Storm Windows

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Storm windows are a window option for homeowners who want to stop air leakage through their windows but who don't have the funds to replace the windows with new replacement windows

Homeowners who want to enhance the effectiveness of their window can add a storm window to the outer frame of the main window. Storm windows address the problem of leaky windows which allow drafts to enter the house. Homeowners can reduce heating and cooling costs for a fraction of the price of a new replacement window with storm windows.


[edit] Storm Windows

Storm windows offer a suitable solution for problems with leaky windows. In addition to the added heating and cooling costs that leaky windows engender, leaky windows may harm the house's structure by allowing windblown rain to seep into the house's frame. Storm windows help to address this problem. Storm windows, however, do not significantly increase a window's effectiveness for thermal insulation.

[edit] Advantages of Storm Windows

The United States Department of Energy notes that the insulating performance of single-glazed windows is not enhanced by the addition of storm windows. However, storm windows can be beneficial in other ways.

[edit] Air Leakage

Storm windows can help reduce heating and cooling costs by reducing the air movement that flows into and out of existing windows. High quality storm windows can stop leaks and prevent weather intrusion at costs which are significantly lower than the investment needed to purchase new replacement windows.

[edit] Protecting Window Panes

Homeowners who have quality insulating windows in their home often add storm windows to protect their window panes. Storm windows absorb flying debris and protect the more expensive glazing panels of a window, making them useful even when they are installed in conjunction with superior insulating replacement windows.

[edit] Storm Windows Versatility

Storm windows can be mounted on the inside or the outside of the window's frame. They can be mounted for permanent or temporary. Storm windows are available for most styles and types of windows including horizontal sliding windows and vertical sliding windows.

[edit] Interior Versus Exterior Storm Windows

Many homeowners find that interior storm windows are a more convenient window option than exterior storm windows. They install more easily, can be removed and don't require as much maintenance because they're not fully exposed to the weather's elements. In addition, interior storm windows seal tightly and bond to the primary window, increasing their effectiveness at preventing air leakage.

[edit] Storm Window Glazing

Storm windows can be manufactured using inexpensive films or plastic sheets which are designed for one heating season to rigid plastic or flexible plastic sheet panels including polycarbonate plastic or laminated glass which present a high degree of protection from home intrusions or storm breakage. Glass storm window panes offer the vest visibility and longer life while plastic glazing is a more economical storm window solution. Plastic glazing on storm windows is more easily damaged. These include Plexiglas and acrylics which are lighter and tougher than glass but scratch easily and may turn yellow over time. Some plastic storm window films can reduce visibility significantly and degrade when exposed to sunlight over the course of time.

[edit] Storm Window Framing Materials

Storm window frames are generally constructed using wood, vinyl or aluminum materials.

[edit] Wood Storm Window Frames

Wood frames are good insulators but they expand and contract, according to the weather's conditions. A wood frame storm window which is installed in the summertime may not open well in the winter and vice versa. They are heavier and thicker than vinyl or aluminum frames, creating difficulties when put away for storage during the warm weather. Wood storm window frames don't allow the maximum possible amount of natural light to enter a room and they can impede the view from the window. They also require annual maintenance to protect the frames from rotting and warping.

[edit] Vinyl Storm Window Frames

Vinyl PVC (polyvinyl chloride) frames include ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers which prevent the sunlight from breaking down the material. They may warp or expand at high temperatures and crack in low temperatures. The frame color can fade over time due to daily exposure to direct sunlight.

[edit] Aluminum Storm Window Frames

Aluminum is a very strong framing material and is quite light, making it easy for seasonal changes and storage. It is maintenance free. Aluminum frames, however, conduct heat rapidly which creates a build-up of condensation along the frames, making aluminum storm window frames a poor insulating framing material.

[edit] Triple Track Storm Windows

Exterior storm windows are generally manufactured as "triple-track" windows. These windows hold two glass sashes together with one screen that slides on separate tracks. These storm windows are not known for their attractive appearance but they resist weather, add thermal insulation and protect windows from the elements.

[edit] Installation Caution

Professional window installers remind homeowners that the bottom edge of a storm window should not be caulked. Caulking the window along the windowsill can trap water that condenses or leaks in on the inside of the glass. The proper option is to leave the area uncaulked so that the water has a chance to drain out before it causes any damage. Although these weep holes reduce the total energy savings, the primary window frame will rot and will not operate properly if they are not included in the installation. Storm windows must be hung square with the primary window before it is sealed to the opening. The homeowner should be able to move them easily for adequate ventilation and cleaning.

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