Windows are a big deal in US homes: the average house has about 22 windows. This goes up to a staggering 28 windows for a house boasting a floor area of 2,800 square feet.
Windows are crucial home components as they allow for passive ventilation. Adequate ventilation, in turn, helps promote better airflow and indoor air quality. There’s also the fact that aesthetic window styles can boost a home’s overall value and appeal.
All these benefits help explain how the US window sector has become a $15 billion market.
On that note, it’s best you learn more about the best window designs if you plan to replace your outdated ones. Don’t worry, as we’re here to give you a primer on your window style options. Read on so that you can make the right choice when upgrading your windows.
1. Picture Windows
Of all window designs, picture windows provide the largest views and natural light. That’s because they typically consist of a single glass pane fitted inside a frame. They are smooth throughout, as their simple design doesn’t involve grilles and sashes.
Without extra hardware, picture windows provide incredible unobstructed views of the outdoors. In this way, they allow you to “connect” your indoor living space with your outdoor green space. “Nature connectedness” can bring positive health effects like relaxation and lower stress levels.
Since picture windows also let in a lot of sunlight, they can help reduce your lighting costs. This is a huge deal, as artificial lights account for about 5% of residential electricity use. That may seem small, but that 5% represented 75 billion kWh of electricity use in 2019.
The lack of grilles and sashes also helps trim the maintenance costs of picture windows. Moreover, their stationary design makes them less prone to developing air leaks. Keep in mind that air leaks can account for 25% to 40% of heating and cooling energy losses in a home.
2. Sliding Windows
Sliding windows consist of either one or two sashes with single or multiple panes. They are different from other window designs in that they open and close sidewards. The sashes run on a horizontal track that makes them easy to operate.
Sliding windows can be an alternative to picture windows if you want more ventilation. However, their large openings may also invite more insects and debris, such as leaves. It’s easy to add screens to sliding windows, but this also means you’d have to spend more to install them.
Sliding windows’ ease of operation makes them ideal for hard to access or cramped areas, though. As they open sideward, they’re ideal for areas with obstructions from the outside. They’re also great for kitchens where adequate ventilation is necessary.
3. Bay and Bow Windows
If you want window upgrades that can also extend your living space, go for a bay and bow window replacement. These windows jut out of a wall into an exterior space, so they add a bit more floor space to the interior area. You can then decorate or furnish the extra space they create with plants, chairs, or whatever you see fit.
Both bay and bow windows come with a picture window, although the bow ones usually have two or more. Movable windows then sandwich these stationary windows on both sides. Bay windows usually have smaller outer panes, while bow windows are often uniform in size.
Either way, both window styles also allow a huge amount of natural light to enter a room. Sunlight can enter various areas of the windows’ protruding structure throughout the day. Their operable window parts can also help promote better room ventilation.
4. Double-Hung Windows
Double-hung windows consist of two sashes that slide up and down a single frame. The top sash usually comes with multiple grilled panes, while the bottom is often a single pane. Both sashes are operable, and you can slide open both at the same time.
In this way, double-hung windows provide more flexibility than single hung windows. Single-hung windows look pretty much the same, but their top sash isn’t operable. Meaning, you can only slide open the bottom sash, so it does restrict ventilation a bit.
5. Casement Windows
Casement windows look a bit like single-hung windows, except they open outward. You operate these windows through a crank that then pushes them out at an angle. The operable part of the casement window slides horizontally on hinges.
Like single-hung windows, casement windows come with a stationary component. However, their outward way of opening provides more protection against wind-blown debris.
6. Skylight Windows
Ceiling-mounted skylight windows allow you to harness the most natural light. After all, they allow direct entry of light from the sky, which can be up to three times brighter than the horizon. That makes them great for sunrooms and other areas of your home that can benefit from natural light.
What’s more, skylight windows can give you a glimpse of the beautiful night sky. You can set up a lounge area right below your skylights to get majestic views of the sky.
7. Awning Windows
Awning windows are vertically-mounted windows with hinges at the top. They then open outward from the bottom, much like casement windows. The primary difference is that awning windows don’t have a fixed component.
Just like casement windows, though, they also provide more protection against debris. Their outward-sliding design also helps keep the rain out of your home in case you forget to close them.
Invest in the Right Window Styles Today
There you have it, your ultimate guide on the different window styles you can get for your home. If you want the best, unobstructed views of the outdoors, go with picture windows. If you want to extend your indoor living space, go for bay or bow windows.
What’s vital is to ensure their proper installation to prevent premature air leaks.
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