Picture windows are large fixed-pane windows, so called because they are intended to frame the view outside like a picture. Picture windows are great choices for rooms with a view and any areas of the house in which you are seeking to maximize light. They are often used in conjunction with smaller, operable windows, so the room can enjoy both a beautifully framed view, lots of light, and plenty of fresh air. These are called combination windows and they can be either flat or used as bay or bow windows.
Energy Efficient Picture Windows
As insulation, glazing, and other energy-efficient technologies have improved, picture windows have grown increasingly popular. In the past, large expanses of glass were often impractical and uncomfortable for the inhabitants, as they tended to allow a considerable amount of heat or cold to escape through the glass to the outdoors, and to be drafty.
Today, windows are more energy efficient than ever before and as a result it has become more cost-efficient and comfortable to have large windows like picture windows. It still pays to purchase the most energy-efficient windows you can find, however. The initial purchase of energy-efficient windows is more expensive than traditional single-pane or unglazed double-pane windows, but depending on the part of the country you live in, energy efficient windows can save an average of up to $340 per year in heating and cooling bills alone, as well as eliminating drafts, reducing fabric fading due to sunlight, and better regulating the interior temperature.
With large windows such as picture windows, these savings and other benefits can be particularly important. Picture-style storm windows are also available. Storm windows protect windows against inclement weather, increase energy efficiency, and reduce outside noise.
See the following article from HomeDoctor.net for more information on Storm Windows.
Varieties of Picture Windows
Picture windows come with a variety of framing materials, including wood, vinyl, aluminum, and clad-wood. Each material has advantages and disadvantages to consider when choosing which windows to purchase. Picture windows are also available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, just like operable windows. These can be used alone or mixed and matched in combination styles with other fixed-pane or operable window styles.
Many picture windows are also available with a variety of grille styles, which can be used to enhance or reduce the framing effect of the window. There is a picture window to match every style or taste.