The Basic Details on Storm Windows

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Depending on the sort of house you own and when it was built, storm windows may be a part of seasonal shifts for you and your family each year. They’re the standard, age-old answer when dealing with older, single pane primary windows, and a good set of storms hold up pretty well. What folks often don’t realize is that there are two different kinds of storm windows that offer differing degrees of thermal value to your home’s winter insulation scheme. If you’re thinking that new storm windows protect your home and loved ones, you’d be correct. But you should educate yourself about the different kinds and related materials before making a purchase.
Exterior Storms
These can be installed either temporarily of permanently to the outside (i.e., facing outside) of a window frame or within the surrounding exterior casing depending on the primary window’s design. You’ve likely dealt with these before in the standard three-track aluminum setup where the primary and storm windows each have their own track and the screen is in the third. These are simple to operate and considered reliable; they’re usually caulk-sealed, except on the bottom.
Interior Storms
These are more popular with people living in apartments, since the exterior side of the window need not be accessed to install them. They have less impact of the look of a building facade, and when dealing with awning and casement windows, they’re the only secure storm window possibility. These are pretty much air-sealed, so they provide a greater level of thermal insulation than exteriors.
Materials for Storm Windows
Within the two types of storm windows, there are multiple variables. Choose from frames made of:

  • Aluminum
  • Wood
  • Vinyl
  • Vinyl-covered Wood
    You also have options as to what sort of glazing you want – this impacts price, but it also has a bearing on the thermal performance. Additionally, low-emissivity coatings are now available with the glass options, which saves on heat loss:

  • Basic/Standard Glass
  • Laminated/Tempered Glass (Safer)
  • Heavy-Duty/Double-Strength Glass
  • Acrylic
  • Polycarbonate
    New storm windows protect your home and loved ones by providing literal shelter from a storm, and also by helping you stay warm in the colder months. Most often there’s a storm solution you can implement rather than having to purchase new windows. If you end up looking into new windows, however, be sure to start by researching the best windows to lower energy bills.

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