Choosing Between the Four Basic Types of Storm Windows
In recent years, many homeowners have successfully lowered their energy bills and improved the comfort of their homes through energy efficient window replacement projects, switching out their old, damaged windows for new, insulated products. But while the benefits of these window installations are attractive to most people, if you own an older home, you likely know that this choice isn’t always a simple one. Replacing the windows of a historic home can actually lower a property’s value and can often look strange, as new windows may not always suit the style of your house. However, your current windows are likely drafty and inefficient, costing you a sizable amount every winter as you try to warm your home’s frigid interior. Fortunately, there is a solution that answers both of these problems: storm windows.
Storm windows are a thin layer of plastic or glass that can be easily fitted over existing windows to increase a home’s insulation. Moreover, thanks to a low-emissivity coating used in many products, the windows can also reflect infrared heat back into the house. As a result, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that storm windows can save the average homeowner 12 to 33% on their heating and cooling costs without requiring replacement windows. And with prices that range from $60 to $200, storm windows are also often a good choice for homeowners on a budget.
Whether you have a window repair service install your storm windows or plan to take on the project yourself, however, it is important to choose the best product. There are four basic types of storm windows;read on to learn how to choose the right windows for your home.
Two-Track Storm Windows
Two-track storm windows are designed for double-hung windows. They feature a half-screen on the bottom and an outer pane of glass on the top; the inside pane on the bottom can be raised to let air fresh air inside. Look for adjustable ventilation stops on the inside track, removable glass and screens for easy cleaning, and quality weatherstripping for reduced air infiltration.
Also designed for double-hung windows, triple-track windows have two window panes and a half-screen in its own track, which allows you to open the windows and pass things through if necessary. Homeowners can also move the glass panes to the bottom for better ventilation. Look for removable glass and screen and quality weatherstripping, but also a stabilizer bar for added strength.
Two-Track Slider Windows
Two-track slider windows are designed like two-track windows, but open horizontally instead of vertically. Because of this, they are intended for slider windows. Look for adjustable ventilation stops, removable glass and screens, and good weatherstripping.
Basement or Picture Storm Windows
Finally, basement windows have a single pane held in place with thumb latches. Due to its simplicity, it is usually only available in limited sizes. Look for removable glass, built in screens to keep out insects, good weatherstripping and a stabilizer bar.
Are you thinking about installing new storm windows to preserve your home while increasing energy-efficiency? Tell us about it in the comments below!