Best Energy Efficient Basement Windows
LESLIE: We’re on our way to New Jersey to talk windows with Christine. How can we help?
CHRISTINE: We have old windows in our basement. They’re like those jalosy windows. And we were wondering what were the best windows to replace them with because we were thinking about replacing them with the glass block or just regular, I guess you’d say, basement windows. And we weren’t sure which would be the most energy efficient.
TOM: Well, glass block windows are only going to be slightly (chuckling) more energy efficient than a jalosy window; which is like a window that’s constantly open. You know? It’s almost impossible to seal a jalosy window.
You know, Leslie, those are the kinds with the panes of glass …
TOM: … and like horizontal slats; look like a shutter.
LESLIE: Oh, yeah. And then …
TOM: They’re awful.
LESLIE: And then even when they’re closed, they never permanently seal against the one below it …
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
LESLIE: … so you’re still letting in a ton of air. I mean great if you live in Hawaii and you want breezes to come through. Bad if you live in the northeast.
CHRISTINE: Right. We used to – but we – in the winter, we’d have to put insulation around them to, you know, stop the drafts.
TOM: Why don’t we solve that once and for all. Leslie, I would recommend an Energy Star casement window.
LESLIE: I think you’re absolutely right. You know, Energy Star, when you’re thinking about a window, that’s what you want to look for. You want to look for something that’s Energy Star qualified. And the reason why they are Energy Star qualified is that they have two or more panes of glass; there’s a warm edge spacer between the window panes; they’re made from improved framing materials; and they feature low-e coatings which help to keep heat inside during the window and outside during the summer. So it doesn’t really matter what type of window you go for, as long as you go for something that meets these standards and you’ll know you’ll stay warm.
TOM: Yeah, I think that’s going to be much more efficient than the glass block windows, Christine.
TOM: Yeah, and Christine, one more thing. You may also be able to qualify for an Energy Star tax credit if you replace those windows; because there’s a tax program right now – a tax incentive that offers a credit of up to $500 for installing Energy Star windows.
LESLIE: You just have to do the repair in ’06 or ’07.
CHRISTINE: Oh, well that’s good to know. OK, then I’ll make it a point to do this ASAP then.
TOM: Alright, Christine. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.