Replacement Picture Windows
There is nothing like a large expansive window to allow the outside in and to create a feeling of light and space. If the view is one of beauty, the effect is even better. Picture windows offer a frame to the outside world, bringing in the light and beauty from outside to be enjoyed indoors.
A picture window is basically a very large window with one continuous unobstructed expanse of glass. Some picture windows can have dividers, but most consist of a single oversized pane of glass to provide the best view of the outdoors. Picture windows do not open, slide or provide any source of ventilation. They are stationary windows, although they are sometimes combined with other types of windows, such as casement windows or sliding windows, to also allow for ventilation in the room and to add to the expansiveness of the glass. In effect, this combination of windows can create a wall of windows within a room.
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Picture Windows Offer A Room With a View
The main function of a picture window is to provide a view of the outdoors. There is no other functionality to a picture window, since they do not open or provide any type of ventilation. They function in essence like a picture frame (thus the name picture window), providing a frame for the beautiful picture that is seen through the window. Whether the window looks out at the beach, a forest, a city skyline, or just a beautiful front or backyard, the scene can be viewed from the inside, as if a picture was placed on the wall. They also provide a great deal of light into a room.
Picture Window Features
Picture windows are typically wider than they are taller, to provide a more expansive view of the outdoors. They can be customized in just about any size needed, however. They can also be ordered with any type of frame, such as wood, aluminum, fiberglass or vinyl window frames.
Since picture windows do not open and remain stationary, they do not have any moving parts. This is a benefit in that there are no parts to potentially wear out or break over time. It also helps with energy efficiency, although there are some other factors to consider related to energy efficiency when it comes to picture windows. Since the windows are fixed and do not open, no screens need to be placed on the window.
Picture windows come in just about any size or shape you need and can easily be customized. They are very often the focal point in a room so some attention should be given to the features of the window. They can have decorative accents added, such as artistic inserts or colored glass, interesting grids, or intricate moldings. They can be combined with other types of windows to make a statement and to make the window more functional by adding a source of ventilation. Picture windows can be combined to make an inviting bay or bow window that adds architectural interest to a room and provides a cozy retreat to admire the outdoors or curl up with a good book.
Energy Efficiency of Picture Windows
When it comes to selecting a picture window, energy efficiency should be a key consideration. Although the windows don't open and therefore don't have issues of air leakage through seals and movable parts, it is still very important to order a high quality window. Windows are basically holes in the wall and are a home's greatest source of energy loss. Since picture windows are usually so large, they create a large hole and can potentially be a source of great energy loss. Therefore, it is important when selecting a picture window to choose one with high performance features.
Picture windows are a fairly expensive investment, but it is not worth cutting corners when it comes to selecting one for your home. What you may save by scrimping on energy efficient features will cost you more in the long run through decreased energy efficiency and is just not worth it. Some of the features to consider when purchasing a picture window include getting a window that is at least double paned, that has low u-values and has low-e coatings on the glass.