Choosing Basement Windows
Just as you have many different choices when it comes to selecting windows for your basement, there are also many factors to consider when deciding which type best suits your home and your needs. While some manufacture windows specifically for basements, the truth is that all windows can in theory be installed in a basement. That being said, there are certain types of windows better suited to a tight space or an area close to the home's foundation.
For many, the best part about installing a basement window is that it lets in natural light, which makes the room seem less confining and more comfortable for many to spend time in. With this in mind, you want to select a window with the largest window panes, and if you have a say in window placement choose a sight as high above the ground as possible to let in the most light possible. .
Today's newer windows are manufactured to meet high energy efficiency standards. These standards minimize the amount of warm or cool air lost during the year, a huge priority for basements since windows are generally located at the most vulnerable location for seepage just above ground level near the ceiling. Many window experts recommend double-paned windows that come with a high insulation grade or "R" value. This will ensure the least amount of cold air seeps into your basement, and that air-conditioned air does not escape during the summer months.
Basement windows that open and close serve as an entrance or exit in the event of an emergency such as a fire. If you do not have a walk-out basement with a door that provides an emergency exit, it is recommended that at least one of the windows you select be large enough for an adult to be able to enter and exit.
Ventilation is important to basements from an air quality perspective. A basement window that can open or close ensures air gets circulated and does not feel stale. Windows that slide open from left to right, or double hung windows that open up and down, are less likely to stick due to fallen debris that accumulates near the ground.
Maintenance and Life Span
It is a good idea to consider maintenance and window life span when you are weighing your options. Wood frame windows tend to cost less, but require painting or sealing and are more likely to absorb moisture and rot. Vinyl windows are maintenance free and are rust, rot and mildew resistant. Be sure to inquire about window warranty when making your decision.