Electric Windows vs. Manual Windows

Electric Windows vs. Manual Windows

Are you looking at installing electric or manual controls onto the windows in your building? Perhaps they’re high set windows that require an easily operable system, or there are a group of windows which would work more effectively if they were connected?

Either way, enhancing your windows so that they are more operable can increase the airflow and comfort in your building. Whether a school, hospital, office or commercial space, all can benefit from the installation of window controls. In this article, we compare electric and manual window controls and take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of both to discern which system is best suited to your property.

Electric window controls

Electric window controls can be fitted to a wide variety of window configurations, including louvre, awning and sliding windows. They are capable of connecting several windows in a row, allowing them to open and shut at the flick of a switch.

Electric Awning Window
Electric Awning Window Control


Improved airflow without constant surveillance

Expert window fitters can install a wide variety of complementary systems, including rain sensors and failsafe battery backups. They can also integrate with your building’s management systems such as the smoke alarm, and a timer can be set to open and shut the windows when you aren’t there. Being able to automate high-set windows to open for a few hours at night is particularly beneficial for properties in hot climates. It means that the building can be ventilated during the evening when the air is cooler so that you don’t have to immediately turn on the air con when you enter the premises in the morning.

Ease of use

Electric windows are incredibly user-friendly. There’s no crank winding involved. You can manage everything with the press of a button on a remote or wall-mounted interface. If your building has many high-set windows, installing electric controls can save you a lot of time and energy. Incorporating other systems into your window design also means less work for you! You don’t even have to keep an eye out for rain; the windows will shut themselves when the sensors detect water droplets.

Electric Servery Window


Must be connected to power

Many people may be worried about the amount of energy chewed up when using electronically operated windows. It’s true that all windows will need to be connected to power, but we can assure you that they won’t need as much electricity to run as your air con does! In fact, installing electric window controls can be very energy efficient. You’re using natural ventilation methods to cool down your property rather than relying on air conditioning for temperature control. Furthermore, if you’re concerned about what will happen if the power trips, battery backups can be installed to overcome this obstacle.

Higher upfront cost

Electric windows are more expensive than manual windows when purchasing them outright. However, it’s important to consider how they will lower your energy bill long term. Automated nightly ventilation of your building will drastically decrease your use of the air conditioner. Having easily operable windows will also cut back on time spent cranking levers and keeping a close eye on the weather. Sometimes paying more upfront is worth it for increased convenience and better long-term returns.

Manual window controls

Manual window controls are ideal for banks of over four windows. They do not need to be connected to power to function. Controls can either be surface mounted or fitted into the walls, however, both options have their pros and cons. Users operate the windows by hand winders that will open several windows simultaneously.

Manual Window Control


Environmentally friendly

Manual window controls are often considered to be the most environmentally friendly way of making windows more operable. The only energy they require is your own! By winding window cranks, you can open over four windows at a time, making manual window controls an asset for warehouses, school buildings and other commercial premises that have many windows.


Because manual window controls use no electricity, they also save you money on your energy bills. The upfront cost for manual window controls is commonly much cheaper than their electronic counterparts. However, if issues arise with your system, this can result in costly repairs depending on how it is mounted, as we discuss below.


Aren’t as subtle as some electronic controls

Manual window controls are usually surface mounted (on, rather than in the wall) for ease of service. Unfortunately, this means that the winders and connecting devices are visible and can disrupt the overall aesthetic of your decor. The parts can, however, be colour matched to your walls to help them blend in rather than sticking out. The type of services you’re operating in your building may impact whether or not the look of manual window controls will outweigh their environmental advantages. Premises that frequently entertain clients and customers may require more subtle controls, whereas warehouses focused on functionality may not.

Wall-fitted manual window controls can be an issue

The other option for concealing manual window controls is to have them mounted inside the wall. However, concealing the controls can limit access for servicing and maintenance of the system. If repairs need to be carried out on the controls, it is possible that the whole wall would need to be pulled apart to fix it.

Still unsure as to which window controls would best suit your building and budget? Contact Unique Windows today to discuss our range of operable window options!