The Benefits of Adding Storm Windows to Your Home
Storm windows aren’t just for protecting your home in bad weather as their name implies. Their true purpose is for providing extra insulation and increased energy efficiency. A large amount of energy loss in most homes occurs through and around the glass of the building’s windows.
Your choices for modern storm windows have come a long way from the cumbersome and bulky ones your grandparents used. Traditional storm windows attach to the exterior of your window casings. Newer options on the market allow you to install storm window panels to each sash instead of covering the entire window area. Both styles create a pocket of air that creates an additional barrier to the outside air and elements. They also help reduce any air leaks that may be present in your original windows
Even if you’re in an older home or apartment with vintage windows, you have a range of styles and options to choose from. One of the top picks on today’s markets for most buildings are Low-E storm windows and panes.
Why Choose Low-E Storm Window Products?
Low-E stands for low emissivity. The glass panels or windows are coated with almost invisible, microscopic layers of metallic oxides. (Think of it as being similar to a layer of sunscreen.) The coating is designed to let as much natural light in as possible while still blocking some of the harmful UV rays. It’s not just your skin that will benefit from less exposure, your home’s furnishings and flooring will also be protected.
The Low-E coating is also helpful in making your home more comfortable the coating is able to reflect or deflect heat. During the winter, interior heat is reflected back into the home to keep it warmer while still letting the sunshine in. In the summer, certain rays are deflected on the outside of the window. They are denied entry into the room which helps your air conditioner from having to work as hard. This simple addition can equal big savings on your energy bill, no matter which season you’re in.
What to Look For
Whether you are considering traditional storm windows or window attachments, you’ll want to consider several things:
Appearance and Historical Accuracy
It’s important to preserve the look and feel of vintage homes and windows. Choose a product that adds to the building’s appearance instead of detracting from it. Consider your curb appeal.
Cost vs Value
Weigh the initial cost against the long-term value. Adding storm windows or panels will save you money over replacement windows. It can also affect the overall value of the building.
Ease of Installation
Determine if you have to hire an installer or can do it yourself – if you want to. Find a storm window product that offers the convenience and options you prefer.
Choose something that has a minimal amount of maintenance required. Aside from the time involved, this could add to your overall cost over time.
Proven and Tested Product
Has the product been tested on a variety of buildings? Will it work efficiently on a range of window styles and types?
Does the product have an EPA ENERGY STAR or other government-backed, energy-efficiency testing?