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Types of Sunroom Windows and Best Uses

By bluecorona Jan 31, 2014

Sunrooms mainly consist of windows, but there are many types of CT windows to choose from.  Your selection of sunroom windows in Connecticut should be based on how you intend to use your sunroom, how you feel about the climate, the side of your house on which the sunroom is located, and the time of year you intend to use it most.  There are many types of ct windows, and each offers certain advantages.  The most common types of sunroom windows are casement windows, awning windows, double-hung windows, picture windows, bay and bow windows, and slider windows.  For more information on types of replacement windows ct, see our infographic.

Once you have a good understanding of how you intend to use your sunroom, start thinking about types of ct windows.  The first question to ask yourself about sunroom windows is whether or not you want them to be operable.  If yes, do you prefer sliding windows, or hinged windows with a crank?  Next, do you want them to open vertically, or horizontally?  There is no correct answer, but we will review some advantages/disadvantages and best uses for common types of sunroom windows.

Operable Windows (with Screens)

Hinged Windows

CT awning windows are a great option for sunroom windows if you want ventilation. Since they hinge from they top, you can keep them open even when it rains, and they allow warm air to rise and escape. (image via

CT casement windows are hinged from the left or right side.  They can open all the way (like awning windows) but they can obstruct views, and they do not protect against rain. Casement and awning windows are easier to operate than sliding windows in places that require reach, or where there is an obstacle in front of the window.

Sliding Windows

Double-hung windows are the most common type of CT windows. The system consists of two framed panes, in which one moves up/down relative to the other.  Double-hung windows tend to be more expensive than casement or awning windows. (image via

Horizontal Slider Windows are similar to double-hung windows, except that one of the sashes moves side to side (versus up and down.)  Some people prefer sliding windows over a crank system, but in terms of providing the best view, we think casement or awning windows are better choices for sunroom windows.

Bay and Bow windows CT

Bay and bow windows can be fixed, operable, or a combination of both. These are great for sunrooms because they provide the most expansive views and sunlight.  Both are constructed of multiple adjacent windows that are angled to project outwards.

Bay windows CT typically project out farther, which creates more interior space.  If you want to create a reading nook, window seat, or perch for plants in your sunroom, bay windows are they way to go. (image via

Bow windows CT have the advantage of being wider and creating more expansive views.  If you want to use your sunroom as a dining area, wide bow windows create the perfect space for a round or oval dining table.  Read more about the differences between bay and bow windows. (image via

Fixed Windows:

Fixed windows are great for higher sections of the wall where it would be too difficult to operate windows anyway. Using mostly fixed windows in your sunroom is a good decision if your goal is to create an indoor room that gives the impression of an outdoor room by allowing sunlight to enter, but not so much fresh air.  Fixed windows are also a good choice for sunrooms if the climate is uncomfortable during the majority of the year.

Picture windows (image via are the most common type of fixed windows.  Picture windows can be quite large, making the main advantages views and sunlight.  Disadvantages of ct picture windows include lack of privacy, and excessive sunlight.  Blinds or shades can be used to control light or provide privacy, but they can take away from the open look of sunroom windows.  Large picture windows are best for windows facing a private yard.

We also warn against large picture windows on south and west-facing sides of your home because of the potential glare.  Many people are sensitive to the afternoon glare that comes through west-facing windows, particularly in the summertime.  Other people like to have large pictures windows there for the purpose of enjoying the sunset.  South-facing windows receive the most sunlight year-round.  Some people like to maximize it, while others do anything to filter it to protect fabrics from fading or to prevent excessive heat gain.  Again, think about how and when you intend to use your sunroom.

image via

Clerestory windows are defined as windows that are located above eye-level.  They are usually part of a series of picture windows along the top of a wall.  In sunrooms, they can be found over other windows or doors, or spaning across the top of a solid wall.  The main benefit of clerestory windows is that they bring in extra light, but since they are above eye level, there is no glare.

Glass type:

The most important consideration for the type of glass you select is how well it insulates.  Luckily ENERGY STAR ratings are broken down by region and make it easy to understand.  Tax credits for energy efficient windows have been extended through 2014! In general, three things determine energy efficiency: the thickness of the glass, the number of panes, and what the air gap consists of.  The higher the R-Value, the better the insulation.  See our post on window ratings for more information.  Other window glass options include Low-E coatings and argon glass.

Frame Material:

Vinyl, Wood, and Aluminum are the most common types of window frames.  We recommend vinyl window frames for CT windows because they are less vulnerable to damage from high humidity. Vinyl windows will not need to be repainted, and they cost less than wood. The main advantage of wood is that you can paint it to match both the interior and exterior color of your sunroom.

Hopefully this helps you undertand how many things there are to consider in choosing sunroom windows. If you need additional assistance, please contact us and take a look at our sunroom planning guide:

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