When you think of jalousie windows, you imagine a larger version of Venetian blinds with glass instead of plastic or wooden slats and fixed frame. The glass slats are movable; opened and closed by a crank.
The opening of jalousie windows separates the slats forming spaces, which in turn, allow entry of air. Depending on your preference, you can control the amount of air ventilation in a certain room (full opening or slightly opened slats). When closing the windows, the glass slats lay flat; about an inch of each slat rests on the other. The 16th century marked the invention of this window type. Although the mechanism remains similar, the older version of jalousie was made of wood. During the Fifties, extending up to the Sixties, these windows can be commonly found in mobile houses.
From flat pieces of wood (or bamboo) to clear glass slats, the idea and form of jalousie windows has never changed. With the use of a crank or a string to pull open (or close) the slats, this traditional window has never failed to give a home the security and the comfort it needs.
Aside from an adjustable angle, the glass used for this window can also vary, depending on your preference. Clear glass can be used for full light or specialty glass such as sandblasted or tinted to provide you with the privacy that you need. One huge disadvantage of having a jalousie window is the problem with sealing. Because this window involves multiple slats that only touch against one another when closed, it cannot be completely sealed of (unlike double hung that will fit snugly into the frame). This design, thus, allow entry of air even when closed. That is the reason why jalousie windows are usually found in homes that have warmer climate, those that do not experience extreme winter.
If you live in tropical regions, having jalousie windows will not be a big problem. Another disadvantage is the security. The glass slats of a jalousie is supported only by a lever attached to the frame, therefore, the glass is not fixed; only the frame is. The slats are judged to be easily removed, leaving an entry point to those who want to take advantage and jeopardize your home’s safety.
You may wonder why the slats are removable. This, on the other hand, is an advantage when it comes to cleaning. Cleaning the window will be easy once you remove all of the glass slats and wash them one by one. If you still have issues on the jalousie windows as unsafe choice, you can probably have yours fixed (the slats can no longer be removed) and opt for self-cleaning glass so cleaning will not be a problem. Improved locking systems may also be applied for the crank.
When looking for replacement jalousie windows, keep in mind some pointers. Check the size of the window you need to replace, and when ordering, specify that you are looking for the glass type, as there are wooden and metal jalousies manufactured. Champion, Pella and Pillard are some of the suppliers of jalousie windows.