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If you have older windows in your home, and are looking for a way to improve the energy-efficiency of that home, a good option is to use storm windows mounted over your existing windows. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Storm windows can reduce heat loss through the windows by 25% to 50%”.
Even though storm windows are typically built with only single-glazed windows, studies have found that they can dramatically help improve the energy-efficiency of your home by reducing the air movement in and out of the windows; thereby helping to decrease the heating and cooling costs in the home.
It all comes down to the amount of “dead air” space that is created between the storm window and the existing window. The more expensive storm windows will typically be deeper to create a larger “dead air” space and also come with some type of thermal break.
There are a number of different types of storm windows as well as a couple of different methods for installation that we’ll cover below.
Benefits of Storm Windows:
- Improve the energy efficiency of your home by reducing the amount of air flow that passes through existing windows
- Reduces the amount of dust and pollen infiltration
- Helps with the reduction of noise from outside the home.
- Protection of existing windows from weather, wind, and other harmful elements; especially if a laminate finish is used in the window panes.
- Improves the exterior appearance of a home by providing an economical way of covering older windows. With a range of colors, a storm window can be built to best match the exterior of your home.
Types of Storm Windows
There are different types of storm windows, depending on:
- Where you want them located (interior or exterior)
- What type of operation do you want (storm window that opens or just a fixed picture window)
- Your available budget (everything from economy to premium)
- Any type of special request (for example, laminated glass that offer a high degree of resistance to breaking during storms)
Different Types depending on:
o Interior –Interior storm windows mount on the inside of the home, and are designed to fit inside the window opening
o Exterior – Exterior storm windows mount on the outside of the existing window.
- STYLE of CONSTRUCTION / BUDGET:
o Two-Track – a two-track storm window will have one track dedicated to the inside storm window sash, and one track dedicated to the outside storm window sash on the top and ½ screen on the bottom. In a two-track window, the inside sash will move independently up and down to open the window.
o Three-Track - a three-track (or triple track) storm window will have one track dedicated to the inside storm window sash, one track dedicated to the outside storm window sash, and the outside track dedicated to a full screen. In a three-track window, both sashes and the screens will move independently to allow for the most versatile ventilation.
o Fixed – a fixed or picture storm window, does not allow for any operation and is a single sheet of glass mounted on the frame. These are perfect for existing casement windows that do not open or windows where ventilation is not going to be needed.
Our storm windows are all made with aluminum frame construction (either solid extruded or tubular) with some type of thermal break, usually vinyl.
Installation of storm windows is pretty straight forward. You just screw the storm window to either the window stop or the window casement depending on the type of installation method you choose. No matter how you choose to install it, the storm window must be square with the old window and sealed.
Exterior-mounted storm windows must have "weep holes" at the bottom of the frame to allow any moisture that collects between the existing window and the new storm window to drain out. Whatever you do, DO NOT caulk over these weep holes!!