Basement Hopper Windows: About, Costs, Pros, and Cons

Chris Gennone
Jul 30, 2021
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2 min read

Basement window close-up

Image source: Champion Window

Basement hopper windows not only increase airflow and bring in more natural light, but some window styles may even be required by the IRC (The International Building Code) for emergencies. Without insulation and basement windows, you could lose a substantial amount of heat or cool air through the basement walls alone. Although windows are responsible for 25-30% of cooling and heating loss, basement hopper windows are energy efficient and can be installed with Low-E glass panes and argon gas to improve insulation and reduce leaks. Let's dig into the details and determine why basement hopper windows are an important addition to your home.

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What Are Hopper Windows?

An open basement hopper window

Image source: All Weather Windows

Hopper windows are similar to awning windows and casement windows but differ in how they operate. Hopper windows typically open inwards where awnings and casements open out. Some manufacturers like Marvin feature a variety of vinyl windows with a hopper-style tilt-in function. You'll usually see hopper windows installed at the top of a room where heat rises and can flow out. Because they only have one latch and create a tight seal, they are considered highly energy-efficient windows, stopping twice as much air leakage as double-hung windows.

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If you have a finished basement with any living areas, egress windows are required by code for emergency purposes. For unfinished basements that are solely used for laundry or other mechanical uses, hopper windows are a perfect option to bring in fresh air to your basement.

Basement Hopper Window Costs

Thanks to fewer moving parts, traditional hopper windows can cost between $80-$100 at your local store, but other additions like energy-efficient argon glass and full screens can drive the pricing up to $200 or more.

You’ll be able to find hopper windows from most large home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s from manufacturers like Window World and American Craftsman by Andersen, which include several different color options and a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros and Cons of Basement Hopper Windows

Basement hopper window set above a lawn

Image source: Basement Tips

Pros of Basement Hopper Windows

Fresh air - The biggest advantage of installing basement hopper windows is being able to control how much fresh air you want to bring in or let out.

Energy efficiency - While many new construction or vinyl replacement windows can be a source of energy loss, hopper windows feature a single pane with a variety of Energy Star-rated glass options that can help insulate the window and prevent leakage. Additions like spacers and glazing are other ways to increase energy efficiency.

Increases curb appeal - Simply replacing your windows can increase curb appeal and bring you a 70% return on your investment.

Cons of Basement Hopper Windows

Hard to reach - Because hopper windows are typically installed towards the top of the wall, they can be hard to reach and clean depending on the height of your basement.

Prone to leakage - Since hopper windows open from the inside, they are prone to leaking if left open during a storm.

Basement Hopper Windows: In Summary

Not only do basement hopper windows help bring fresh air and natural light into a dark, stagnant room, but with the proper additions of insulated glass, you’ll also have an energy-efficient window that’ll save you money on energy bills. Hopper windows are a solid, cost-effective solution to increasing ventilation to your basement.

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