Windows provide you with a view of the outside world. But they also let heat in and out. One solution is quality storm windows that offer a layer of glass in front of or behind your window. This solution can reduce the cost of cooling and heating your home. Different types of storm windows can offer different benefits and options.
Storm Window Benefits
Energy cost savings. Because they provide an extra layer of glass, a storm window creates dead air space between the storm window and the regular widow. The dead air space means there is less moving air reaching your regular window. In the winter, less cold air will get in or out, resulting in your needing to spend less heating your home.
Storm windows can reduce drafts coming in through your windows and warm air flowing out your window.
Protect furnishings. The sun’s UV rays coming into your room can cause fabrics, furniture, and even paintings to fade. By treating the storm window with UV protection, you can eliminate this damaging side effect of the sun.
Sound reduction. The insulation provided by the storm window acts to reduce noises getting through the window.
Affordable. Storm windows are less expensive than replacing an entire window.
If you want storm windows, one of the first choices that you will have to make is if you want interior or exterior windows.
Interior Storm Windows
Interior storm windows are mounted inside the main windows of your home. There are many reasons to choose an interior variety.
They don’t change the appearance of your home, making them an excellent choice for an older, historic home or where exterior storm windows would have a negative impact on your home’s curb appeal.
Interior storm windows are much easier to install and take care of than the exterior type. And if you live in an apartment or can’t reach your window with a ladder, they are a perfect solution.
Due to the fact that they are on the inside of the home, they will weather less and last longer than an exterior storm window.
Exterior Storm Windows
These type storm windows attach to the outside frame of your window and have unique benefits.
Window protection. Because it’s outside your home, the exterior storm window is protecting your window from the weather such as rain, snow, and wind. The protection also means you can spend less time repairing and cleaning your windows.
Covers a window that is old or not attractive. In this case, the exterior storm window can give the home a fresh appearance.
Save interior space. Because they are outside, this type window doesn’t impact the space you have for your interior windowsills.
A potential problem with exterior storm windows is condensation. That is, moisture trapped between the storm window and the regular window. This can damage the regular window. Newer models of exterior storm windows account for this by adding a weep hole. This allows the excess water to drain.
Storm Window Frames
Materials for storm window frames include wood, vinyl and aluminum.
A wooden frame makes a great insulator. However, wood does age and weather, and you may occasionally have to paint your windows to keep them looking good. Additionally, wood will shrink and expand depending upon the weather conditions.
Vinyl window frames are light and easy to install. They will not rot, and they do not require painting. The drawback of these frames is that they can fade over time and in extremely warm weather they may warp or expand. If you live in a region where the winter months are particularly cold, your vinyl may crack.
The other option is aluminum. These products are light and strong, but they are the least effective in terms of insulating.
Glass and Alternatives
It used to be that all storm windows were made of glass. This is no-longer the case. Today, there are a number of different materials which are available. You can select panes that have been manufactured from various types of plastic. Plexiglas, acrylic and plastic sheeting are a few of the options on the market.
Glass panes are:
- Easier to see through than Plexiglas
- Heavier and more fragile than Plexiglass
Plexiglas panes are:
- Lighter and tougher than glass
- Less expensive than glass
- Able to be formed into odd shapes
- More easily scratched than glass
Look at samples of both types when you are considering a purchase of storm windows.
The difference in the cost of various models of storm windows is extreme.
On one end of the spectrum, you can use a storm window kit to add a simple plastic sheet to your window for just a few dollars.
But if you want to choose a permanent three track exterior model, the price will be much higher. An individual window starts at about a hundred dollars.
No matter which make or model you select, you will have to make certain that you install the windows properly. Depending on which type window you choose, you may want to take on the task of installation yourself. If the job is done well, correctly installed storm windows are a great way to make your home more energy efficient.