What is a Transom Window?
A transom window is a rectangular, angled or fan-shaped horizontal accent window above or below another window or door. Since they are mainly added for appearance, they are usually installed above front doors or large windows on the front of a house to boost curb appeal. Transom windows are great for bringing additional light into entryways as well as enhancing the appearance of your home as a whole, if they are installed above or on the sides of your door they are referred to as a transom door window.
Exterior Transom Windows
After being utilized in certain spaces where a sophisticated shape or particular style door came together with another oblique architectural feature, transom windows began to grow in popularity. They often serve as a conduit between a door and the eaves overhead.
Traditionally, exterior and interior transom windows are widely known as being shaped like a fan. They’re often beautifully showcased in custom Mediterranean style homes. Not only are they a visual feast to look at, but also let you see more of the beautiful scenery just outside your home.
Architects will generally tell you that transom windows are very purposeful in dividing the framing of a window from the framing of a door. While this is certainly true, they are also works of art from a modern point of view.
Still, in most cases transom windows are primarily decorative. Transoms are often seen in Craftsman style homes. Structurally speaking, they’re not necessary. But, from a visual design perspective, they make the house a home and add to the overall ambiance of the space.
Transom Windows Add Natural Light
One of the biggest benefits of transom windows is that they help bring added light into a space. This is particularly nice in a room that doesn’t have too many windows around the door. Transom windows add light to a dark entryway making it easier to see your door and the space around it during the day when you aren’t using interior lights.
Transom windows don’t just help bring light into a room above an exterior door, they can be used to transfer light from one of your exterior rooms, to one that’s farther into the interior of your home. Imagine that you have a room in your home with no exterior windows. Adding a couple transom windows to the walls of that room can create a sort of light bridge between the two rooms sharing their light and brightening them up substantially throughout the day.
Another major benefit of transom windows is allowing light into a space during times of the day when the sun is higher in the sky. When there isn’t as much direct sunlight coming into your home, a transom window can offer a solid source of light after other windows stop being useful. By extending your windows up higher you can enjoy a brighter room longer into the day.
Interior Transom Windows that Open
An interior transom window that opens and closes can be purchased and put in just as easily as fixed transom windows, so it’s important to know whether you want a window that can open before ordering your window and having it installed.
Most transoms are for decorative purposes, or to let light into a room, but they can also serve as ventilation when installed or modified properly. Standard transom windows don’t open or close, but there are some transom windows that serve like awning windows, meaning that they are able to be opened up. They create a mini canopy over the hole above your door and air can flow into the room. They’re good for letting in just a bit of air when you don’t want to open up all the other windows in the room, or for letting more airflow around a room that doesn’t have enough ventilation
Many old plantation homes make use of transom windows to keep air moving and cooling the home throughout the day. High window transoms are opened on the sunny side of the home to allow hot air to escape, and low transoms can be opened on the shady side of the home to let cool air in.