What Window Locks Work the Best to Protect Your Home?

Your home is your most valuable possession, outside of your friends and family. To protect everything and everyone you care about, you need good window locks on your home.

Whether you live in a safe or unsafe neighborhood, it’s still important to lock your windows. There are many different types of window locks available on the market.

In this article, we’ll be talking about different types of window locks, so you can choose the best lock for you.

Smart Locks Vs Traditional Window Locks

First, we’ll discuss the difference between smart locks and traditional locks. This might be a strange starting point. Before having a home of my own, I’ve never even heard of smart locks. Neither have you probably.

What are Smart Locks?

smart lock
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Everything is getting “smart” nowadays. We’ve got smart watches, smart TVs, smart phones, smart blinds, smart windows, and more. Now we’ve got smart locks.

Smart locks use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to lock your home. A regular lock requires a key to open and lock. Smart locks can use a smart phone, a special device, or even your fingerprint to open and lock.

Smart locks are typically used for your doors. In today’s modern age, you can get smart locks for your windows too.

These intelligent locks come with a lot of benefits:

  • Operated remotely without needing a physical key
  • Has sensors that detect when the window is open or closed
  • Can sync up with other home security apps and programs
  • Work with smart window opening control devices
  • Codes can change frequently to increase security

All these benefits are great, but smart locks are also more expensive. Opting for more features makes the price go up even more. For example, if you want to be able to open your windows via your smart phone, that costs more than a regular window lock.

What are Traditional Window Locks?

Traditional locks are what we’re all used to already. When you leave your house, you have to close the window lock using the latch. Some locks have keys, and others don’t.

These are locks without any technology involved. No Bluetooth, no apps, no Wi-Fi, and no electricity required for it to work.

They’re simple and straight-forward.

Traditional locks are more reliable at certain times like power and internet outages. Maybe you forget your phone often or would prefer a manual lock. Then traditional locks are for you.

What to Look for In a Window Lock – Lock Grades

When it comes to window locks, you need to know how they’re graded to shop around.

Just like how you have to pass certain tests to move onto the next grade, window locks have minimums for each grade.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has to certify the locks as they meet certain grades.

Here are the grades and what they mean:

  • Grade 1 – This is the highest grade for locks. They are the safest with the most security. Most times, they are also the most expensive. The lock must be able to hold a minimum of 100 pounds horizontally or vertically.
  • Grade 2 – These locks are in the middle level for home security. They are very commonly seen in homes. The lock must be able to hold a minimum of 60 pounds horizontally or vertically.
  • Grade 3 – These locks offer very basic security. They’re the cheapest and least protective. Usually, grade 3 locks are used in tandem with stronger locks. The lock must be able to hold a minimum of 30 pounds horizontally or vertically.

When buying locks, look for these grades to determine how secure your lock will be. Also talk to a professional to make sure that your new lock will fit with your current windows.

A professional can also help you install the lock correctly. There’s no point getting a fancy Grade 1 lock if it’s installed wrong. Then it won’t work as intended.

Types of Window Locks

We’ve locked at lock grades as well as the difference between smart and traditional locks. Now, let’s go thrallll of the different window lock types.

Latch Lock

window lock

This is probably what you have already in your windows, a simple latch. You can find this lock on single-hung and double-hung windows.

When you flip the latch, you connect the two window sashes together. This stops them from moving. You can no longer pull or push the window open.

Latches are common and effective for locking windows. However, they are the simplest lock you can find on the market.

If you have latches for your window locks, make sure you also have sensors attached to your windows. If you have any unwanted intruders trying to open your windows, you’ll get notified by your security system.

window sensory
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Modern security systems use wireless window sensors to detect unwanted window movement. Companies like Ring or SimpliSafe offer these devices for an affordable price. It can save your home from any bad actors if you’re worried about them.

Folding Lock

Next is the folding lock, which are also called folding latches. These are used for casement, awning, and hopper windows.

These locks work similarly to latch locks. However, these window types are much more secure than single-hung and double-hung windows. They’re very difficult to pry open because of the way they close.

Opening a folding lock is very simple. You just unfold the latch and then pull it up to open. These locks are the standard for casement windows.

Window Pin Lock

door chain lock
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Here’s an interesting one. This is called the window pin lock, which is like a chain lock for your door. It’s more of a window opening control device than a lock.

When you have the window pain engaged, the window can only open so wide before stopping. The distance is determined by the length of the chain you’re using.

Window pin locks are not good for securing your windows because the intruder can cut the chain easily. Installing one is very simple. You drill two holes: one on your wall and another on the window.

Window Wedge

Next is the window wedge. It’s not exactly a window lock, per say. It’s more of an extra protective measure to make sure your window doesn’t open all the way.

Window wedges are commonly used as a child safety device. It makes sure that the child can only open the window a certain distance. This way, they can’t accidentally jump or climb out of your window.

These work great for double-hung, single-hung, and sliding windows.

Installing them is very simple, and its’ reversible too. You peel and stick a strip of Velcro on your window. After that, you place the window wedge on top of the Velcro. That’s it!

They’re super affordable, and you can install them all over the house if you wanted to.

Keyed Lock

Next is the keyed window lock. Now this is an actual lock instead of a window opening control device.

It’s called a keyed lock because it requires a key to open and close the window. This is more secure than a typical latch lock. However, you can misplace the key, rendering the lock useless.

In emergency situations, it could also be dangerous to have to find your window’s key in order to open your window.

Note: There are legal egress requirements that your window needs to meet in order to pass building regulation. Window openings need to be at least 5.7 square feet in Texas so that you and your family can escape your home if the situation arises.

Keyed locks are often used in combination with latches on single-hung and double-hung windows.

Sliding Window Lock

We now have the sliding window lock! It’s similar looking to the window pin lock, except the pin goes all the way through the window and the frame.

This locks the window into place, preventing anyone from opening the window.

It’s very easy to install on your own. You can buy it from your local home improvement store as well. You can get it for as little as $3.99 on Amazon as well (prices may vary).

Ventilating Lock

Ventilating locks are available for double-hung and single-hung windows. They let you secure your window from intruders, but they also allow in air flow.

This way, you can open your window still. The vent lock will prevent anyone from fully pushing your window open. This helps protect small children and pets in your home too.

They are also called safety night locks for windows.

Can You Change a Lock After Purchasing Windows?

One question that may be burning on your mind is, “I already have window locks, can I change it?”

The answer is yes, but it depends. Not all locks are compatible with your window.

There are many after market locks available, whether it be from your local home improvement store or a professional.

Improving your home security is important for your and your family. Make sure you talk to a reputable window contractor. They’ll give you the best prices as well as talk to you about your options. They’ll also be able to install the locks properly.

The Important of Getting a Professional Contractor

If you’re thinking about replacing your window locks for something with beefier security, it’s best to talk to a local professional window contractor or a lock expert.

Even if you sort of know what you want already, a contractor can take a look and tell you about all of your options as well as give you an estimate for how much each lock would cost, if the lock fits for your window type, and how to install and use it properly.

Make sure to get multiple estimates to get the best price for your home improvement project. You could save a lot of money!

In addition to a contractor for your locks, you can also contact your local home security folks as well. They’ll help you get set up with window sensors in case you want extra security for your home. You can even get more opinions on smart locks versus traditional locks too.

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