Now that summer is in full swing across the Southeast, you’ve probably got your A/C dialed in to provide as much relief from the heat and humidity as possible. But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to let in some fresh air on a cooler evening, or to throw your windows wide open on a nice fall or spring day? If you’re looking for some ways to improve your home’s natural ventilation capabilities, that starts with choosing the right window replacement. But which windows would work best for you and your home?
When considering Window Replacement, it’s important to choose a window type which is designed to help promote good cross-ventilation. Letting in some fresh air can serve to improve the air quality of your living space, among other benefits. At the same time, you also want to go with windows which will help to boost your home’s energy efficiency whenever you’re trying to maintain your climate-controlled conditions inside, too. But whenever the air outside feels good, it’s certainly nice to be able to ventilate your home naturally. Keep reading to learn more about some helpful window options for taking better advantage of those pleasant breezes.
Single and Double-Hung Windows
Double-hung windows are the most popular residential style of windows in America. They’re well-known for their familiar rectangular, multiple-grid look, and people also like the fact that these windows open vertically without protruding inwards or outwards. With double-hung windows both sashes are fully operable, while single-hung windows have an operable lower sash and a fixed upper sash. In terms of natural ventilation possibilities, the advantage of choosing a double-hung window is that you can partially open both sashes at the same time, thus providing more opportunity for natural air flow. In addition, single-hung and double-hung windows both work well in areas which offer somewhat restricted opening space.
Looking for a window type that’s design to take even better advantage of passing breezes? In that case, you might want to give some consideration to casement windows. Casement windows are mounted on side hinges, such that they swing outwards either to the right or to the left (depending upon their installed orientation). They’re also typically very easy to open, requiring nothing more than a few turns of a hand crank. And another key advantage of casement windows where ventilation is concern is that they can be open towards the direction of the incoming wind, in order to help funnel more air into your living area.
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In addition, properly sealed casement windows are known to be incredibly energy efficient when closed, too. Casement windows are popular for bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms, and are particularly good solutions for spots that may be hard to reach.
Bay Windows & Bow Windows
Bay windows and bow windows are both great solutions for adding more dimensionality to your room, without requiring any extra wall space. Both are compose of a series of windows which extend out and away from your house, creating an extra cubby of interior space. It’s not uncommon for bay and bow windows to have embedded seating or shelf space built into the extended sill area, as well. Both window arrangement options offer panoramic views of the outside, and they’re also great for letting in lots of natural light.
What’s the difference between bay and bow windows, then? While bay windows typically project outwards in a three-part angular or similar polygonal shape, bow windows are composed of four or more window units which are joined together to form a smoother-curved arc. Both bay and bow windows can add more character and distinction to any designated space.
You may also know that the central windows in both configurations are typically larger, fixed picture windows. So, how can bay or bow windows be useful for the purposes of ventilation? It really comes down to which types of windows you decide to use for the side windows. The two most popular choices are operable double-hung or casement windows. By opening these windows on either side, you create more opportunities for ushering in some nice cross breezes.
The one caveat with bay and bow windows is that both require a rather large window opening space. For this reason, bay and bow windows are often used as a focal point for larger gathering spaces like dens, living rooms, and dining rooms. And if you’re really looking for some added ventilation performance out of your bay or bow window; consider adding multiple operable windows on either side of your central picture window.
Not all swinging windows open horizontally; some are actually designed to open in a vertical fashion. Like casement windows, awning windows swing outwards, but the key difference is in hinge placement. With awning windows, the hinges are hung on top of the frame instead; when these windows are opened. The glass pane forms a sort of awning-like projection over the window opening (hence the name). A key benefit to this design approach is that awning windows can even be left open when it’s raining, with very little opportunity for precipitation to enter. If you like the feel and smell of a rainy breeze; then you really might like having some awning windows installed.
Awning windows have a few more things in common with casement windows, as well. They also open with a simple hand crank, and are also great solutions for elevated or tough-to-reach spots. Awning windows are a great way to add more needed natural ventilation to attic or basement spaces, too.
Are you looking for an operable window option that doesn’t extend outwards, but you’re really not interested in going with a single-hung or double-hung design? It might be worth your while to give slider windows a look. Instead of lifting up-and-down, slider windows operate by sliding horizontally across a smooth track. Slider windows tend to offer some nice, uninterrupted views, too.
In terms of ventilation potential, sliders have a lot to offer in that regard. It’s very simple to throw a slider window wide open with very little effort. And if a single-slider doesn’t open enough to suit your tastes. You can also choose to opt for a double-slider, where both sashes are fully operable.
There’s one more window type you might consider if ventilation is your primary objective: louver windows. While this window style doesn’t offer as much in terms of visibility. It does provide a wide range of variable opening angles. Louver windows function much like variable position air conditioning vents; you can adjust the opening angle nearly any way you like. And for areas where security is a major concern. You’ll also appreciate the fact that louver windows have restricted openings – people can’t get through, but fresh air can!
So, if you’re looking for some good replacement windows for improving the natural ventilation of your home. Hopefully the options we’ve shared will be helpful as you’re making your plans. But no matter which style or styles of windows you end up going with! It’s still incredibly important to have your windows installed properly.