficient as possible.

The European windows have been tested for higher standards in energy conservation and product quality. They have stood the test of time and proved to be more efficient.

Improved Safety and Increased Energy Efficiency

In addition to the number of layers, The use of non-conductive materials in the European windows – UPVC, Low-E glass and a low U-value improve the thermal efficiency of the window panes. UPVC windows reduce the infrared and UV rays that penetrate through the glass, without minimizing the amount of light that enters the house. This keeps the heat out in summer and prevents the indoor heat from escaping during winter. This  reduces the energy loss by 30-50%.

Turn-Tilt vs. Double-Hung Windows

While double-hung windows are standard in the US,  turn-tilt are standard in Europe.

Turn-tilt windows can be 10-30 times more air-tight. Instead of sliding upwards to open, these windows either swing inward or outward from its vertical hinge, or tilt inward or outward on its horizontal hinge.

They are also able to accommodate large glass surfaces, which can create a much cleaner look due to less framing.

Double-Pane vs. Triple/Quadruple-Pane Glass

Double-pane windows provide a single layer of climate and noise insulation between the outdoors and a home’s interior. Triple-pane windows offer two layers of insulation and quadruple-pane offers three. As you understand, the more panes of glass used, the better insulating properties a window will have.

While most North American windows use double pane windows, European windows either have triple panes or quadruple panes. Although recently, the North American windows have been using triple panes, they have smaller spaces between them compared to the European ones. Hence, they are less resilient to the outer climate.

While most North American windows use double pane windows, European windows either have triple panes or quadruple panes. Although recently, the North American windows have been using triple panes, they have smaller spaces between them compared to the European ones. Hence, they are less resilient to the outer climate.

European Windows Designs and Styles

Not only do European windows have an energy efficiency advantage over American windows, they look trendier too. The tilt-turn windows literally offer a clear advantage over double-hung windows due to less framing interrupting views of the outside. The European windows and doors come in a variety of styles. They are large and fill huge open spaces. They are tilt and turn windows in minimalistic, modern or classic style.

Tilt-turn multifunctional windows

Windows for any type of building, whether it is a private house or cottage, an office, or any other facility, should perform the following main functions:

  • keep your house warm in winter
  • provide coolness when it’s hot
  • do not let in sounds and noise from the street
  • reliably protect your house from intruders

Modern technology allows to make windows with any type of opening, without losing the construction’s stiffness and equip them with sun protection and anti-burglary fittings.

Sliding windows

In addition to performing the usual functions sliding windows save space and are also perfect for the implementation of brave design solutions.

Such windows are well protected from cold and moisture, and also have good sound insulation.

Sliding windows fit organically into the design of balconies and loggias, terraces, as well as creative spaces and offices, restaurants and beauty salons.

Windows with decorative slats

Decorative slats – are aluminum frames of various configurations, installed inside the double-glazed unit.

They give the windows a sophisticated look with a hint of Provence. They emphasize the design solutions of architects and add uniqueness and completeness to the window group.

It is possible to create a variety of geometric patterns with the help of slats – it all depends on your vision of your own home.

Arched windows

Among the non-standard forms arched windows are a great design solution for fans of vintage and classic chic.

These windows are strong, reliable, and durable and meet the needs of modern users: noise protection, tightness, and heat retention.

Round Windows

The round window immediately attracts attention and adds originality to the design.

This shape can be combined with any style, and thanks to smooth lines complements both restrained and fantasy facades.

Trapezoidal Windows

Trapezoidal windows add light to the room and make the facade of the house unique, emphasize other design solutions, and thanks to the wide color palette will be harmoniously combined with any color scale.

Triangular windows

Triangular windows are a design feature that makes the room extraordinary.

They not only perfectly complement country cottages, but also fit harmoniously into the exterior of shops and office centers, coworking spaces and cafes in any style. 

Advantages of European Windows

Windows are indispensable component of homes and buildings. Every homeowner or builder will invest time, energy, and money in buying good quality windows and doors for their properties. Here are some more advantages of European windows:

  • European window profiles are thermally broken. Whether it’s aluminum, steel or PVC, the material on the exterior of the window is separated from the interior of the window by air chambers and thermally broken connecting materials. Sometimes, these air chambers are partially or completely filled by foam for added insulation. All of these chambers and materials constitute the window’s thermal break, minimizing the transmission of thermal energy between the interior and exterior of the window.
  • European windows offer higher performance seals. Due to the different design of the opening mechanisms, European windows can house more efficient seals between the vent and the frame. As the vent isn’t sliding through these seals like on a double hung window, there is also significantly less wear and tear.
  • Exceptional sound performance is another key performance aspect of European windows and doors.
  • Forced entry resistance. Tilt and turn windows have at least five hardened, metal locking pins or bolts installed around the perimeter of the vent. When the handle is moved into the ‘closed’ position (pointing down), the bolt heads slide into steel pockets integrated in the frame, pulling the vent tightly shut. This mechanism, protected between the vent and the frame, provides outstanding forced entry resistance, outperforming any standard double hung or casement window.
  • The design of the locking mechanism also helps with waterproofing. By sliding the bolt heads into the pockets, the vent connects with the frame in the optimal position, assuring maximum performance and longevity of the seals. With this design, leaking almost never occurs on tilt and turn windows.

Finally, the metal construction of the window hardware, its positioning between vent and frame and its low wear operation through a single lever assures a very durable window mechanism.

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