And How Storm Windows Can Improve Home Comfort, Security, and Energy Consumption
Storm windows are an easy way to make windows more energy-efficient. They yield many benefits for homeowners, saving them from costly bills and pricey replacement windows down the road.
Window manufacturers in Canada build quality storm windows to withstand the harsh winter elements, while also adding a layer of protection for primary windows and security for homes.
Here’s a look at storm windows and how they can be a suitable alternative for replacement windows.
What are Storm Windows?
Storm windows are additional windows mounted either on the interior side or exterior side of a home’s existing windows. Storm windows provide wind protection and weather insulation, blocking outside air from getting in homes, especially on older windows with air leaks.
How Durable Are They?
Storm windows are durable enough to withstand Canadian winters, and they add a layer of security against forceful entry attempts. They are reinforced with durable materials, including multi-point locks and reinforced screens.
What Are the Different Types of Storm Windows?
There are various types of storm windows for different uses and window styles.
Traditional storm windows are exterior windows installed on the outside of a home’s primary windows. These windows attach to the exterior frames of primary windows and are ideal for windows on the main floor of homes and buildings. Exterior storm windows also protect primary windows from damage from the outdoor elements, increasing their lifespan.
Interior storm windows are ideal for windows on upper floors of homes and apartment buildings. They are easy to install and remove since they are mounted on the inside of the windows. And they require less maintenance since they aren’t exposed to the outdoor elements.
Interior storm windows also provide a tight seal for primary windows and can be more effective at reducing air infiltration in the home. They also do not obscure the appearance of the windows from the outside of the home.
But these windows do not provide any protection to primary windows from the outdoor elements.
Energy-efficient windows have a Low-E (low emissivity) coating of metal on the glass to reflect the sun’s heat energy in summer. It also reflects a home’s interior heat back into the home in winter to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature year-round.
While these windows still allow visible light to pass through, the reflected sunlight also prevents the fading of materials, such as furniture, flooring, and curtains.
What Are the Benefits?
Since storm windows block outside air from getting indoors, they reduce the amount of energy used to heat and cool homes.
Homeowners with drafty windows will see their energy bills spike during winter and summer as their heating and cooling systems work harder to maintain comfortable indoor air temperatures. But with quality Energy Star windows, homeowners can improve their comfort indoors while reducing their energy bills.
Along with reducing energy consumption to heat and cool homes, the added insulation from storm windows makes the interior temperatures of homes more comfortable. This insulation reduces the chill by windows in winter and helps homes stay cooler in summer.
The many styles and finishes of storm windows can suit various home exteriors and boost a home’s curb appeal. Storm windows are also ideal for improving the insulation and energy-efficiency of old heritage windows without compromising their appearance.
Reduce Outside Noise
Storm windows can soundproof your existing windows, cutting noise transmission by up to 50 percent. These insulating windows act as a barrier to outside noise. This is especially useful for homes in areas with loud neighbours, barking dogs, construction, traffic, trains, and airports nearby.
Expand Your Living Space
With storm windows, you can make three-season rooms and enclosed porches more livable year-round by improving insulation in these areas.
Protects Your Existing Windows
Over time, windows experience wear and tear from the elements. Prolonged exposure to sunlight, wind, rain, snow, and ice can all take a toll on windows and their seals. But storm windows can block the elements from damaging windows seals, and prolong the lifespan of windows.
Easy to Install
Depending on the number of storm windows, the installation will typically only take an afternoon due to the simplicity of the installation.
While storm windows have a shorter lifespan than some types of primary windows, they still provide ample coverage and insulation for five to seven years.
Storm windows come in the following four configurations:
These storm windows are for use with double-hung windows. On the outer track, there is a fixed half-screen on the bottom part and a fixed pane of glass on the top part. Since this part is fixed, the sashes cannot slide up or down.
On the inside track, there is a functional window pane that can slide up and down to open and close, allowing for ventilation in the home from the bottom screened-in half.
These windows are also for use with double-hung windows. Each part—one screen and two window panes—rests on a separate track, so each separate window sash can move up and down.
You can also slide the screen up to pass objects through the window. Or you can slide both panes down and the screen up for cross-ventilation in the home.
These storm windows are for use with slider windows. They are like two-track storm windows, except these open horizontally—side to side—instead of vertically—up and down.
Basement storm windows have only one pane, like a picture window. Thumb latches hold the pane in place on the outside of the window frame and allow for easy removal.
Look for basement storm windows with built-in screens to help keep insects out when the pane is removed.
These windows typically come in a width of 32 and 1/16 inch, and the following heights:
- 14 and 1/16 inch
- 18 and 1/16 inch
- 22 and 1/16 inch
Storm windows are excellent options for homeowners who want the benefits of new energy-efficient windows without the additional cost of window replacement. Storm windows can keep homes warm and comfortable during Canada’s harsh winters and hot summers, while adding a layer of protection against the elements.