Basement Windows: Advantages and Disadvantages

Written by AnonymousMarch 3, 2011

Examining Basement Windows: Advantages and Disadvantages

Basement windows are different from other types of windows in the home. They sit lower than other windows and some are even located in underground wells. Because of positioning, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages to these distinctive openings. 

Advantages

The advantages of basement windows are:

  • Good ventilation. Whether the basement is finished or unfinished, proper ventilation is necessary to minimize musty odors, and to allow fresh air in, especially if someone lives in the space. 
  • Natural light. Although many basements are used for storage only, some are finished and used for extra living space. Basement windows allow sunlight to get down there. It is possible to live in a space without windows, but sunlight is good for your health. It stimulates circulation, increases energy, encourages better sleep, and causes vitamin D production.
  • Optional escape route. Basement windows can provide optional escape routes in case of an emergency such as a fire. Basement windows also serve as a way for emergency crews to enter the home. Basement windows create a safer environment for occupants of the home.
  • Value. Basement windows add appeal. Safety and aesthetic enhancements add thousands of dollars to the value of your home.

To secure your basement windows, add security bars with a quick release mechanism or window security film that holds the pieces of glass together after an intruder shatters it. Both options still allow for ventilation, sunlight, and escape.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of basement windows are: 

  • Security problems. Basement windows allow light and air to enter the home, but they can also allow intruders in. If the basement is used for storage only, an intruder can easily enter and hide for hours without being discovered.
  • Natural light. Allowing natural light to enter can be both an advantage and disadvantage depending on use. For example, if your basement is used as a wine cellar, light causes wine to age too fast, resulting in an unpleasant taste.
  • Compromised comfort. Conventional basement windows are typically made of clear, uncoated glass. This type of glass attracts heat, cold, and condensation, when compared to coated windows.

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