Types of Sunroom Windows and Best Uses
Sunrooms mainly consist of windows, but there are many types of windows to choose from, and each offers certain advantages. 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 the sunroom is on, and the time of year you intend to use it most.
Once you have a good understanding of how you intend to use your sunroom, start thinking about types of windows. The most common types of sunroom windows are casement windows, awning windows, double-hung windows, picture windows, bay and bow windows, and slider windows.
There’s no correct answer, but we’ll review some advantages and disadvantages of common types of sunroom windows, so you can make a fully informed decision for your sunroom.
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Operable Windows (With Screens)
Awning windows are great as sunroom windows if you want ventilation. Since they hinge from the top, you can keep them open even when it rains, and they allow warm air to rise and escape.
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 don’t protect against rain. Casement and awning windows are easier to operate than sliding windows in places that require reach or where there’s an obstacle in front of the window.
Double-hung windows are the most common type of window in Connecticut. 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.
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 sunrooms.
Bay and Bow Windows
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 outward.
Bay windows 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 the way to go.
Bow windows 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.
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 fresh air.
Fixed windows are also a good choice for sunrooms if the climate is uncomfortable for most of the year.
Picture windows are the most common type of fixed windows. Picture windows can be quite large, offering plenty of natural light and uninterrupted views. Disadvantages include lack of privacy and excessive sunlight.
Blinds or shades can 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 installing large picture windows on the 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 summer. Others like to have large picture windows to enjoy the sunset.
South-facing windows get the most sunlight year-round. Some people like to maximize it, while others do anything to filter it to protect fabrics from fading or prevent excessive heat gain. Again, think about how and when you intend to use your sunroom.
Clerestory windows are defined as windows that are located above eye level. They’re 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 spanning across the top of a solid wall. Their main benefit is extra light, and since they’re above eye level, there’s no glare.
The most important consideration for the type of glass you select is how well it insulates. 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. Other window glass options include Low-E coatings and argon glass.
Vinyl, wood, and aluminum are the most common types of window frames. We recommend vinyl window frames for Connecticut homes because they’re less vulnerable to damage from high humidity. Vinyl windows won’t need to be repainted and cost less than wood. The main advantage of wood is that you can paint it to match the interior and exterior of your sunroom.
Hopefully, this helps you understand how many things there are to consider in choosing sunroom windows.
Please contact our team if you need additional assistance.