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Storm Windows Protect Your Home Investment

by Gabby Hyman
Repair-Home Columnist

If you're looking for a relatively inexpensive way to add insulation as well as weather protection to your home this winter, look at the range of storm windows on the market. You can add them on your own, as part of a larger home-improvement winterizing project, or call a contractor to take measurements and install storm windows over your existing window sets. Storm windows options are available that fit in your budget and also provide home energy savings and added security.

Storm windows come in both interior- and exterior-mounting models. Interior storm windows are inexpensive, install simply, and require less routine maintenance because they're not directly exposed to the elements. Interior storm windows cut down drafts and can build a secondary air layer between your living space and the original outer window set.

Depending on the model and mounting system, you may have to remove the interior storm windows in the spring if you want adequate ventilation. Frames vary in cost by materials and quality. Frames are commonly made from vinyl, wood, and aluminum.

None is perfect and each has its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. Vinyl can crack in cold weather; wood requires greater upkeep and blocks sunlight; aluminum is not your best insulator. If you choose aluminum, make sure to ask for anodized frames.

Installing Exterior Storm Windows

If you can afford them, exterior storm windows offer the best value for insulating your home and protecting your investment. For one thing, new exterior storm window sets are cheaper to buy and install than a complete set of replacement windows. And, a window contractor can hang a high-quality storm window over your existing window in less than 10 minutes.

Home Energy Magazine reports that storm windows effectively reduce conductive heat loss. Their use declined in recent years as more and more homeowners undertook complete window replacement projects, replacing single-paned window sets with energy efficient double-paned and Low-E coating windows. If you're challenged by the expense of doing an overhaul--especially if you're renting or currently living in a dwelling with single-paned windows--interior or exterior storm windows can really help you now.

And today's storm windows come with optional tints, coatings, and hard-to-break laminates that can make a huge difference in nasty weather.


Home Energy Magazine Online


About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.