The Pros and Cons of Jalousie Windows
April 20, 2021
Written by Shan Arcega
With summer already making our afternoons hotter, let’s look back at the 1960s home trend and see if they’re still good options to use in our humid country.
The first time I saw the jalousie window, I remember being in high school and having fun watching my other classmates vigorously open and close the classroom’s slate windows during recess or simply whenever the teacher wasn’t around to scold them. Were they simply slate windows? I didn’t know back then. All I knew was that they were made of glass and were the usual and economic choices for schools who preferred or could only rely on natural ventilation. Recently, I also saw an online post about how underrated jalousie windows were so we did a little research on why this window has lost its popularity throughout the years.
The history of jalousie windows
Composed of horizontal parallel glass, acrylic, or wooden louvres set into one frame, these windows were patented in 1901 and reached the peak of popularity in the 1940 to the 1960s, and were especially popular for mid-century homes found in warm and humid areas like Florida. In colder areas, these were mostly used for gazebos, sunrooms, and enclosed porches. Aside from being the best choice for natural ventilation and airflow, they were seen to be quite futuristic in America back in a time where air-conditioning still wasn’t common. These windows were well-liked because one could see out into a jalousie window from inside the house but not from outside, making it a great feature for houses that highlight privacy. It is mainly because of this privacy feature that the jalousie window was named as such. Apparently, its name was derived from the French word ‘jaloux’ which translates to ‘jealousy’ which was apparently induced by the fact that outsiders couldn’t see into a home that uses jalousie windows.
Are jalousie windows a good choice?
Jalousie windows may be great natural ventilators and privacy windows. The windows open out and downwards so these can stay half-open even in heavy rains to maintain cool ventilation. It also prevents direct sunlight from coming in during sunny weather. But there are some other things to consider. For homeowners that don’t find security a problem and also prefer them for aesthetic purposes, the jalousie window is a great choice but for those who do put security first and foremost, this might be a problem. Without any security systems, an intruder can simply break through the glass or wooden slates or simply pry up a metal tab to open the window.
Alongside security concerns, the metal parts that make up the window can easily corrode through time in a humid climate and without proper care. We also live in a modern age where air-conditioning is no longer scarce. Even when closed, these windows still have enough allowance between the slats to let air-conditioned air inside a room.
On the other hand, these problems wouldn’t be so difficult to address as long as one isn’t afraid to shell out more cash for the necessary upgrades. For those looking into having windows that are great for natural ventilation, can coordinate this type of window into making it a beautiful and retro home feature, and can handle the possibility of taking more money out of their bank accounts for possible repairs, then jalousie windows could be a fine feature for a mid-century style home, a secure farmhouse, or even a mere sunroom in a humid country like ours.
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