All About the Different Types of Windows

types of windows

Windows serve so many important functions to a home. Interior design is beginning to utilize the concepts of natural light more than ever before. Additionally, a recent push to make homes more energy efficient has put more pressure on window manufacturers to upgrade their technology to adjust.

The result is some of the best new windows on the market that we have ever seen before. New windows that are available for sale these days are extremely durable, energy efficient, noise reducing, and stylish.

As a result, one could argue it has never been a better time to upgrade your existing windows. If that’s the case, what do you need to know about all the different types of windows on the market?

Window Shopping 101

You may feel like all windows serve the same purpose. They let in natural light and depending on personal preference can either restrict or invite airflow from the outside.

While the general purpose of windows in a home is exactly that, they also serve a number of other critical functions:

Allow Natural Light and Improved Ventilation

Not only do studies show natural light is better for you compared to artificial light, but it also saves money on your energy bills.

Windows can sweep away unwanted odors from a kitchen after cooking a meal. They serve a similar purpose in bathrooms. In your bedroom, it can offer a cool breeze on a warm summer night while you sleep. There are so many reasons why getting ventilation in your home is crucial.

Improve Energy Efficiency and Reduce Outside Noise

Windows that are well insulated and installed save money on heating costs. They prevent unwelcomed drafts from entering your home.

Do you live near a busy highway? What about in a bustling inner city? New windows will block out noise much better than outdated ones which add to home comfort.

Provide Safety and Security

Windows that are rotting at the frames or demonstrate other vulnerabilities are easier for criminals to access. Old windows pose a problem of getting exposed by a home thief.

Protect Furniture and Other Household Items

Over time UV rays from the sun wear on existing glass. More heat penetrates the glass and produces sun fade and other damaging effects on flooring, walls, and furniture.

Improve Functionality and Require Less Maintenance

If you like to open your windows frequently you may notice that over time they are difficult to operate. It may even prevent you from wanting to open them altogether. New windows work effortlessly.

In the long run, new windows will not only save you money but time. Old windows require a lot of maintenance such as frequent caulking and weather stripping adjustments.

Improve Curb Appeal

Windows, along with a roof, are two things that prospective buyers are going to examine first from the exterior of a home. New windows vastly enhance curb appeal.

Beyond these common functions, windows do vary in many other ways. Some windows are easier to open, designed for better views, or produced to maximize airflow. How do you know what type of window you need?

Types of Windows

Not all windows are equal. You can have the same exact window on two different buildings. On one building it may look great and serve a very important purpose. On another structure the window may come across as out of place or impractical.

What are the different types of windows? Here is a basic guide to help you narrow down your list of options:

Casement Windows

dining room casement windows

Casement windows are clearly one of the most popular choices in today’s market. These windows can open outward for ventilation. The extended part usually pivots from side hinges. Casement windows are popular because they take advantage of airflow and provide a ton of natural light.

Modern technology on casement windows has also improved its ventilation when closed, for example, in the winter. The effective seal can help deliver improved energy performance results.

Single-Hung or Double-Hung Windows

Single-hung windows have one moveable sash while double-hung windows have two sashes that open and close. On single-hung, the moveable portion is generally the lower part while the upper section remains fixed.

Single-hung and double-hung windows provide exceptional air ventilation. They also don’t extend outward (like casement windows) which is a great luxury. Maintenance is effortless as you can clean them from the inside of the home without needing to get on a ladder.

Awning Windows

The awning type of window opens by pivoting the window from the top of the window sash. It is operated by a type of crank. Awning windows are typically paired with a larger, stationary picture window for a pleasing balance. Sometimes they are located on either side of the larger picture window, or at the top or bottom.

Awning windows are not recommended by walkways or other high traffic areas since they open out. You also may want to exercise caution on second or third story floors where wind gusts can take a hold of the extended portion.

Picture Windows

Picture windows produce no ventilation unlike the previous types of windows. In some cases, this is not a big deal since awning windows can be installed to the sides of a large picture window in order to supplement it.

The gigantic glass of a picture window produces exceptional views as well as natural light. In the winter they also provide outstanding insulation. They are especially common in two-story foyers.

Slider Windows

slider windows inside a kitchen

Slider windows, often shortened to “sliders”, open sideways. They are comparable to casement windows and double hung windows in that they offer a ton of ventilation. Probably the only knock is some homeowners complain the insulated seal is not nearly as strong as casements.

Sliders are popular in basements or high story floors where casement or awning windows are not practical. The operation is very straightforward and requires little maintenance.

Bay Windows

Bay windows are popular in older homes. The unique angles of this style of window compliments old architecture very well. The amount of natural light that enters, and from various angles, is usually very pleasing to the eye in a living room or dining room.

Seats near a bay window, or plants also compliment the area very well. Some of the side windows may open for airflow.

Jalousie Windows

Jalousie windows have some popularity because they are very inexpensive. They also work well in warm climates, especially where air conditioning is not needed all of the time. The glass slats set into metal clips that can open or close in unison.

Jalousie windows offer good airflow though limited views. However, some don’t consider this type of window as secure as other types.

Shopping for Windows

There is no wrong choice when it comes to new window choices. However, some types of windows are more practical for certain settings than others. Please use this guide in your shopping experience to find the right one for your needs.

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Your Resource for Windows

Window Resource started with one goal in mind - to help people become up-to-date on all things windows. Windows play a major role in your home's looks, value and energy efficiency so it's important to make the right decision when getting new ones installed. We'll cover just about every topic there is so you can make the best decision. Still don't see what you're looking for? Contact us and we'll answer any questions you may have.