Transoms are the "eyebrow art" of a window. Rather than providing fixed transoms that exist for aesthetics only, some manufacturers are rolling out "active" transoms that open, providing an inlet for fresh air.
What's more, the look of these working windows is more appealing because they require deeper casing, Franklin says. "Active transoms have more depth, so they don't look like a flat piece of glass stuck on the wall with a bit of casing," he explains.
Homeowners seeking environmental benefits from a window design should move away from configurations like radius-style windows shaped like half-moons, "sunbursts" or circles, which do not open.
Even the most expensive window unit won't perform effectively if it's not installed correctly. Be wary of any contractor who relies too heavily on expanding foams or sealants to get a window to fit well these materials aren't waterproof and can lead to problems down the road. Pre-installation waterproofing, often completed long before windows are installed, is the best option, says Jim DeLaPlaine, director of operations for Building Engineering-Consultants of The Woodlands, Texas.
Flashing and proper caulking may be the cheapest parts of window installation, but if they're not done with an eye to detail, the ensuing water leaks will cause a barrage of problems for both builder and buyer that could have been easily prevented.
Some window designs are inherently more efficient than others. The most common types are:
Other designs include windows with transoms that open, providing an inlet for fresh air. And they look appealing because of the deeper casings they require. Avoid configurations like radius-style windows shaped like half-moons, sunbursts or circles that don't open.
Learn about window design options like bay, casements and more.
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