Young girl looking out a storm window.

Storm windows: Protect your home from extreme elements

High temperatures, humidity, strong winds and hurricanes can really take a toll on homes. Have you thought about trying storm windows for protection?

Storm windows are generally less expensive than complete window replacements for your home. And like impact resistant shingles, storm windows add a layer of protection to your home while potentially increasing your comfort.

What are storm windows?

Storm windows are glass, rigid plastic or flexible plastic panels that fit over your windows on either the interior or exterior – they basically pop into place. Storm windows can be left in place all year long if you’re not one to open your windows to allow the breeze in. However, they can be easy to remove if you prefer. According to Forbes, storm windows can cost, on average, between $372 and $428 per window.

Types of storm windows

Exterior: Exterior storm windows are usually made with framing of aluminum, vinyl or wood. Aluminum is the lightest and requires the least maintenance, but the metal can become hot when the sun shines on it which might affect your energy costs. Vinyl resists sunlight but can crack or warp when extremely hot. And wood requires the most maintenance and might need replacing sooner.

Interior: These are easy to install, remove and maintain. Interior windows are made of acrylic, plastic or glass and don’t require a frame, which makes them lightweight. These windows are good for apartments and other buildings with more than one level when you can’t easily access the exterior.

Temporary: These are considered a quick fix if you can’t afford to buy a more permanent window. Temporary storm windows can be a film that is heat shrunk to the frame or an acrylic panel placed inside the pane. These solutions will keep the cold air out but require replacing every year.

Benefits of storm windows

If you're looking to update your windows or considering adding storm windows to your existing ones, here are a few ways storm windows might help protect you and your home. Find more information on window features from the National Fenestration Rating Council.

  • Protection against intense sun rays: Look for storm windows that feature low-emissivity (low-e) glass coatings. These panes have been treated to reduce the sun's radiation, which may help reduce fading of furniture and indoor surfaces and make your home feel more comfortable.
  • Improved energy efficiency and utility costs: Double pane storm windows can lessen air movement between the window units. When you slow the rate of heat transfer, you may find you spend less cooling your home. Look for storm windows with a low U-factor, which means the panes will better resist heat flow.
  • Reduces condensation and risk of damage: When humid exterior air meets a surface cooled by air conditioning (your window), condensation forms on the inside of the pane. Not only does condensation block your view, but the moisture can also damage sills, walls and furniture. Because storm windows trap air between the window units, they lessen the effects of condensation and keep residual drips away from your interior surfaces.
  • Provides extra resistance during high winds: Strong winds and flying debris can damage your windows. Look for storm windows that feature tempered glass — it's far stronger than normal glass that crumbles rather than shatters upon impact. Or consider glass that's built specifically for hurricane storm windows. These windows typically have a polyvinyl layer sandwiched between two layers of glass for added durability.
  • Improved noise reduction: If your home is in a particularly noisy area, storm windows can help mute outside sounds by trapping them in the air space between panes. Look for windows that have a high Sound Transmission Class rating, which indicates better acoustical performance.

Whenever you upgrade or improve your home, you may increase your home's estimated replacement cost. Contact your State Farm® agent to adjust your policy to meet your coverage needs.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

State Farm Fire and Casualty Company
State Farm General Insurance Company
Bloomington, IL

State Farm Florida Insurance Company
Winter Haven, FL

State Farm Lloyds
Richardson, TX

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