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.
The storm window solution
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. Your home will be more comfortable and your furniture and indoor surfaces will fade less.
- Improved energy efficiency and utility costs: Storm windows have been shown to 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, the moisture can 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 protection. 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.