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Jalousies are made of glass slats set in metal clips that can be opened and closed in unison. Also called a louvered window, a jalousie is made like a glass shutter. This type of window is manually rotated to open or close the overlapping panels as required and can be opened by degrees to control how much air or light is allowed to pass through.
The word jalousie comes from the French jaloux, which means jealousy. In the 16th Century, the term referred to shuttered covers for window openings. Like today’s wood shutters, those early coverings employed a series of wooden slats sloped to shed rain and direct sun while admitting air and light.
Jalousie windows and doors are very popular in tropical climates. They were installed in warm-climate American homes before air conditioning became popular. They are typically used in breezeways and porches that are not heated or air conditioned.
They may be selectively opened and closed to allow breezes for example, from the ocean to ventilate and cool a space without air conditioning. This is of particular importance in areas where electricity is extremely expensive or unavailable.
Besides the fact that they do not obstruct the view, their biggest advantage is they allow ventilation. But, they allow ventilation so well they are almost impossible to seal. This particular style of window has lost favor in cooler climates because most permit excessive air infiltration between the panes, allowing uncomfortable drafts and costly heat loss.
When closed, neither the glass slats nor the hinges along the sides are possible to seal completely without covering the entire window. Therefore, they are not suitable where weather-tightness is a priority because they are not energy efficient and may be a security risk. Many building codes don’t allow jalousie windows.
If you are interested in having Jalousie windows in your home, find a CalFinder window contractor to recieve free estimates.
Jalousie windows and doors are extremely popular in tropical climates. They’re often used in breezeways or porches that are not air-conditioned, because they allow cool breezes indoors while still shielding your home from rain and other elements.
Expect to pay about $75 to $100 per jalousie window, not including labor costs for installation. The total cost depends on the number of windows installed and the cost of labor (highly recommended for all window installation).
Offer ample ventilation, making them inexpensive solutions for warm-weather dwellers.
Allow air to circulate without obstructing views of the outside.
A good alternative to air conditioning in areas where electricity is expensive or unavailable.
Nearly impossible to completely seal. Tend to allow heat to escape, so they’re impractical for cooler climates.
For areas where storms are common, jalousie windows aren’t the best for weather protection.
Because they can’t seal, they pose a security risk as well.
While older jalousie windows are prone to cracking and wear and tear, new strides in window design have made today’s models better equipped to withstand the test of time. However, adding moving parts to windows generally means that damage is more likely.
As with any window, regular upkeep gives a better view of the outdoors. For a simple and inexpensive cleaning solution, use vinegar and water or a small amount of dishwashing detergent mixed with warm water.
Common Questions and Answers
Does the entire window need to be replaced if one of the panes is broken?
No, a single pane on a jalousie window can be replaced as a somewhat simple DIY project. It’s a matter of removing the broken pane and old seal and replacing both.
Is it possible to power-wash a jalousie window?
Yes, but it’s important to ensure that water is running down like rainwater would—not straight through the slats and into the house. Spray the water downward onto the glass for best results.
HistoryBelieve it or not, the term jalousie stems from the French word, jaloux, which means jealousy. During the 16th century, jalousie referred to shuttered covers for window openings that allowed air and light in while blocking out rain.
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