How to Vent Basement Windows


Technically speaking, anything that allows airflow in a basement qualifies as a vent, including basement windows. However, the process of venting basement windows entails transforming your window into a venting fan or vent outlet for your dryer. Three methods of doing this exist, though one -- DIY venting -- may not meet requirements of your local building code. Always check your local building code before undertaking any home construction or modification project to ensure adherence to local law.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Dryer venting hose
  • Utility knife
  • Waterproof caulk
  • Replacement window or vent panel
  • Work gloves
  • Level
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Sealant
  • Plexiglas window pane
  • Jigsaw

Replacement Windows

  • Measure the length, height, thickness and diagonal dimensions of the basement window you want to vent using your measuring tape.

  • Purchase a replacement window with a built-in vent using the dimensions as your guide. You can buy windows with many types of vents, including dryer vent panels or fan vent panels.

  • Remove your new window from its packaging. Read the installation manual carefully.

  • Put on your work gloves and remove your existing basement window. Use your hammer and chisel or utility knife to chip away any sealant or caulk around the window. Use your screwdriver, drill or hammer to disassemble the window if necessary.

  • Install your new window, using the installation manual as a guide. Use your level to ensure that your window is straight and even within your basement wall. Use any sealant necessary, and as recommended by the manufacturer, to bind your window to your basement wall.

  • Apply waterproof caulk around the inside and outside perimeter of your new window.

  • Hook up your dryer vent to the venting mechanism in your new window or plug the venting fan in your new window into an outlet with adequate power output.

Block Window Replacement Panel

  • Measure the size of the blocks in your block window using your measuring tape. A block window consists of numerous individual blocks of glass glued together to form a single surface.

  • Purchase a block window replacement panel with the desired venting mechanism using the block dimensions from Step 1. You can buy block window replacement panels with vent types including fan vents or dryer vents.

  • Remove your block window replacement panel from its packaging and read the installation manual carefully.

  • Put on your work gloves. Remove the appropriate number of window blocks from your window to install your replacement panel. Use your utility knife or chisel to scrape out any glue holding window blocks together. Always remove blocks from the center of your window.

  • Install your replacement panel as instructed by the manufacturer. Use any necessary sealants, as recommended by the manufacturer, to glue your panel in place.

  • Apply waterproof caulking around your panel if necessary. These panels may require waterproof sealant as an adhesive, in which case waterproof caulk proves unnecessary.

  • Hook up your dryer vent to the venting mechanism in your new window or plug the venting fan in your new window into an outlet with adequate power outp

DIY Window Venting

  • Measure the length of each side of your basement windowpanes. You can only easily DIY vent for dryers, and only with windows containing multiple, independent panes. Furthermore, this method may not meet building code standards.

  • Purchase a Plexiglas pane with the same dimensions as your basement windowpanes.

  • Put on your work gloves and remove one of your windowpanes. Only use this method on windows that crank open -- you cannot vent sliding windows like this.

  • Measure the circumference of the end of your dryer hose with your measuring tape.

  • Outline an area with the utility knife on your new Plexiglas pane with the same circumference as the end of your dryer hose. Cut this area out using your jigsaw.

  • Install your Plexiglas pane in your window. Slot the end of your dryer hose through the hole in the pane.

  • Use your waterproof caulk to create a seal on both sides of your window at the juncture of the Plexiglas and dryer hose.

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