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Question DetailsAsked on 11/1/2014

Insulation in Basement Windows

I have about 12 mid size double glass windows and slider door in walkout basement. Basement is not being used in winter time. I am tired of putting plastics in the windows. Can I put faced R13 insulation, bats touching glass and paper facing inside? Insulation stands by itself and no taping/gluing/support is necessary. Makes it easy to remove and putting it back. Will that help me in saving money? Is R13 insulation better than plastics in the windows for saving money. Sun light is not needed in basement during winter.

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2 Answers


Your solution would increase the insulation on the windows. Although I would still include the plastic sheeting over the inside of the windows to keep drafts out.


As a permament solution, you might want to consider replacing you windows which I presume are single pane, with new double pane vinyl windows. Alternatively, you could put in glass block windows as I done with my 5 basement windows. They are effective insulation and also provide added security. They cost me about $100 per window - installed.

Answered 5 years ago by hangie1


If it stays dry, the R13 fiberglass will give you several times better insulation than the plastic or a storm window, which is your other alternative but onluy increases your R value by about R2 or maybe R3.

To be sure it keeps its insulation value in the event of blowing rain or condensation, I would get closed-cell foam board insulation like Dow-Hi 40 and use it, custom cut to fit each window - in layers if wanted. R factor (dry) right about R5 per inch of thickness, and available in 1, 1.5, 2 and 3 inch thickness (not all thicknesses available in all areas), so 3 inch thickness would exceed the R value of normal 3-1/2" fiberglass and maintain most of it in the event of it getting damp. I would stuff some soft foam weather stripping or foam backer rod around the outermost piece to block airflow around it.

Even inside I think I would not use faced fiberglass insulation, because I would want the insulation to be able to breathe to remove condensation and icing on the glass, which will certainly occur because the glass will go well into the freezing zone in the winter with R13 insulation on the inside - possibly promoting rot asit thaws out. I would recommend insulating the outside instead with rigid foam - could be cut to fit window size and put in place, then a siding-matched painted piece of exterior plywood put over the outside for appearance - or the foam itself can be painted.

Bear in mind if any of there are legal egress windows that any covering that obstructs the full opening space or has to be removed before opening the window will be illegal.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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