By February 13, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Which Type Storm Window Do You Want?

If you are interested in saving energy, storm windows may be your solution because installing them is one way to increase the heating and cooling efficiency of a home. This is especially true for older homes, where installing a storm window over the old single panes can make a big difference. The layer of air a storm window creates blocks cold and heat from coming inside, and blocks the same from escaping. This type of home window will help your house stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

The four basic configurations for storm windows are two-track vertical and two-track horizontal—also called sliders, triple-track, and stationary, or picture, which does not move. Storm window kits are also available.

Two-track vertical

As the name implies, this type of storm window has two tracks. The outside track typically has a half-screen on the bottom while the top portion is a pane of glass. Neither the screen nor the glass moves. The inside, second track, has a glass panel which can be moved up so fresh air comes in through the screen.

The two-track type should have the following features for peak performance:

• Ventilation stops on inside track should be adjustable.
• Screen and glass should be removable for easy cleaning.
• Pre-drilled holes for easy installation.
• Good quality weather stripping around the frame to reduce air movement.

Two-track horizontal slider

These are the same as two-track vertical sliders, except they slide back and forth horizontally instead of up and down. They should have the following features:

• Adjustable stops on inside track for ventilation.
• Easily removable screen and glass.
• Good quality weather stripping around the frame to reduce air movement.

Triple-track storm window

The triple-track type has two glass panes and a half-screen. Each part is in its own track, so they can each move independent of the others. This style is the most flexible. Both glass panes can be moved to the bottom with just the screen on top for ventilation. The lower part can be opened completely to pass something through the window, if necessary.

Triple-track types should have these features:

• Smooth movement of screen and glass in their tracks.
• Tight fit to protect from wind and dust entering the home.
• Screen and glass should be removable for easy cleaning.
• Easy installation.
• Should offer options in color and design to complement the home’s exterior.
• Ability to reduce noise from the street.

Stationary (also called basement, fixed, or picture storm windows)

This type has only a single pane, the same as a traditional picture window. It is held on with latches on the outside and can be easily removed.

This type storm window should have the following features:

• Removable glass for ventilation and easy cleaning.
• Screen built in for ventilation and to keep out insects.
• Stabilizer bar to add strength.
• Good quality weather stripping around the frame to reduce air movement.

Whatever type of storm window best fits a particular property, installing one over each existing window or replacing your current windows is an excellent way to reduce energy consumption and add comfort, value, and style to the home.

Storm Window Kits

The least expensive type of storm window is an insulator kit. Basically, the kit includes is a roll of clear plastic that you cut to fit your window and the tape you use to attach the plastic to your window. It puts a barrier in front of your exterior window to keep cold winter air out while letting warm air stay inside your house. The disadvantages are that you have to keep your windows closed and the plastic doesn’t look very attractive.

Other Benefits of Storm Windows

Storm windows provide added benefits beyond energy efficiency. These include:

• Making the house quieter by blocking street noises.
• Offering protection from flying insects, dust, fumes, and odors from entering the home.
• Other than the insulator kits, they can give a home a polished look because they are available in styles and colors to complement any home’s exterior.

For other ways to save energy, read 5 Ways to Weatherproof Your Windows.

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