The 2020 storm season is the most active on record and we’re not out of the woods yet! Replacing windows is costly enough, but if your windows aren’t working for you then potential damage to your home could be even more costly! If you’ve been thinking about getting your windows replaced but also want to be sure that they’ll stand up to what these storms are able to throw at it then take a look at the benefits of low-energy storm windows.
What Are Low Energy Storm Windows?
Storm windows with a low-energy coating reflect heat back inside your home during the winter and reflect it outside during the summer. This is one way to keep your home comfy and cozy all year round while saving big on energy costs. Uncoated glass typically has an emissivity (how much energy is escaping the window) of around 0.84, while low-e coated glass can have an emissivity of 0.16 or lower.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy windows, doors, skylights can gain and lose heat through:
- Direct conduction through the glass or glazing, frame, and/or door
- The radiation of heat into a house (typically from the sun) and out of a house from room-temperature objects, such as people, furniture, and interior walls
- Air leakage through and around them
These storm windows can save you 12%–33% on heating and cooling costs, depending on the type of window already installed in you home.
Which Kind of Window Should You Consider?
There are both exterior and interior storm windows to choose from. They both provide the same technical benefit but if you’re on a budget or if you have multiple stories to your home then you may want to opt for interior storm windows. For one, they’re easier to install as well as remove, they require less maintenance and they’re more effective at reducing air infiltration. If you can afford exterior storm windows then it’s likely that you’ll want to look for newer energy-efficient windows altogether which will save you in the long-run.
Whichever type of window you consider you’ll experience these amazing benefits:
- Costs about one-quarter of complete window replacement
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Reduces drafts and increases comfort
- Reduces noise
- Similar energy savings as full window replacement
- Reflect radiant heat 35% better than clear glass storm windows
- Act as an air sealing measure and can reduce overall home air leakage by 10%
- Payback of 5-7 years
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for! Each window will provide protection from a storm as well as UV rays. However, there are varying degrees of protection you’ll receive based on the materials your window is made from which will also translate into how many years your windows will last you.
Middle of the road storm windows may use glass, plastic panels, or special plastic sheets that have specific features. Windows made from polycarbonate plastic or laminated glass also offer resistance to damage during storms or from potential intruders. Glass windows offer better visibility and longer life than plastic, but the tradeoff is that it’s heavy and fragile. Plexiglas and acrylics are tougher & lighter than glass, but they are easy to scratch and scuff. Some even turn yellow over time as well. Another thing to note is that plastic films may significantly reduce visibility and degrade over time when exposed to sunlight.
Whatever type of window you get for your home, there are a variety of options that can accommodate for just about any budget level. These windows will provide protection from loose debris in a Florida hurricane as well as UV rays from sunshine. To find out what type of windows will best fit your home give one of our helpful representatives a call!