Should You Install Storm Windows?

Courtney Buie, Real Estate, The Woodlands, Homes, Buying, Selling, Windows, Storm Windows, Summer, Green, Energy, Energy Costs, Save MoneyOld, single-pane windows are one of the top culprits for energy loss in a home. Warm and cool air seep through the glass and around the frame, making energy bills unnecessarily steep. But replacing all your windows is a daunting thought — some renovations could run you up to around $10,000.

There are some tricks to cutting down window-energy-loss without breaking the bank, sneaky things like planting trees to block heavy winds or tinting the glass to prevent heat from going through. One of the simplest and most cost-efficient ways to increase your home’s efficiency is to install storm windows. They’re also a great solution for renters who want to lower their bills but can’t renovate their space.

Storm windows are extra window panes that go on either the inside or the outside of the existing window. They range from hard materials like glass and plexiglass to flexible plastic. Although they don’t insulate quite as well as new windows, storm windows do reduce air flow around window panes by sealing up the frame, and that stops you from having to pay for air conditioning that just leaks away. In Texas, we know that summer cooling costs can really ruin an otherwise lovely vacation season.

The type of windows you want really depends on your budget. If you are thinking big-time install with exterior ones, you might want to just go ahead and invest in new windows as those will run you up quite a bit. The cost depends on how many windows you want to cover and how large they are, so to determine your best option you may want to get a free estimate online or have someone come inspect your window situation and give you a price.

Internal storm windows are a cheaper alternative, and they are usually easier to install and remove for ventilation. The materials are the main cost determinant, and they all have their pros and cons. Glass is probably the longest-lasting option, and it offers better visibility. However, it’s heavier and more fragile, so it depends on who’s installing and how often you want to remove them. Plastics are the most economic and lighter so easier to install. However, they scratch more easily and may discolor over time.

For frames, your main options are wood, vinyl, and aluminum. Aluminum is sturdy, but also conducts heat so alone it isn’t the best option. Wood is a great insulator but can warp or contract with heat. Your best bet would be to find a frame with a mixture of materials.

So if you are frustrated with energy costs or just trying to go green, storm windows are money well spent, and saved.


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