Picture Windows – What to Know

These types of windows are ones that reach from floor to ceiling and are an attractive choice when choosing windows for your new home. This type of window for your home is fixed and may or may not have featured glazed bars near the edge of the window. Picture windows get their name because of its purpose, which is to provide the homeowner with a clear view of their surroundings. It acts as the picture frame for the scenery outside. Picture windows contain a wide expanse of glass that will bring the natural light into your home.

Some picture windows also feature slats for ventilation but most are inoperable, which means they cannot be opened as you would a regular window. Some might consider this a drawback to having a picture window but not being able to be opened makes them more energy efficient. These windows are a great choice for those that have allergies and have to limit the amount of airborne contaminants in their house.

If you are having a new home built and is considering putting in a picture window in your living room chose the model that will give you the best energy efficiency, which is the low-E glass. This is a type of treated glass that controls the passage of heat while conducting visible light. Low-e stands for low emissivity, which is a measurement of how well an item radiates the absorbed energy. This type of glass for picture windows does cost between ten and fifteen percent more than your regular glass but it does reduce energy loss thirty to fifty percent. In the end the initial investment will pay for itself by decreasing your cooling and heating costs.

If you live in a warmer climate you should have low solar gain glazing on your picture windows but if you live in a colder climate you should choose high solar gain glazing. The one main drawback to having picture windows is the window treatments such as drapes, curtains, or blinds. These can be a challenge to find. Most homeowners choose picture windows because of the amount of light it lets in and it allows you to see an expansion of the outside but at night, especially, you want to have some privacy. The most practical choice for window treatments is to choose mounting vertical blinds that go on the outside of the window frame. When you want to open them, they draw back into the wall. You could also add a valance at the top that coordinates with the room’s décor to add some color to the window but does not take anything away from the view outside.

Although the initial investment can be expensive the energy efficiency they provide is worth it.