In Chicago, being prepared for all four seasons is a must. The city and the surrounding suburbs are known for experiencing hot summers and less than favorable winters.
During extreme weather events, the structure of your house can have a drastic effect on your comfort level and even how much you pay in energy costs every month. The quality of your windows plays a big part in this.
Window Styles for Chicago Homes
Windows are equally about aesthetics and functionality. They can bring together the style of a building but also protect residents from weather conditions. When closed, they help maintain the inside climate. This means that the windows should be sealed well without letting too much warm air escape outside.
Failure at this task could mean more money spent on electricity from running the heater more. The summer is no different since cooling can be just as pricy, not to mention its impact on leaving a bigger carbon footprint.
Below are some types of window options for your home. They all hold up well in warm and cold conditions, as is needed for residents in the Chicago metro.
Single and Double Hung Windows
Single-hung windows are turned from the bottom to open. Most are fitted with a sash on the opposite side. When built this way, the top part of the window does not move. Single windows are often used in apartments. However, they are also common in newly renovated Chicago homes. They are not too expensive and are usually sold per window.
Double-hung windows are a little different. The sash from the top and bottom parts moves, making the window open up from either side. Even better is how they tilt open, making it easy to wipe the outer part of the window when it gets dirty. They are often sold as replacements and are just as commonly seen in renovated homes as single-hung pieces.
An awning window opens from the bottom and retracts toward the outside, typically at a 95-degree angle. They are great for places with seasonal rains, whether they be downpours or the freezing kind that is so common in Northern Illinois.
Replacement costs for awning windows are higher than single and double-hung windows, but maintenance and cleaning are pretty straightforward.
Casement windows are sometimes found in cooler regions of the US, including Chicago. They are opened from the side or at the top. Due to this, residents can have more natural light enter inside. The frames can sometimes be thick, though this helps insulate the interior and minimizes ice clinging to the edges.
The main purpose of an egress window is to serve as an exit during an emergency. They are usually fitted to rooming houses or mid-sized apartment buildings. Egress windows may open completely and have enough room for people to walk outside with no physical demands like squatting or climbing into a narrow frame.
Storm windows are commonplace in single-family and two-story homes. They are sometimes layered over existing windows or lined with shutters on the side and open from top to bottom. They’re great at retaining heat in the indoor space close to the window and serve as good protection in localities that experience high winds from snowstorms and thunderstorms.
Bow windows are easy to find in Chicago’s renovated bungalows and two-story homes. The shape takes the form of a half or hexagon with three window pieces. Sometimes, only one piece opens, but alternatives exist, allowing all three to open up.
Window Styles for Every Home
Windows are a secondary form of insulation. They should be built well and made with strong materials that won’t crack the window. Many other styles of windows exist than those named above. And with the variety of housing in Chicago, a resident or long-term visitor in the city is likely to have seen all of them.
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR:
Patricia T. Day
As a home designer, I always offered my clients the best solutions to fully enjoy their living spaces at the most affordable costs. In recent years, I also took an interest in mechanical engineering and landscape architecture. Building or remodeling a home for someone means dealing with a complicated, beautiful puzzle of aesthetics, functionality, comfort, and sustainability. When I don’t help people get the most out of interior and exterior design, I collaborate with various online outlets discussing home sustainability, green remodeling, durability, curb appeal upgrades, modern solutions to conserving energy, and, of course, comfort and beauty.