Why Do Attics Have Windows – (Should You Have Them)

There was once a time when living in an attic was seen as eccentric. That is no longer the case. Still, if you are someone who only thinks of your attic as extra storage space, it might cross your mind that an attic is an odd place for a window.

Having windows in your attic space gives you access to natural light, passive ventilation, and an extra escape route in an emergency. Attics do not necessarily have to include windows in their design, but most people appreciate them. 

This article will answer questions about what attic windows are for and why you might want them in your attic space.

windows in attic

Why Do Attics Have Windows?

An attic can be a wonderful part of any home since it has so much potential. If you’re creative, you could turn your attic into a gaming room, art studio, or office. Or you could just keep items in there that you are not currently using, like old furniture.

If you only use your attic for storing excess belongings, you probably don’t need to worry too much about windows, air conditioning, or other comforts. But what if you change your mind and want to convert it into an extra bedroom?

Just because you do not currently need windows in your attic does not mean you won’t need them later. Turning an attic into a usable living space can be expensive, including adding attic insulation and 

If windows in your attic worry you because you live in a hot or cold climate, for security reasons, or anything else, you can simply board them up.

Pros and Cons of Attic Windows

attic windows

Depending on your point of view, having windows in your attic can be good or bad. 

Pros of installing windows include energy efficiency and air flow. Typical cons include security risks and damage from the elements. 

Below are more details that should help you weigh these pros and cons.


One cannot emphasize enough that an attic is not just a room for storage. Just because people usually use attics for this purpose doesn’t mean you have to. 

Using your attic as an additional bedroom or a recreation room immediately adds square feet to your usable space and makes your home accommodating. In this case, attic windows make the space more comfortable.

OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) advises that having adequate lighting in an attic will help you see where you are walking and avoid slips. So it’s essential to ensure your own attic is up to building code requirements in this regard.

A window in your sloped roof also adds style and curb appeal, making your house more visually pleasing to outsiders.


Let’s face it: We do not live in a perfectly safe world. Windows of any kind are a security concern for homeowners, and attic windows are yet another way for unscrupulous individuals to break into a house. 

Usually, burglars will not go out of their way to enter a home through an attic, but it isn’t unheard of. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep these windows secure.

If you live in a harsh or humid climate with lots of storms, you also have to worry about branches breaking your windows, which can add to unanticipated expenses. 

Not only do you have to pay for a new window, but you’ll have to foot a higher electricity bill for heating costs, keeping your attic cool, and lighting the space.

Should I Leave Attic Windows Open?

attic window

If your attic has windows, it makes sense to open them at least once in a while for ventilation. No matter what you use your attic for, a little fresh air never hurts. But be aware of the risks of open windows, especially regarding children, pets, security, and the weather.

It should go without saying that you should not just open your attic windows and completely forget about them. This can endanger small children and pets. Unfortunately, many kids are hurt and even die from falling out of attic windows each year.

Leaving the window open all the time will also expose your attic directly to the elements. If you live in a hot climate, it may increase cooling costs by letting cold air escape.

How to Make an Attic Window Safer

installing attic windows

Maybe you have decided to move forward with using or installing attic windows. If so, it’s in your best interests to make them safer, especially if you have young children or pets around. But how can you do so?

You can make attic windows safer by installing better locks, adding window security film to strengthen the glass, installing laminated safety glass, adding motion detectors, and buying security cameras.


Attics have windows because they provide natural light, ventilation, and other benefits. Whether you already have attic windows or are considering installing a few, you now know what you can expect and how to make the best use of them.