Weatherproofing your windows can up the comfort level in your home and reduce your energy bills by 10 to 15% during cold climates. Installing storm windows is the easiest way to weatherproofing your home and the most cost-effective alternative to new window replacements.
Storm windows are built to fit on top of your existing windows' interior or exterior perfectly. With proper installation, a storm window can improve your home's insulation and U-value (window insulation performance) by 50%. Enhancing your home's insulation is like covering it over with a blanket. Storm windows achieve this through insulated glazing, low-E (low-emissivity) glass, the method of coating, sturdy framing, tight sealing, and the glass's thickness.
Here's a brief look at components that you should keep in mind when choosing storm windows:
- Insulated glazing refers to the number of glass panes placed after one another in the window to reduce heat loss. The space between each lite is filled with either air or a gas of lower emissivity qualities such as argon or krypton.
- The glass surfaces used for all windows, in general, come in the form of #2 and #3 glass. They differ in where the low-emissivity coating is applied on the glass. The best storm windows use #3 glass because they have their coating on the innermost side of the glass to trap any incoming heat.
- Glass thickness isn't only resistant to impacts and hurricanes, but cold climates as well.
Let's look at your choices of storm windows and see what stands out as the best course of action to counter those cold winters.
Exterior vs interior storm windows
It is much better to have an exterior storm window with low-emissivity properties than an interior one with those same properties. This is because the exterior window has already treated a lot of the cooler outside temperature that could have passed through, and your primary window would have to work less to achieve better results. The important thing to remember about insulation performance windows is that they need to be sealed from the outside temperature. That means gaps where water, cold air, and draft could gather need to be tightly secured.
Issues to anticipate before adding an interior or exterior storm window are condensation, the strength of the frame, and sealing tightness. Let's examine what each of these mean for proper insulation:
Whether your storm window is going to be retrofitted on the inside or outside of your primary window, you need to include weep holes in the outermost window to help water escape when humidity levels rise.
Strong frames such as aluminum and U-PVC provide excellent window support, excellent temperature retention qualities, durability, and help smooth the sealing process within the window's interior and exterior.
Primary window's sealing.
Any gaps located between the window frame and sashes need to be airtight. This includes the inner and outer frame corners, the bottom of the sashes, and where the sashes interlock with one another. The corners can be tightly fitted with butt-joints, the gaps where the sashes interlock can be sealed with V-channel weatherstripping, a vinyl foam can be applied to the closing side of the sash, and caulk can be printed around the frame's interior and exterior trim.
There are DIY methods of installing your own storm windows but for an insured quality installation, Home Depot offers unrivaled service for window installation and replacement.
The Home Depot’s storm windows installation
The Home Depot’s windows installation process is backed by a superior warranty, and they will keep you informed and involved every step of the way.
- Upon request, a team can pay you an in-home visit to see about your budget and preferred window style.
- Measurements are then taken to show you how and where your window would be installed.
- Once you make an order for a storm window, the Home Depot team will check it for any operational issues.
- They will then install it for you.
- They won't leave any mess behind after they're done.
- Finally, they will give you a demonstration of how the storm window operates and take any of your questions.