Changing area.type of existing screen area?

possible to change the area.type of the 3d view to image editor through python?
I noticed it works only for the active area, but not for an existing one.

I tried this:

import bpy

context = bpy.context
for window in 
    if window.screen.areas[1].type == 'VIEW_3D':
        for area in bpy.context.screen.areas:
            if area.type == 'VIEW_3D':
                context.area.type = 'IMAGE_EDITOR'