If you have fixed windows in your home -- not repaired windows, but fixed, non-operational windows -- you may want to consider replacing at least some of them with operational windows. It's true that having a large picture or bay window without any divided panes to break up the view can be a lovely feature in a home. But if you have too many windows that won't open, you're missing out on some energy- and health-saving strategies.
Proper ventilation of a home relies on good cross-breezes and the occasional exhaust fan, such as in the bathroom or kitchen. You're not going to get a pleasant cross-breeze from just one or two small windows, and you can't rely on keeping the door open. That's a security issue, even if you live in a supposedly safe neighborhood.
There is nothing wrong with having a picture window to showcase a lovely view, but the majority of the windows in the room should open, and they should be of a relatively decent size. If you have a room where the operational windows are tiny, you may want to look into remodeling the wall and changing the layout of the windows so that you have larger operational panes.
This is about more than fresh air. If you use cleaners or pest sprays with prominent smells (and even eco-friendly products can be rather strong in the scent department), if you cook something that is so odiferous that it overpowers the kitchen exhaust fan, or if you live in an older house that has no kitchen or bathroom exhaust fan, you need to have a lot of working windows. Otherwise, the smells and fumes could be overpowering and soak into the carpet fibers and drywall or plaster.
One benefit that good cross breezes bring is the ability to cool the house down without the use of power. If you don't have good ventilation because the only operational windows you have are small or placed in spots with terrible airflow patterns, your house is going to remain hotter than it needs to be unless you start using the air conditioner, which just increases your bills. By replacing some of those non-operational windows with ones that open, you can increase your home's ability to cool down without that powered help.
Looks and purpose do play a role in choosing the windows you have in your home, but ventilation and cooling should take precedence. It is possible to design the layout of the windows in a room so that you have your beautiful views while also having the best cross-breezes possible.
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