Jalousie Windows and Better Alternatives

Jalousie windows, also called louvered windows, are common in older homes. They have split horizontal slats that resemble Venetian blinds.

The slats of jalousie windows are often glass panes but can be aluminum, wood, or plastic. These windows offer easy ventilation, which is why they peaked in popularity before household air conditioners were a standard. 

Jalousie Window

If you’re considering jalousie-style windows for your home, here’s what you need to know about the way they work, costs, pros, and cons.


What is a Jalousie Window?

Jalousie windows consist of several slats, or louvers, arranged parallel on a window frame. The slats open and close at an angle by the turn of a hand crank or knob.

Most older jalousie windows have glass or wood slats, but you can also find them with acrylic or metal louvers.


What Does it Cost to Replace a Jalousie Window?

While most home improvement stores carry parts to fix a jalousie window, they don’t carry the windows themselves. Because jalousie windows are no longer popular, they’re hard to find and, therefore, hard to price. 

In the past, jalousie windows were less expensive than comparable options. Depending on size, a rough estimate is anywhere from $200 – $400 per window.

Can You Replace Glass on a Jalousie Window?

One advantage of jalousie windows is that you can replace broken slats individually. So even though it’s tough to find a brand new jalousie window for sale, replacement slats are widely available.

What is the Best Replacement for a Jalousie Window?

Are you ready to replace your jalousie window with something more energy efficient? There are many good choices depending on your preferences.

These are the best alternatives to jalousie windows:

  • Casement windowsCasement windows come in many sizes and open with a turn of a crank. Rather than having several slats, these windows feature one large panel of glass that extends outward and to the side.
  • Sliding windows – You can purchase tall rectangle double or single-hung windows with vertical sliding sashes. You can opt for horizontal sliding windows if you have a wide space to fill.
  • Awning WindowsAwning windows are a good pick to fill a square or wide rectangular space. Awning windows open up and outward by use of a hand crank.

Jalousie Window: Pros and Cons

Jalousie windows were a standard window in homes in the 1940s through 1960s. They offered good ventilation for houses in warmer climates. But once air conditioning took off, these windows went from asset to energy-suck.

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of Jalousie windows.

Pros:

  • Excellent ventilation – Since all slats of a jalousie window open in unison, they allow plenty of airflow.
  • Can Change Slats – The slats are easy to change out, so if you want something that offers more privacy or a better view, you can pick a new material.

Cons:

  • Not energy efficient – Jalousie windows are among the least energy efficient, allowing air to leak through the cracks.
  • Easy to break into – The slats of these windows make them less secure and easier to break.
  • Lots of working parts – The more components a window has, the more maintenance it will require. 

How Do You Winterize a Jalousie Window?

If you’re living in a home with older jalousie windows, it’s important to stop air leaks before winter arrives. 

One of the best ways to stop leaks is to add vinyl strips to the slats. You can purchase vinyl slat kits on Amazon. The vinyl will come in a big roll that you trim to size. With the vinyl stripping, the window will have a much tighter seal.

You can also add plastic sheeting over the window and use thermal curtains.


What Kind of Window Treatments Do You Use for Jalousie Windows?

In the winter, one of the best window treatments for jalousie windows is thermal curtains. They will help block out air leakage. Otherwise, use a standard curtain rod and curtains. If you open your windows often, don’t add blinds since they can obstruct the window from opening. Instead, a pull-down shade is a better privacy choice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Are jalousie windows out of style?

While jalousie windows have a retro look, they’ve been on the decline since air conditioners became mainstream in the 1970s. They are still prevalent in Hawaii, though.

Are jalousie windows safe during a hurricane?

Jalousie windows are safe during a hurricane only if they are impact rated. Most are not. If your jalousie windows are not impact-rated, you’ll need to add hurricane shutters.

Are jalousie windows hard to break into?

The multiple slats of a jalousie window make them one of these easiest window types to break into. So if you’re worried about security, consider replacing them with a different window.

Do they still make jalousie windows?

Many top manufacturers no longer make jalousie windows. In Hawaii, this type of window is still popular and easy to find. Jalousie windows are hard to come by in other parts of the United States. 

Do jalousie windows have screens?

Jalousie windows often require a frame outside the window for a screen. The frame keeps the screen far enough from the window so that it doesn’t block it from opening. Some homeowners choose to add magnetic mesh screens on the inside instead. They are much cheaper and easy to install.

Final Thoughts

The jalousie window peaked in popularity from the 1940s to the 1960s. Then, when air conditioning became mainstream, it lost favor due to its poor energy efficiency. Now, many manufacturers have quit producing this type of window altogether.

You might want to reconsider if you’re thinking of adding jalousie windows to your home. These windows are notorious for air leaks and lack of security. While they have a retro vibe, they’re impractical for most homes.