Storm Windows: A Cost-Effective Option
Economical Energy Efficiency
If you are a homeowner who has been considering replacement windows for your house, but are deterred by the potential high cost, the installation of storm windows is an option that is both energy-efficient and relatively cost-effective. Although installing storm windows may not make your house as energy efficient as a full-scale window replacement would (particularly if your frames are poorly insulated), it is certainly less expensive, and in some cases the installation of storm windows is enough to qualify you for an energy star tax credit. With respect to energy efficiency, some homeowners, especially those in extreme climates, have found that installing storm windows has reduced their energy bills by up to 30%.
Factors To Consider
When choosing storm windows for your house, you should consider three things: personal style, the frames in which they will be installed, and the use to which they will be put. With respect to the style of your storm windows, there are two basic choices: mill finish and painted finish. The mill finish will naturally be more economical, but the painted finish can be chosen in order to suit your existing décor. With respect to the frames in which your storm windows will be installed, this is simply a matter of determining whether you have a two-track or a three-track system. Both types of storm windows are available.
The most important factor to consider, however, is the intended use for your storm windows. If you live in a climate with extreme temperatures, storm windows can be an excellent way to shift your house quickly into cold-weather mode. Many people in colder climates opt for double-paned, or double-glazed, storm windows. In this type of window, there are two panes of glass between you and the winter chill outside. This is beneficial because, in the first place, the more material there is between you and the cold weather, the less heat will be lost. In the second place, there is a space between the panes of a double-paned storm window. This space can be filled either with air, which can act as an insulator, or with argon, a gas which prevents heat loss more effectively than air does.
Naturally, double-paned storm windows can be more expensive than single-paned ones. If you live in an extreme climate, the extra expense is often worth it because of the savings in energy bills, but if not, single-paned windows may be right for you.
Of course, the best way to make an informed decision is to research your options, weight the benefits of each choice, and ask good questions when you discuss the project with your window-replacement professional. If you fill out the contact form above, one of our window-replacement experts will contact you promptly in order to discuss every aspect of your projects, from cost to energy efficiency to aesthetic appeal.