Protect Your Home With Storm Windows

July 12, 2009

According to the University of Missouri, storm windows can slash home energy losses by fifty percent. In addition, storm windows usually cost much less than new double- or triple-paned replacement windows. Let's examine the ins and outs of selecting storm windows for your house.

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Choices in Storm Windows

While some storm windows are temporary additions to your house, other storm windows are permanent. The most popular types of storm windows include:

  • Combination storm windows: these windows typically feature an insect screen as well as glass panes. Before buying combination storm windows, make sure they have weather stripping, durable hardware, and a manufacturer's guarantee.
  • Rigid plastic windows:  you can quickly mount plastic storm windows, which are made from acrylic, inside your window frames. After installing your plastic storm windows, it's best to weather-strip them for maximum protection.
  • Plastic film windows: plastic film windows come in several varieties, including vinyl, polyester, and polyurethane. You can find cheap film-window kits at your local hardware store.

Although combination storm windows are easy to open and close, they can be pricy. You can save money by purchasing rigid plastic windows or film windows as long as you don't mind having your windows temporarily sealed.

Storm Window Frames

Storm window frames are generally constructed from aluminum, wood, and vinyl. Each material offers unique benefits and drawbacks. For example, while aluminum frames are lightweight and durable, they make poor insulators. On the other hand, wood frames provide excellent insulation but require regular maintenance.

Of course, storm windows aren't right for everyone. If you want to completely replace your home's old windows, make sure to investigate energy-efficient house windows, which help minimize energy leakage and heat gain.


University of Missouri Extension, Home Energy Management: Weatherstripping Your Windows

Montana State University Extension, Storm Windows

U.S. Department of Energy, Storm Windows


About the Author

Joe Aguilar is a freelance writer in Boulder, Colorado. He has an MFA in creative writing from Oregon State University.

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