4 Tips to Buying the Right Basement Sliding Window

July 25, 2010

Your basement window is close to the ground, meaning over time moisture has probably turned it into a rotted, drafty mess. If your basement windows are unsightly or letting heat escape the home, now is the time to replace them. New windows will make the space look brighter, with improved energy efficiency and operation. Here are some features you'll want in your new basement sliding windows:

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  1. Consider energy efficiency. It's worthwhile to invest in replacement windows with double thermo-pane glass and a low-emissivity (low-e) coating. There are a variety of low-e coatings based on climate zone. Familiarize yourself with the National Fenestration Rating Council uniform rating system, which gives new windows a score on U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient, visible transmittance, air leakage, and condensation resistance factors.
  2. Ask about rot- and mildew-resistance features. Wood rots and metal rusts. Vinyl, airtight windows will keep out the creepy crawlies and hold up against wet and dirty conditions, never requiring a new coat of paint.
  3. Bring in natural light and ventilation. A high-performance basement sliding window can bring a lot of light into an otherwise dark and gloomy room. Being able to open the window for ventilation is another huge benefit. Consider buying a new window specially made for basements so it can stand up to dirt and rain, and still smoothly slide open and closed.
  4. Take ease of use into consideration. When unlocked, some sliding basement window models allow you to remove both panes from the frame. This allows you to easily clean the glass or create a larger opening through which you can pass objects, like a ladder, directly into or out of the basement. It's a nice option when you're working outside and don't want to lug a ladder up the basement stairs and through the house.

The basement window is often a forgotten corner of the house, but give replacement windows the consideration they deserve. By selecting the right window, you'll conserve energy; increase ventilation; and keep termites, rodents, and other pests from entering through the basement window.

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