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What Are Storm Windows and How Long they will Last?

Friday, August 12, 2022   /   by Laura Larson

What Are Storm Windows and How Long they will Last?

Do you find that your house is too cold or too hot depending on the season? You can also be annoyed by the noise coming from outside if you live next to a busy street. Replacement windows could solve these issues, but buying new ones can be pricey. Storm windows are useful in this situation. These can help manage the temperature in your home, offer protection from the elements, and increase energy efficiency.

Pros and cons of storm windows
Like any other home improvement project, there are costs and benefits to installing storm windows. Although the pros generally outweigh the cons, it’s essential to understand both sides.

- They can improve energy efficiency and lower your energy bills.
- The existing window is protected against rain, ice storms, sleet, and debris from wind storms.
- They reduce air leakage.
- Noise transmission is reduced significantly by storm windows.
- Installing storm windows is a much cheaper alternative to replacement windows.

- They can be difficult to install if you plan on doing it yourself.
- They alter the appearance of your window frame and can affect curb appeal.
- Wooden frames need to be repainted on occasion.
- Some varieties can’t be opened. 

What distinguishes them from ordinary windows?
Storm windows and regular windows differ primarily in that the former serves as an addition to the latter. Storm windows are never the only type of windows in a home. Instead, the storm windows are fitted over the opening of the current window. The kind of glass that is utilized varies amongst them as well. According to Grayson Lovick of Gulf Windows + Doors, "Storm windows include laminated glass and added strength to meet mandated Impact Zone Ratings.

Are the storm windows operable?
Many windows do open and close, though this can vary depending on the specific sort of window. Select a storm window that allows for frequent opening if you intend to do so.

Will my energy costs go down as a result?
The Department of Energy claims that storm windows can produce an airtight seal, stopping airflow into and out of the house. This can lower the expense of cooling during the summer and heating during the winter. An energy audit of your home can find air leaks and indicate whether storm windows would be advantageous.

For my home, do I need to install them?
Storm windows are optional if construction rules do not require them, however certain environmental aspects and climate dangers may make them a wise investment.

Consider window tinting as a less expensive substitute that achieves comparable effects. According to Snappy Tint, expert installation of safety and security window films can produce the same results for a portion of the price of window replacement. Once fitted, these goods will strengthen the security of the current windows and lower UV light by 99%, keeping the room cooler in the summer and guarding against sun damage to flooring and furniture.

They last how long?
Storm windows are enduring and have a long lifespan. Aluminum-framed windows with an enamel coating have a 40-year lifespan. When properly cared for, wood frames can also endure longer. As with the frame, the glass ought to be durable.

Storm window types
There are two types of storm windows: internal and external. The majority of exterior ones will change the outer appearance of your windows. However, you are free to open and close them as needed depending on the weather. Interior storm windows, in comparison, are virtually undetectable from the outside. The complexity of these single-pane windows is typically substantially lower than that of their external counterparts.

You should install outdoor storm windows rather than internal ones if you want to protect your property from storms.

What materials are used to construct storm window frames?
For storm window frames, a few materials are frequently utilized. The three main components of the frame are vinyl, aluminum, and wood. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

Metal frames
Since the middle of the 20th century, aluminum frames have been the most prevalent type. Since they are the most popular frames, there are many alternatives available. Metal frames aren't the ideal choice if you're searching for thermal insulation, despite the fact that they are lightweight and give outstanding strength.

Timber frames
Wooden frames are widely accessible and have been used for generations. These are a more energy-efficient option because they provide good insulation, reducing heat loss and transmission. Wooden frames are suitable for DIY projects. However, wood frames can be exceedingly challenging to work with and are prone to rotting and insect damage.

Plastic frames
Though still relatively new, vinyl frames are becoming more and more common, particularly in interior storm windows. Due to their small weight and excellent thermal efficiency, these are a viable lightweight substitute for timber frames. The limitations of this design include the fact that vinyl is a less durable material and that it can only be used inside.

Can they be affixed over already-installed windows?
Absolutely. In actuality, you must add storm windows over your current windows. Instead of replacing the current windows, their aim is to safeguard them.

Do they merit it?
Storm window installation may be worthwhile both physically and financially. They shield your current window from the outdoors and, thanks to the additional insulation, can help you spend less on heating and cooling. This is unquestionably a sensible investment for your home when you take into account the money you would save on replacement windows.