32x14 Basement Windows: Things To Consider

32×14 Basement Windows: Things To Consider

ByHarison Pyykko January 3, 2020

Choosing the right pieces to go with your home is as important as the process of constructing it. While professionals like architects and design consultants can guide you on the right fixtures to place in your home, it can give you a greater sense of ownership and accomplishment to personally know the things that you should consider when choosing your 32x14 basement windows (as you would for the rest of your home’s fixtures).

With the right kind of 32x14 basement window, you can manipulate the amount of heat and/or coolness that you want in your basement. The right 32x14 window basement windows can also ensure no further maintenance costs as it should be air and moisture tight.

So what exactly are the things you should keep in mind in choosing your 32x14 basement windows? Here we explain three factors to consider as extracted from the BC Housing Design Guidelines and Construction Standards 2019, why you should keep it in mind, and how you would know if your 32x14 window is good enough based on industry standards.

1. Window to Wall Ratio

What this is: The window to wall ratio is a globally recognized measurement that determines the area of a building’s exterior envelopes. This is composed of parts of the wall that are made out of glass such as doors and windows.

Why this is important: The right window to wall ratio ensures the proper proportion of glazing area and wall area in a room or building. This directly affects the amount of natural lighting and ventilation that can enter a room. This, in turn, affects the mood, comfort, productivity, and electricity consumption of occupants. 

What to look for: According to the ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007, the ideal window to door ratio is 0.24 to 0.29. Anything less is considered poor and anything more can cause overheating. In the case of overheating, however, shading devices can be used to provide passive cooling. Some examples of these shading devices are putting on blinds and glass tint or coating.

2. Air and Water Tightness

What this is: Air tightness and water tightness is a test conducted on windows and doors to make sure that no water or air leakage occurs. Although this test is exclusively performed by licensed professionals, you can also check for air and water tightness by looking for the presence of air pressure and leaks or moisture coming out from your windows.

Why this is important: Poor air tightness might increase humidity is a room. Because of the Okanagan Lake which is surrounded by a number of cities in British Columbia, humidity can be higher than cities without a nearby body of water. Nathan Chandler explains that high humidity disallows sweat to evaporate in the air, which in turn, makes humans feel warmer than the actual temperature. The effect? Higher electricity consumption due to the use of dehumidifiers and air conditioning units.

The 2020 Climate Projections Report by the Regional District of North-Okanagan predicts higher temperature and heavier rainfall with a high possibility of flooding. Poor water tightness causes fast and early deterioration of walls and windows. Poor water tightness can cause basement flooding in the event of extreme weather conditions.

What to look for: A 2016 study on the air and water tightness of window frames reveal that performance requirements of window frames differ per country. However, after testing more than 400 window frames, this study concluded that most watertight windows are also airtight. The figure below provides the required water tightness pressure for respective building heights vis-a-vis the water tightness capacity of different window types.

3. Operability

What this is: Operability is a window’s trait that allows people to control the amount of air and/or sunlight that can enter a building or room. Simply put, an operable window means that you can close and/or open it.

There are multiple types of operable windows such as single hung, double hung, and casement. For basements, however, the most common types of operable windows are horizontal sliders and awnings.

Why this is important: Like the first two factors mentioned beforehand, being able to operate your window gives you the power to manipulate the amount of air and sunlight you want to enter your home. This provides maximum comfort for home-owners and reduced energy consumption, at the same time.

What to look for: Operability can hugely rely on your preference. However, there are some considerations that should be looked into. For one, a horizontal slider window can be the best choice if there is little to no space available outside. This can be the most suitable for basements or for homes located in communities with tight spaces.

Awning windows, on the other hand, can be a good choice for homes in coastal areas or are near a body of water. As mentioned beforehand, areas near a body of water can have higher humidity. Having an awning window provides just the right amount of opening to balance temperature, humidity, and air pressure.