Jalousie Windows Pros and Cons - What You Need to Know
Jalousie windows derive their curious name from the French word "jaloux", meaning jealousy! A person standing inside the home could see outside, but an outsider was unable to peer inside. Presumably, the jalousie window provoked jealousy in those who could be seen, but could not see! Pro or con? - you decide.
Jalousie windows, also known as crank-out windows, slatted windows and louver windows, consist of slats, set into a frame by a track, and function in a similar manner as Venetian blinds. The slats, made of glass, wood, acrylic, or vinyl are operated by a crank or handle, making them easy to open or close. Generally speaking, when the slats are wider than 6 inches, jalousie windows become known as awning windows.
Jalousie windows were utilized for their excellent ventilation in homes, mobile homes and trailers until the 1960's when central air conditioning became standard. Over time, fewer and fewer homes relied on jalousie windows. Recent innovations have corrected the negatives of jalousie windows. Improving energy-efficiency, security and ease of operation have put jalousie windows back in the "yes" category for window shoppers.
Before purchasing, inform yourself of jalousie window pros and cons with such online sources as window reviews, forums and sites with free estimates.
Jalousie windows are prevalent in warm climates, as they afford ventilation and maintain airflow while preventing rain from entering the home while open. The slanted design of the slats causes rain to roll off, while air and light are permitted to enter; yet direct sun is effectively blocked. A quality jalousie window can be used to beautify a veranda, porch, or bathroom, while their ventilation reduces cooling costs. In areas where electricity is in short supply, or too costly, jalousie windows are a must-have.
Consider the pros and cons of jalousie windows before choosing them for your home. There are some disadvantages to consider.
Some locales do not permit jalousie windows at all, and others allow them to be used in areas where security is not an issue. Because of the louvered design, this style of window offers little protection against intruders - slats are easily pried open. Some regions allow jalousies - if a secure metal grill is installed over the external side. In cold climates that require a good deal of insulation, another con of jalousie windows is that even when closed, they do not provide an airtight seal, causing drafts. Jalousie windows may not be the best choice for the energy efficient homeowner. Recently, however, this con has turned into a jalousie window pro as more manufacturers have begun making windows with seals and security covers.
Jalousie windows can also suffer from mechanical problems, as they are exposed to rain and humidity. Rust and oxidation develop in the crank handle and the tracks. Repairs are often not difficult for handy homeowners. Slats are prone to breakage since they are held in place by metal clips only, and have no frame or edge to them - but again, repairing jalousie windows will either be a pro or con depending on how handy you are. If repairing or replacing window parts such as slats is not your forte, then replacement may be your best alternative. Cleaning the slats also can present some difficulty. If slats are narrow, they may have to be removed from the clips for cleaning.
Understanding the pros and cons of jalousie windows will ensure that you select the proper window for your home.
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