How to Ventilate a Glass Block Basement or Bathroom Window
You might have hesitated to purchase glass block windows for your basement, bathroom or garage because of your desire to get fresh air. Fortunately with the introduction of ventilation products for glass block these 2 goals can be achieved at the same time. Here are the most common options you’ll have to choose from:
- Glass block air vents – These hopper style windows open from the inside, have a vinyl frame (in either white of beige color) and can be supplied in sizes ranging from 16” x 6” up to 24” x 16”. This vent comes with a removable screen on the outside as well. This product (combined with the security of the glass blocks) can provide a healthier environment for a basement recreation room or consider using them in for a bathroom remodeling project where you don’t have an exhaust fan.
- Power ventilators – If you’ve got an Uncle Louie who smokes like crazy at the family gatherings and you want to improve the air flow in the room (without sacrificing privacy) a power air ventilator could be the answer. These vinyl framed units are powered by two fans that can move 145 cubic feet per minute of air flow to fight mold, move the smoke away and circulate the air for a healthier home.
- Dryer vent blocks – One of the most common ways to ventilate a dryer is though a basement window. If you’re looking to replace your existing windows with more energy efficient glass blocks you can still vent your dryer using the same window. The dryer vent blocks are made with the standard 4” wide inside ventilation hole for this purpose and come in 6” x 6, 6” x 8” and 8” x 8” sizes that can be built into your glass block window.
- Removable Sash Windows – These windows have an inside window sash that can be removed completely to allow a full access to a lower level of a home.
If you’re doing a basement or bathroom remodeling project with glass blocks I’d strongly recommend you not block them in completely. Why not get the benefit of the security of the glass blocks with the flexibility to get air flow as well?
What tips, questions or advice do you have about using glass block air vents for your project?
If you need any more information about glass block windows (with or without air vents or dryer vents) for your basement or bathroom visit
Cleveland Glass Block (216-531-6363), Columbus Glass Block (614-252-5888) or Mid America Glass Block (513-742-5900) of Cincinnati and Dayton Ohio.
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Thanks for your question. There were 2 companies who made exhaust fans especially for glass blocks which has the plug on the inside. Both of these units could be closed up when they weren’t in use. I’m not sure if these companies are still making these exhaust fans – but you can certainly try calling them. The 2 companies are Glass Block Supply in Medina Ohio and Quality Glass Block in Illinois. Now – if you use these units you would have to remove your existing glass block air vent and replace it with this complete unit. Hope this helps you – Mike
Hi Mike et al,
I have glass block windows in my basement, each with a hopper vent that opens inwards (obviously). I would like to install an exhaust fan in the one in my workshop… unfortunately, from what I see looking around, many appear to be intake fans for hopper vents installed the other way (perhaps in attics?), OR the power cord would wind up being outside the house. Additionally, I want to be able to somehow close the window (or the fan vents) so that I don’t lose heat in winter or invite heat in summer when I’m not using the fan. To complicate things further, I’d REALLY prefer to not have to remove the entire vent window with frame… and be able to just bolt something either to the outside or by removing the part of the window that opens. I’m not sure if this is clear… but it seems like what I’m trying to do is pretty straightforward. Essentially, I’m looking to solve the “Uncle Louie” problem in the description above, I’m just never sure which of the products will fit my intentions.
Gina – usually the hopper glass can be replaced. If this glass is inside an aluminum housing you can take it out and have a glass shop make you a new piece. If – on the other hand – the glass is part of a vinyl ‘door system,’ then you’d need to go back to your supplier (if you know this), find out who the manufacturer of the vent is and then try to get a vent door replacement. In some cases it’s simpler to just get a new vent entirely. Some pictures here would be helpful – Mike
The hopper vent glass cracked in my glass block window. Should I replace the entire hopper vent? Ho do I remove the existing vent? Do I need to remove the vent and measure the thickness of the glass block to determine the vent size prior to purchasing a new vent?
Robert – I close mine in the winter – but you can do either. The only problem with keeping them open is it will run your heating bills higher. Mike
Should I close my glass block vents for winter?
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Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn’t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.
Thanks. If you need any additional help don’t hesitate to contact me personally.
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