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Pros/Cons of Different Kinds of Windows

There are quite a few different styles of windows that you can install in your home and each style serves a different purpose. Aside from adding curb side appeal to your home, windows can provide benefits such as increasing ventilation, bringing in light, creating a sense of spaciousness, and giving you a panoramic view of the great outdoors.

There are plenty of styles available and each one has its pros and its cons. We’ll take a look at some of the most popular options.

Double Hung Windows

The Pros:

People choose double hung windows for their superior ventilation capability, ease of access, as well as for their unique style. Because you can keep the bottom of these windows closed while opening the top these windows are great choices for children’s rooms. And because of their look, they are a perfect choice for bedrooms, offices, and kitchens as well.

The Cons:

Double hung windows may not be as energy efficient as some other choices because they have a tendency to leak more air into homes than other windows. Also, because only half of a double hung window can open up at one time, if your goal is to get the maximum amount of ventilation then other types of windows would be a better choice.

Casement Windows

The Pros:

Casement windows offer the maximum amount of ventilation. They open outward and can catch side breezes, fresh air, and light more easily than other windows. When closed their tight seals make casement windows very energy efficient.

These windows are good choices for hard to reach places. That’s why you will find casement windows over kitchen sinks. Because you use a crank to open them (instead of sliding them up and down) they are easier to open and close.

The Cons:

If you are buying an older house you should check the casement hardware and hinges. Although casement windows are usually hard to break into, if their hardware is rusty or faulty they could be a good target for burglars. If they need repair you should consult with a contractor to find the right replacement parts or to have a new casement installed.

Jalousie Windows

The Pros:

Jalousie windows, sometimes called louvered windows, are made of glass slats that are set into metal clips. The slats can be closed and opened in unison. They’re best suited for areas where the climate is comfortable year round because if you have these windows air is prone to leak into and out of your home.

You can control the amount of light and air that passes through the windows by manually rotating the overlapping panels.

The Cons:

These windows are impossible to seal so, although they can help to cool your home they make it virtually impossible to keep air conditioned air in your house during the summer. And hot air will leak out of your home relentlessly in the winter. They are really designed for tropical climates. And even in these regions, if the weather gets nasty then jalousie windows can become more of a hassle then they’re worth.

Picture Windows

The Pros:

Picture windows will give you an unobstructed view of the outdoors. When you combine them with windows that you can open and lose, or with patio doors, they offer a terrific balance of ventilation and light.

The Cons:

If a picture window is the only window in the room you will not get any outdoor air in. They are for looks only, not ventilation. And because they are so large the size of the glass makes them vulnerable to breakage.

Awning Windows

The Pros:

Awning windows are designed to catch the breeze and provide a lot of light. Awning windows can be arranged in columns, placed next to other windows, or put above your patio doors. They can be designed to give you a wall of fresh air and bright light.

They are good options for rooms where you want privacy and also want to allow light and fresh air.

The Cons:

Because awning windows screens are set inside the windows all of the dust and dirt that would normally fall into the sashes ends up on the floor of your home instead.

Bay Windows

The Pros:

Bay windows offer the best of both worlds as far as views and ventilation are concerned. They can create a peaceful, open feeling inside your home. Because they have multiple views they also allow the maximum of light to enter your home.

In addition, the sides of a bay window can be opened to permit air to circulate. And if you replace a flat window with a bay window you will find that their unique look will dress up your home.

Although bay windows are used primarily in kitchens they can also add character to your master bedroom and family room.

The Cons:

Insects can be a problem because bay windows typically do not come with screens.

Hopper Windows

The Pros:

Hopper windows are like casement windows that have been flipped sideways. They’re installed primarily in basements. The entire pane of a hopper window can be tilted inward to open. This will allow for the maximum amount of ventilation.

The Cons:

Because these windows tilt into your room shades and blinds are not an option. Your privacy will be compromised. Also, if they are open when it rains water will drip into your room.

And because they’re usually used in basements they can add a security risk if they are installed at ground level.

Pros And Cons Of Different Kinds Of Windows,
part of our article series in the Windows & Doors category.
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