For those who haven’t yet heard of ‘storm windows’, they basically serve as an easy and economical way of enhancing the efficiency of your aging, single-pane windows. A storm window is mounted as an additional window onto the exterior, and helps in minimizing the flow of external wind into the home. In addition to this, the slight air space between the primary window and the storm window works as extra insulation. Homeowners living in very cold climates install storm windows on top of their existing windows in order to normalize the internal temperature.
Benefits of storm windows
Here are some reasons why you should consider installing storm windows to fight the cold weather.
- Easy and quick installation: The installation of storm windows is fairly simple and quick.
- Improved energy efficiency: A storm window can help minimize infiltration of air from the outside. This means that the HVAC unit of your home would have to spend less energy for maintaining the desirable temperature.
- Extra insulation: Storm windows have a huge advantage of keeping the house warmer during winter and cooler during summer. This is primarily due to the additional air space between the storm window and the primary window.
- Enhanced appearance of the exterior: Storm windows are available in a variety of different colors to complement the exterior of your home.
- Minimal street noise: A storm window is useful in reducing the loud noises coming from a busy street outside your home or other sources such as barking dogs, nearby construction, and so on.
- Hi-performance glass: Storm windows are available with optional LowE high performance to further increase energy efficiency.
Storm windows vs. replacement windows
It’s important to understand that a storm window isn’t a replacement window, even though people may install them hoping to achieve similar benefits, but at a reduced cost. It is possible to customize the shape and size of a storm window to fit on top of your current window. Also, these windows are available in a variety of different colors. The storm window will likely be installed on top of an existing exterior window, though interior storm windows are available as well. These are typically bought in triple-track or two-track configurations, with a self-storing and operating screen.
So what are replacement windows then? A replacement window is installed in the place of your old wooden, vinyl or aluminum window after it is totally removed. Replacement windows can often offer significant energy cost savings over a period of time because of their advanced technology.
It is now clear that storm windows are designed for improving the insulation capacity of your existing windows. However, many people are still confused as to whether they should install a storm window or just replace their inefficient windows with new, upgraded ones. The primary reason why a lot of people pick storm windows over replacement windows is that they are less expensive to install.
Types of storm windows
There are essentially four configurations that you can choose from when looking to install a storm window. These are
- Two-track: The external track comprises half a screen on the bottom part and the outer pane glass on the upper portion.
- Two-track slider: Similar to the original two-track storm window but open horizontally and not vertically.
- Triple-track: The half-screen and two window sashes are in separate tracks and each sash functions independently.
- Basement or picture storm windows: They have a single plane (just like regular picture windows) and it is held by thumb latches.