The storm window is a tried-and-true method of reducing heat transfer and making a home more efficient. In areas that are subject to harsh winters or sweltering summers, heat seeping out of or into a room can really cause a problem. For older houses, especially, the addition of storm windows can make a noticeable difference by both lowering energy costs and increasing overall comfort, as well. Storm windows are generally made from aluminum or wood. Each will have slightly different specs, but the choice between the two often comes down to price and aesthetics.
Storm Window Applications
While storm windows are usually added to increase insulation, there are a few other ways they can benefit a home. In a house with stained or antique glass, a storm window can provide protection from weather that could cause damage. Sometimes, they are installed to reduce outside noise. That’s good news for those living near a busy road (or in a neighborhood with multiple lawnmowers).
Storm windows add an extra layer of protection from air-born pollution, and also serve as an additional barrier that could dissuade a would-be intruder. You can even install a model to protect the inside of your home from UV rays that can cause many items to fade.
Storm Windows vs. Window Replacement
While replacing all the windows in a house will certainly have many benefits, there are also reasons that could make installing storm windows an even better option. Probably the biggest factor for most people is the price: Storm windows can be installed for a fraction of what it would cost to replace your windows.
The amount of time it takes to put in storm windows is far less than that of window replacement. Replacing windows will most likely entail a fair amount of carpentry, while installing storm windows requires no alteration of the existing structure (those with historic houses will be able to reap the benefits of added insulation without having to modify the period appearance of their homes). In some cases, a properly installed storm window will actually provide better insulation than a double-paned replacement window!
Though it is in no way as big of a job as window replacement, professional installation of storm windows is recommended to ensure that the best possible seal is made. A knowledgeable DIYer can certainly do the job, but those without experience would do well to spend the extra money on a quick and professional installation.
Those who are confident in their home improvement skills will be happy to know that the job will not require the use of anything but common tools, and can, in some cases, be completed in an afternoon. Since there are variations in the installation process between different brands and models, proper installation instructions should be acquired directly from the manufacturer to ensure optimal results.