Can Storm Windows Save You Money On Your Energy Bills?
Thin, single-pane windows seem to radiate with cold. In the winter, your heating bills run higher as you pad around your home in heavier clothes. Most times, the windows feel like they’re open.
To improve your window’s insulation and energy efficiency, you may well be considering replacing your windows. But no so fast! Installing storm windows to stop those drafts and lower your energy bills may be an option worth considering.
What Are Storm Windows?
Storm windows get installed over old, drafty, primary house windows. Mostly installed over standard single pane windows, storm windows provide added insulation and act as moisture barriers.
Storm windows are a great alternative to replacement windows and pretty straightforward to install. The flat panels get installed in the same frame currently used by your existing windows.
They don’t open or close, which makes them less functional than regular windows. However, they can create a seal against cold weather, offering an additional layer of protection against heat loss and drafts. You can always remove them during seasons when they’re more of a hindrance.
Benefits of Storm Windows
Some of the benefits of storm windows include:
- Superior air-sealing
- A budget-friendly alternative to replacement windows
- Reduce drafts and increase comfort
- Eliminate condensation
- Provide an extra layer of soundproofing
- Protect the existing windows from hail and strong winds
Types of Storm Windows
The two main styles of storm windows are:
- Exterior Storm Windows: These are glass panels framed in wood, aluminum, or vinyl. They attach to the outside of your window frame using caulk, screws, or hinges. Most have holes to allow accumulated moisture to evaporate.
- Interior Storm Windows: Generally made from lightweight materials such as acrylic, plastic, or glass. They are designed to fit snugly to the inside of your window frame through magnets, compression systems, track systems, or adhesives.
Which storm window style you choose depends on your existing windows, your home, and what issues you’re dealing with. For the most part, however, interior storm windows offer greater convenience because they’re easier to install, require less maintenance, and seal tightly to the primary window. Their tight seal optimizes their sound-reduction and insulating properties.
Storm windows come in many designs, colors, and styles, making it easier to find something to match the rest of your home.
Storm Windows and Energy Efficiency
The primary function of a storm window is to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Your old, drafty windows could be responsible for around 30% of your home’s heating bill. The loss typically occurs when heat contacts inefficient glass on single-pane windows or older double-pane windows.
Leaky windows allow heat to pass through, requiring more output from the HVAC system to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. This results in increased energy consumption and higher bills.
When installed over single-pane clear glass windows, storm windows can reduce heat loss and overall home air leakage by 10%. The energy savings you’ll experience from storm windows will depend on the location of your home, the condition of your HVAC systems, how many windows you have, and how well your home is sealed in other areas.
You’re bound to save more money when you install low-E storm windows. Unlike older, clear glass storm windows, newer low-E models have thin, transparent metal oxide layers that lower the glass’s emissivity, reflecting heat back inside the house.
A Great Option When Your Budget is Tight
Installing storm windows is one of the most cost-effective ways to upgrade your existing windows’ energy efficiency. Replacement windows will cost more upfront. So, if your budget is very tight and your old windows aren’t too bad, consider getting good storm windows.
These types of windows are also ideal if you live in a historic home. Storm windows will improve energy efficiency without harming the original windows or the architectural character of your home.
Bear in mind that seeing significant savings in your heating and cooling costs is unlikely if your standard windows get moldy, are missing glass, or are in a state of disrepair.
Trust a Professional to Install Your Storm Windows
Whether you’re looking to improve energy efficiency or protect your existing windows from the impact of storms, storm windows can be the perfect solution. You can trust the professional and experienced window installers at Exterior Plus to help you choose the ideal windows for your home and ensure the job is done correctly. Contact us today to learn more and get a free quote in the Akron and Cleveland areas.