Installing replacement basement windows can be a cost-effective way to improve moisture protection and energy efficiency in your home. At the same time, replacement basement windows can add light and appeal to a dark and cluttered space while improving the value of your home.
Evaluating replacement basement windows begins with energy performance ratings, considerations of size and local building requirements. Are the windows going to open or remain fixed? Be sure that any replacement windows provide security as well as ample egress in the case of emergencies. You’ll find a range of materials from vinyl and wood, to metal or composites.
Energy Ratings for Replacement Basement Windows
All replacement windows today carry ratings from The National Fenestration Rating Council. Generally speaking, you’ll want windows that perform well in terms of R-value, visible transmittance, air leakage, and U-value. U-value measures the window’s heat conduction, while R-value measures the actual resistance to heat flow. With replacement basement windows it’s best to find the models with the lowest U-values that fit your budget.
Then, consider functionality. If you have slider replacement basement windows you’ll have the widest opportunity to let in air. Hopper windows only tilt open, but are typically the most affordable option. Awning windows are frequently the most-expensive option, but can offer the greatest flexibility in controlling ventilation.
Many homeowners prefer using vinyl window frames to help fight moisture, rot, and mildew common to basements. Vinyl also tends to offer greater natural energy efficiency over other materials.