“I don’t want to block them all. I really need the privacy and security of the glass blocks, but I can’t afford to let fresh air in my basement and bathrooms to keep my family healthy,” said the customer with a concerned look on his face. This has been a common concern among homeowners who want the security, privacy, and style of block windows, but don’t want to sacrifice air flow.
Fortunately, now you can get the best of both worlds – blocking windows and airflow are no longer mutually exclusive. There are two ways to make this happen: glass block windows with air vents and fully operable acrylic block windows. Let’s explore these options in more detail and also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about vents in block window systems.
Glass windows with air ventilation systems
Traditionally, block windows have been mortar (in some cases silicone) to provide light, security, and privacy; great benefits, but sometimes flawed if you also need air ventilation in your space or air to get out of your home or business. The new product options and benefits of these block air ventilation systems have never been better.
o Air Vents to Reduce Heating and Cooling Costs and Maintain Air Flow: With dual-pane glass and thin-line vinyl frames, the new generation of air vents allows air to enter while being small enough to keep out to intruders. The vents come in white and brown and in a wide variety of sizes to match the exterior colors and maintain the symmetry of the block window.
o Electric vents to eliminate musty odor and improve indoor air quality: Electric vents are vinyl frame fans with two electric fans that can move 145 cubic feet per minute of air to combat mold, remove smoke and make circulate the air to be healthier by providing cooler living spaces. The Power Vent comes with an A / C adapter that plugs directly into the wall.
o Removable sash windows for maximum airflow and to move items in and out – Removable sash windows have an interior sash that removes completely from the inside, providing maximum air and allowing a larger space for carrying materials in or out of a basement or other space.
o Dryer vent blocks to draw air out of a dryer in a glass block basement window – Dryers are often located in basements and their ventilation is often directed through an inefficient single pane window metal or wood in the basement. Vinyl dryer vent blocks replace the space occupied by a block in a new glass window and allow you to reap the benefits of the block without having to vent the dryer through the foundation (which can be considerably more expensive).
Operable Acrylic Block Windows
If you want the look and privacy of a block and the ability to fully open your windows, like a traditional window, then operable acrylic block windows are for you. Since these windows are made from acrylic block, not glass block, they are light enough to incorporate the block look and have the functionality of a casement window.
Acrylic block windows are encased in a low-maintenance, welded vinyl frame with the thermal benefits of double-insulated or low-emissivity (low-emissivity) glass. Frames are available in white, tan or driftwood to match the exterior window package colors. Blocks come in 3 patterns (wave, cross rib, and frosted wave) and 3 color options (green wave, frosted green wave, and sun block for greater energy efficiency).
These windows are commonly used as casement windows that open from side to side (whether in a kitchen, bathroom, or in a basement exit situation) or as an awning window that opens up and down. Acrylic block windows also include a removable screen on the inside.
Glass Block Window Vents Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the 3 most frequently asked questions about ventilation in block windows.
Question: Should I ventilate all windows? Answer: Ventilate as many windows as your budget allows. More ventilation will make your home safe for the environment with less chance of mold build-up.
Question: How many vents do I need? Answer: That depends on the size of the area you want to refresh and how you plan to use the space both now and in the future. Consider more ventilation for larger areas, spaces where people might be smoking or working, and bathrooms that have high humidity and steam in the air.
Question: How much ventilation does the building code require? Answer: This answer will be specific to where you live. Check with your city or municipality.
In short, the good news is that blocked windows and ventilation are no longer separate ships that pass at night. Yes, you can have the privacy, security and beauty of glass or acrylic block windows and now you don’t have to run out of the airflow you want in your home or business.