Question: "Should I Replace My Sliders with Double-Hung or Casement Windows?"
The writer states that the installed sliders are "horrible for air intrusion..." and that he is "torn as to which style of window is best for his particular application." Finally, he adds that "these windows will be very very rarely opened...so which is a better option for wind resistance and overall sealing?"
It is surprising that two year-old slider windows would allow that much air intrusion. While this might be expected from older sliding windows (or extremely low-grade sliding windows), new sliding windows should have a fairly tight fit.
But that wasn't your question, after all. And you are right to want any type of replacement window
style in your house - it's your castle, right?
The Problem with Casement Windows
For instance, I have an ingrained prejudice against casement windows
. In my mind, casement windows are just a mechanical failure waiting to happen. There are too many mechanical pieces - gears, cranks, hinges, etc. - to last for the long-term. Add in the inevitable rain, snow, wind, hail, sleet, sun, and these casements will fail. Even if casement windows do not all of a sudden "fail," they will slowly loosen over time so that you get more and more air seepage into your house. Oh, and by the way - I was being kind with my previous statement: I have several casements that have suddenly failed. One day working, next day not.
Double Hung Windows Second Best
I think there is nothing better than a nice, tight-fitting double hung window. The bottom and two sides of the double-hung window
will fit snugly in track, and the only part that will allow for air seepage is along the top - but seals usually do a good job of mitigating this.
Fixed Windows - The Ultimate Replacement Window Solution
But you say that the windows will be "very very rarely opened." Have you considered the option of a fixed window or single-hung window
? Most replacement window companies are conditioned to provide homeowners with windows which open. So, how about exploring fixed windows? No other option will be as good for blocking out the wind. Even if you don't want all six windows fixed in place, you may want to do half of them in that manner.