It’s that time of year again: fall leaves are crimson and gold, temperatures are dropping, and home owners around the region are getting their storm windows out.
Storm windows are multi-layered glass windows applied over a home’s existing windows to protect an extra layer of protection during inclement weather. Storm windows are a necessity if you live in an area that has severe storms and hurricanes — every layer of protection between you and the worst weather is a good idea!
But what is the relationship between replacement windows and storm windows? Can one replace the other? Do replacement windows require storm windows? Can you use storm windows with replacement windows? Do you need replacement windows at all, or can storm windows do the job?
These are all great questions, and speak to the common confusion surrounding replacement windows and storm windows.
Let’s look at the last question first: can storm windows do the job of replacement windows?
The short answer is “No.” Storm windows in and of themselves cannot match the energy efficiency offered by vinyl home replacement windows, fiberglass home replacement windows, or wood home replacement windows. While some storm windows feature double pane glass, few offer the triple pane glass and insulating gas pockets available in the best home replacement windows. Storm windows do not stand a chance of meeting modern home replacement window’s energy efficiency, style, or quality of construction.
That being said, if your budget doesn’t currently allow for full window replacement, a high quality storm window can increase your home’s energy efficiency. When installed over a single pane, leaky window, a quality storm window can reduce air penetration, increase the retention of warm interior air, and repel a certain amount of moisture. All of this will increase the comfort and livability of your home, helping to eliminate chilly drafts.
The many benefits of storm windows is why top quality window manufacturers like Harvey and Champion pride themselves on their storm windows. These are well-built high quality storm windows, the pinnacle of modern window technology. If you’re only familiar with the flimsy storm windows of yesteryear, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quality construction and structural integrity of modern storm windows.
Many times, replacement window dealers will tell you that after having full window replacement done, storm windows are no longer required. It’s also true that installing storm windows after having replacement windows installed can be problematic: wider window frames may no longer fit your existing storms.
However, modern storm windows can accommodate modern replacement windows. You’ll want to select storm windows with impact resistant glass — these windows can stand up to high water pressure and the extreme stresses that occur during weather events. Pay attention to the frames and sashes — while the majority of any storm window is of course the glass, you want quality frames and sashes to provide additional protection and stop leaks. Experts recommend matching framing materials to your existing or replacement windows– if you’ve got vinyl home replacement windows, you’ll want vinyl framed storm windows.
Noe Hoffman says
I’d be inclined to go along with with you on this. Which is not something I typically do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to speak my mind!