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Jalousie windows: A breezy retro style with a historic charm

Sometimes, you fall out of love with a style or design element for the same reason you fell in it. Case in point: jalousie windows. The exact same feature that gave a jalousie window its definition and claimed fame in pre-air-conditioned times pushed it out of popularity a few decades later. The windows that ‘breathe’ even when they’re not open could combine the aesthetic of a picture window with maximum ventilation but have little to offer in terms of energy efficiency. This window structure is primarily associated with coastal homes and hot Southern climates. Jalousie windows are a part of our heritage and mid-century home charm. They were a source of ventilation back in the day – and the greatest thing since sliced bread – because a jalousie window is, technically, a sliced window made of slats. These have the flexibility of being fully open, closed – and everything in between.

Jalousie windows: A breezy retro style with a historic charm

What is the jalousie window’s coolest feature?

As the slats tilt in unison when operated by a hand crank, they can be adjusted to different positions. Thus, a jalousie window can provide a full or partial view, vary the airflow through a house, and keep out the sun or rain. You decide how you open and angle its horizontal panes depending on how much of the outside you want to invite in. This is the number one benefit of jalousie windows installation. They are easy to operate, can create a cooling breeze, and use up to 100% of their area for natural ventilation. Adjusting the slats provides the flexibility jalousie windows styles were revered for and even advertised as ‘outdoor living indoors.

Reasons for choosing jalousie windows

Slatted windows used to be a blessing during hot summers before homes had air conditioning. They were literally the best type of windows that created airflow for cooler temperatures inside while blocking out direct sunlight. Easy varying of the slat angles at just the reach of a hand made them widely used in mobile homes, trailers, and other places where space was scarce for opening a traditional window. Glass and aluminum jalousie windows and doors were also popular for porch enclosures. 

However, as the overlapping sections are separate elements that do not close tightly, they constantly leak air. This makes jalousie-style windows unsuitable for air-conditioned spaces or colder climates. In addition, bugs and crawlers easily find their way inside through jalousie windows. As the potential of window technologies kept soaring, offering better functionality in terms of insulation, weatherproofing, privacy, and maintenance, jalousie windows became a thing of the past. They lend character and a nostalgic appeal, but most homeowners prefer to replace jalousie windows with more efficient options. 

The disadvantages of jalousie window styles

Jalousie windows still excel at bringing a lot of fresh air inside – instantly or shortly, if needed. They can be left open for long stretches of time or in rainy weather. But even if these benefits are much appreciated, they are outnumbered by the faults of slatted windows:

  • Won’t hold up well to humidity, wet weather, strong winds  
  • Require frequent repairs
  • Are easy for burglars to breach
  • Offer no insulating or soundproofing benefits
  • While they need minimal effort and space to operate, the slats may get stuck
  • The slats and slat holders are prone to damage
  • The slats are much harder to clean than full-pane windows

Let’s face it: while you may fancy the vintage feel of glass or wood jalousie windows, these take away from your curb appeal. Unlike other mid-century modern home trends, jalousie windows have never made a comeback. Even with modern advancements in design, material, and security that have improved the lifespan and efficiency of jalousie window types, they are still some of the lowest-performing ones. True, they may work for beach houses, sunrooms, porches, home extensions, and gazebos, but jalousie windows and doors are mostly considered outdated and tacky.

How much does a jalousie window cost to replace?

The prices for your home will vary when you get quotes from several contractors to compare. With the average cost for a jalousie window ranging from $175 to $375, they are on the lower end of the window replacement spectrum. When it comes to repairs, they are usually simple, with just one or a few slats to be swapped for new ones if damaged. However, fitting your home with full-pane Energy Star-certified windows is a smarter move, as most window brands provide a 20-year or even a lifetime guarantee on their products. 

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The benefits of replacing jalousie windows with higher efficiency designs

These days, jalousie windows are mostly used for aesthetic purposes or to create a vintage look. But without any additional security features, they’re just asking for trouble. The manufacturers offer a range of solutions for those who favor slatted designs to make these a better fit for their homes:

  • Steel security grills mounted on jalousie windows or doors
  • Corrosion-resistant hardware and slat holders
  • Entry-resistant aluminum jalousie windows and doors with non-removable slats
  • Installing security systems and sensors

However, better insulation, security, and soundproofing are the top reasons for switching to modern window alternatives that look and work better than jalousie windows in traditional and mobile homes. And, by all means, search for no reason or excuse to stick to old windows with limited functionality if you still have them in your home. They compromise the energy efficiency, security, and, ultimately, comfort of your place like no other window style.

For any home that can benefit from products that are energy-efficient, jalousie windows are the first thing to be replaced. With multiple operational styles, frame types, and materials of windows and doors available, you can find a perfect alternative to the ones in your home that are faulty or underperforming. Upgrading to the latest technology offerings and getting a nice deal on the installation services of the local pros is easier than you may think. Find your perfect option with HomeQuote today!

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