What Is Window Sensor & How Does It Work?

Windows are the most common source of break-ins for burglars. Since they are so vulnerable, it’s crucial to install suitable window sensors.

A window sensor is a device placed on or near a window and detects when the window is opened.


This information can then be used to trigger an alarm or send a notification to the homeowner.

According to Safewise, burglar entry via open or unlocked windows or doors in more than half of all unoccupied residential break-ins. This is why getting a window sensor might be good for you.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about window sensors, including how they work and what one should consider when choosing one. So keep reading.

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What Is A Window Sensor?

Window sensors detect and report the opening and closing of windows and doors.

The features of a window sensor make it perfect for home care, smart lighting, network management, and home security applications.

As part of a home security system, a window sensor can be used to alert the homeowner or security company if a window is opened when it shouldn’t be. This can help deter burglars and other intruders from entering the home.

Read: What Is Smart Home Security Solution?

Also Read: Home Security Statistics

How Do Window Sensors Work?

Window sensors typically use magnets to detect when a window is opened. The sensor is usually mounted on the window frame, and the magnet is placed on the window itself. 

The magnet creates a magnetic field that triggers the sensor when the window is closed.

When the window is opened, the magnet is moved away from the sensor, causing the sensor to trigger an alarm.

Since window sensors are wireless, they connect to the home security system using radio frequency (RF) waves.

This allows the sensors to be placed anywhere in the home without wiring.

The Anatomy Of Window Sensors

Modern window sensors are wireless, run on batteries, and communicate with the control panel using transmitters.

These types of sensors are compact in size and consist of magnets. The best part is that they are DIY sensors and can be installed without professional help.

There are also wired window sensors available that need professional installation.

What Are The Benefits Of A Window Sensor?

Now that you know how a window sensor works let’s discuss some of the benefits of using one.

1. Keeps Out Criminals

Keeps Out Criminals

When you set up and enable window and door sensors, your home security system will alert you whenever the sensors are triggered.

In addition, if your home security system has a monitoring feature, the service provider will be alerted anytime the sensors are activated.

They will be able to contact authorities and call you to ensure you are safe.

2. Additional Deterrent

Additional Deterrent

A loud alarm sounds if your home security system is triggered and someone tries to force their way in through the windows.

This will deter burglars who do not want to draw attention to themselves and notify you and your family that a break-in attempt is underway.

3. Peace of Mind

Peace of Mind

Window sensors can provide peace of mind, knowing that your home is more secure.

Not only will you be alerted if someone tries to break in, but you’ll also know that your doors & windows are closed and locked when they should be.

With the number of home invasions rising yearly, these sensors are an important addition to any home security system.

Read: How To Find A Suitable Home Security Company?

How To Install a Window Sensor?

Window sensors ideally come with adhesive tape attached to their back. So to install them, you simply need to pull the sticker off from the tape.

To install the window sensor correctly, you should mount the main sensor on the window frame and the smaller part on the window pane.

The position should be such that when you close the window, both parts of the sensor are parallel to each other, with a tiny gap between them.

It is important to place the sensor in the correct position for it to work.

Now whenever someone opens the window, the two sensors will separate and will send an alert notification to the control panel.

Now some window sensors offer customization also. You can either set them to send an alert each time the window opens or only when the system is armed.

Note that window sensors require little maintenance. Replace the adhesive tape and charge the window sensor’s battery from time to time.

Things To Look For In A Window Sensor

Things To Look For In A Window Sensor

Here are a few things that you should consider while purchasing a window sensor:

  1. Remote notifications: Some modern window sensor offer this feature where you can connect the sensor to your mobile phone and receive notifications whenever there is an entry in your home. Such sensors may cost a bit more, but they are great in terms of their protection.
  2. Price: Window sensors range between $15-$35 per piece. The more expensive ones will offer more features, so buy the one that feels the safest for your house.
  3. Alarm settings: Some window sensors allow you to change the voice decibel level so that you can wake up even when you are in a deep sleep. Some sensors even allow a volume level of 100 decibels or more which makes as much noise as a loud motorbike.
  4. Smartphone controls: Some window sensors can be linked to your smartphone. This means you will get notifications right on your phone, no matter where you are, whenever someone opens your window.
  5. Built-in Keycodes: Some burglars are too smart and might find a way around window sensors. As such, for added protection, you can look for window sensors with keycodes to prevent the burglar from entering your house.
  6. Smart home automation: If you are buying a smart home automation security system, you can coordinate many other devices in your home with your window and other sensors. For example, you can set your smart lights to light up each time your window opens.

Troubleshooting Window Sensors

What Are The Other Types Of Sensors?

Apart from window sensors, there are two more common types of sensors that you can choose from:

  • Door Sensors: Like window sensors, you can buy a window sensor that notifies you when someone enters your home via doors.
  • Garage Sensors: Garage sensors are meant to keep an eye on gates and garages, and they are installed differently, so make sure you buy separate garage sensors if you have one.

Final Thoughts

Having window sensors installed in your home is a great way to deter burglars and other intruders.

These devices can be installed easily and used as part of a larger home security system.

If you’re looking for an additional layer of security, window sensors are a great option.

Read: How To Install Home Security Cameras?


Should I install a window sensor on all my windows?

Yes, you should install sensors on all working windows to deter burglars from entering your house.

You can use glass break sensors instead for windows that can’t be opened.

How to test if the window sensor is working or not?

Here’s how you can test your window sensor:

  • Go to your control panel and see the system is armed and the alarm setting is loud enough.
  • Now open & close the window three-four times to ensure you can hear the alarm.

How often do I need to change my window sensor's batteries?

Window sensor batteries may last for 8-12 months. So make sure you purchase new batteries and replace the old ones in time.

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