Windows are an extremely important feature of any home and one that people probably don’t appreciate as much as they should. One of their main purposes is to allow natural light into the property, which when you think about it is vital to our existence. Humans aren’t able to see in the dark unfortunately, so without windows lots of artificial light would have to be used and electricity bills would be sky high. Natural light is also much healthier for your eyesight and windows are also designed to help ventilate your home. When windows start to age however, they often become detrimental to your home, which is why regular maintenance is absolutely critical. There will come a time though when simple maintenance isn’t enough, and more drastic action needs to be taken. Two of the most common options when this situation arises are replacement windows and storm windows.
What Exactly Are Storm Windows?
While you will definitely be aware of what we are referring to with replacement windows, you might not be quite so sure about storm windows. Storm windows don’t replace your original windows, they are mounted over the top of them instead and form an exterior layer that protects them. They are a good option to consider if you need to improve the energy efficiency of your windows, but don’t have the budget available to have them totally replaced.
How Storm Windows Work
When windows age, they typically lose energy in two different ways; infiltration and conduction. Infiltration refers to air passing through the window and conduction is where heat and cold energy passes through the window via the material that the window is made from. These problems are especially prevalent among older, single-pane windows, which is why storm windows are commonly fitted over them. A range of materials can be used to construct the frames of storm windows, but PVC is often favoured since it is non-conductive, and a range of different glass options are available, including those featuring low-e coatings. If installed properly, storm windows will create an air tight barrier over existing windows that eliminates infiltration, and energy is not lost through conduction because the storm windows are not made from a material that conducts heat (such as aluminum).
The Benefits That Storm Windows Offer
- Save Money On Your Energy Bills – Some reports suggest that energy efficient windows can lower your monthly energy costs by as much as 30%. If your existing windows are letting heat escape during the winter months and hot air enter during the summer months, you are spending more money on heating and cooling than you need too.
- Cheaper Than Replacing Your Windows – Many homeowners have felt the pinch over the last few years and the money for costly home improvements just hasn’t been there. If the condition of one or several of your property’s windows has deteriorated significantly, this is not something you can put off for a long time. If replacement windows are not an option, storm windows are a more affordable alternative and can still improve conditions in your home considerably.
- Provide Added Insulation – When storm windows are installed, an airspace is created between the two sets of windows that acts as a layer of insulation, helping to keep your property warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
- Protects Your Existing Windows – No longer on the front line, your existing windows will last longer as they are won’t be continually exposed to wind, rain, snow, dust and garden debris. This also means that they won’t have to be maintained quite so often.
- Reduce Noise – Single-pane windows don’t do a very good job of blocking out noise coming from your neighbour’s property or from the street. Talking from experience, storm windows really help at night when you are trying to get some sleep in preparation for an early start.
- Enhance the Appearance of Your Home – When initially learning about storm windows many homeowners fear that they are going to be these giant, ugly eyesores that detract from the rest of the property, but owing to the range of different styles available today, they can actually help to improve the exterior of your home.
- Easier to Install – Installing a set of storm windows is a far less time intensive job than installing replacements. Nothing needs to be taken out before the installation can be done and they can often be installed in a single afternoon.
It’s important to mention that storm windows can also be installed on the interior side of your existing windows, and are usually cheaper than those installed on the exterior. We would usually recommend exterior storm windows simply because they protect existing windows, whereas interior storm windows don’t. Direct Pro Windows & Doors manufacture and install a range of custom windows, including storm windows and have been the industry leader in the Toronto area for a number of years.