Storm Windows vs. Replacement Windows


lawrence quote

Many people agree that Energy Efficient replacement windows create a wonderful improvement to any home. However, replacing your home’s windows with new Energy Efficient window units is not without its drawbacks. Adding Vinyl storm windows with High performance Low E glass will improve energy efficiency while reducing maintenence and maintaining the architectual and historic appeal of your home!

Many studies have shown that Low E storm windows are the best option for improving the energy performance of your windows (see studies link); when considering the rate of return on investment, Lowe E storm windows cost about 1/4 of a decent quality replacement window and with vinyl Low E storm windows, they yeald as much as 3/4 of the bang for 1/4 of the buck!

Storm windows maintain the Architectural and historic integrity of your home’s original design. Also, keep in mind that eventually, even replacement window insulated glass unit will fail, causing moisture, dust and dirt between the panes and the loss of the unit’s thermal performance.

How Do Storm Windows Work?

tom silva quoteIt is estimated that 43% of all residential windows are single-pane glass. The inherent inefficiency of single-pane windows due to poor insulating value, high solar heat gain, and air infiltration—combined with the large number of homes having single-pane windows—creates a tremendous opportunity to provide energy savings to a large segment of the housing stock, many of which are moderate- and low- income households.

Storm windows are installed in over 800,000 U.S. homes annually.2 Virtually all of these are manufactured with clear, uncoated glass. While the use of low-e coating on double- pane, sealed-insulating-glass (SIG) windows has become increasingly common over the last decade. its use in the storm window market is virtually non-existent.
Before double-pane windows became common practice in northern climates in the 1970s and 1980s, single-pane windows were the standard. Most of these homes had storm windows that would provide thermal and some amount of air infiltration benefit. Often storm windows were removed in the summer for fresh air ventilation. Over time, many storm windows would break or be removed for various reasons thereby reducing the benefit of the storm window.

Storm windows reduce conduction across a window by creating a “dead-air” space between the existing window and the storm window. In addition, storm windows help reduce infiltration which is common in leaky, older windows. Yet, many low-income weatherization programs have dismissed the benefits of storm windows and deemed double-pane replacement windows too expensive. Low-e glass incorporated into a storm window has the potential of achieving nearly equivalent window thermal performance as new windows at a much lower cost. For example, new windows may cost between $100 and $500 plus installation; a low-e storm window is in the $60 to $110 price range and is more easisly installed.

-Stephanie Minen; Utilative Technologies, LLC, Chicago Il.”Field Evaluation
of Low-e Storm Windows”

There are two primary components to energy loss through windows; infiltration and conduction. A properly installed low e, vinyl, storm window will help with both forms of energy loss.

conductionINFILTRATION is the air leaking around and thru older and poor fitting window sashes . The U.S. Department Energy (DOE) has stated that up to 40% of heating and cooling costs can be due to combating air infiltration in a home. A properly installed high performance storm window storm window can virtually eliminate air infiltration by creating a barrier outside of the primary window. The result is much less pressure on the primary window and the reduction of air leakage.

CONDUCTION is the loss of energy thru poor insulating materials like glass and aluminum. The heat and cold energies travel thru these materials which results in increased heating and cooling costs. The use of non-conductive vinyl frames combined with high performance Low e glass systems in a Low e vinyl storm window reduce conduction across a window by creating a “dead air” space between the existing window and the Low e vinyl storm window.

Features & Benefits.

Vinyl Frame System

  • 900 x less thermal transfer than aluminum
  • Less heat and cold transfer thru the frame
  • Better energy performance with lower maintenance

Virgin Vinyl With UV Protection

  • Won’t yellow or chip
  • Maintenance free and “like new” for years
  • Once you get your storm windows, you don’t have to worry about them

High Performance Low E Glass

  • Improves energy performance year round by 90%
  • Your home will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer
  • In the summer low e will protect your furnishings from the suns damaging rays

Triple Track Design

  • No need to change out to screens for ventilation
  • Just pull up the storm and pull down the screen for summer ventilation
  • All of the parts for each storm window store inside that window so there is no “hunting” for parts every spring and fall

Fully Custom Built

  • No need to modify existing windows to try to accept “stock” sizes
  • Easier installation with better fit and finish
  • More glass and full custom appearance

Fastest Return On Investment

  • A smaller investment that is recovered in just a few years, as opposed to decades
  • No need to destroy functioning windows just to improve energy efficiency
  • Not investing thousands of dollars into trendy replacement window technology that will be obsolete in just a few years

Reduced Maintenance

    • By installing vinyl Low e storm windows on the exterior of your existing windows you will create a maintenance free protective barrier over your existing windows that will reduce maintenance and increase appearance.
    • Reduce or eliminate painting, caulking, glazing, and scraping.
    • Increasing the life and function of your existing windows.
  • Reduces stress and wind load on existing windows which reduces chances of glass breakage.


Architectural Appeal and Historical Preservation

The addition of Low E storm windows to a historical or vintage home is recognized as one of the highest priority item recommended by the Department of Interior to be done to weatherize any homes listed on the registry.  The installation of Low E storm windows is recommended not only as a solution to weatherizing, but as a means of protecting your original windows and ensuring the least amount of alteration to your historic building.  Low E storm windows are the logical solution to weatherizing your older historical, or vintage home or building.

  • No need to accept fundamental changes to your homes appearance just to improve its energy efficiency
  • Improves the energy performance of the original windows and protects them from ongoing exposure
  • Keep the look you love with the energy efficiency you want

Stainless Steel Spring Loaded Jamb

  • Allows for sashes and screens to be removed for cleaning with ease
  • No need to remove the entire storm window just to clean your windows
  • Designed to be a long term addition you can live with, not just a temporary patch job or band aid