What are Jalousie Windows?

What are Jalousie Windows?

Also known as louvre windows in some parts of the world, jalousie windows look similar to Venetian window blinds. Though not as common in the United States, you can find them in homes in coastal areas where the climate is much warmer. If you have jalousie windows in your home you'll likely be able to find replacements with a local company. Homeowners or builders interested in incorporating this style in their design may have a more difficult time sourcing this window style. We'll include a couple of recommendations at the end of this post. Read on to learn more about jalousie windows.

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What are Jalousie Windows?

Jalousie windows get their name from the French word for jealousy, or to screen something from view. The parallel slats or panes of these windows would open much like the slats on Venetian blinds. When in the open position, they would allow maximum ventilation. 

These windows gained popularity in the 1940s, especially in Southern climates where free airflow was a great feature in hot weather. But the growing popularity of home air conditioning by the late '60s made jalousie windows obsolete and inefficient. 

These days, jalousie windows are seldom installed in new homes. But they may still be seen in some older houses in Southern parts of the U.S., as well as in greenhouses, trailers, and RVs. 

Pros and Cons of Jalousie Windows

If you have a jalousie window in your home that needs to be replaced, you may be wondering if you should try a new style. Be sure to consider the pros and cons of jalousie windows before making a final decision:

Pro: Nostalgic and Period-Appropriate

For some people who grew up in a mid-century home, jalousie windows offer a nostalgic appeal. If jalousie windows are original to your home, keeping the style will maintain the historic charm of your house.

Pro: Great Airflow

While they may not be a very efficient option, jalousie windows do provide convenient ventilation. The airflow offered by this type of window is tough to beat— if you have open jalousie windows at either end of your home, they create a cooling cross-breeze.

Con: Drafty and Inefficient

The benefit of jalousie windows also proved to be their downfall. They never seem to seal completely, allowing some air to escape even when fully closed. As a result, they offer poor energy efficiency. Jalousie windows make air conditioning less effective in hot weather, and make it harder to keep your house warm in cold weather.

Con: Lack of Security

Few windows are easier to break into than a jalousie window. One can easily reach inside through the open panes, and in some cases, the panes can even be removed from the outside. It's worth noting that any window or door with annealed glass can be broken by someone who wants to break it. If it's a style you really want, that's available to you and passes energy codes then you should get it. 

Con: Dated and Hard to Find

For better or worse, jalousie windows will always be associated with midcentury modern houses and craftsman-style bungalows. Today, very few companies make jalousie windows, which makes them hard to find and often costly to replace.

Who Sells Jalousie Windows

While we don't work with vendors who sell jalousie windows, we do want to send you in the right direction. Start you search with the companies listed below. 

  • Coastal Windows
  • International Window

To learn more about other window options check out the related articles below.

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