What Is a Storm Window and Do They Stand up to the Ratings?

What Is a Storm Window and Do They Stand up to the Ratings?

Homeowners concerned with household performance and weatherization should look at their window treatments, particularly considering storm windows.

These were selected as a personal preference for weatherization among many for their weatherization choice due to their easy install and ease in keeping them clean. Go here for a guide on storm windows.

In Fairbanks, Alaska, the CCRC- Cold Climate Research Center did qualitatively test window treatment by comparing storm treatment windows, installing curtains, blinds, and shutters on double pane insulated glass windows, which testers presume lack thermal resistance for the climate in the state.

The window treatments were rated for:

  • Functionality
  • Resistance to condensation
  • Durability
  • Insulation value
  • Installation ease
  • Budget-friendliness

With the qualitative testing, the shutters, blinds, and curtains failed as the condensation increased with double pane insulated glass.

Condensation was a factor with these elements because they reduced the interior temperature of the glass without stopping moist air from circulating and depositing ice and condensation on the glass.

Sliding foam and exterior rolling shutters received good CCRC ratings for resistance to condensation and insulation value. The challenge is the ease of installation and affordability, preventing a vast preference for their use. The best performance in this CCRC rating was exterior and interior storm windows.”

These offer a reduction in condensation when looking at the double-pane glass on its own. All the other boxes checked as highly rated, including affordability, durability, insulation value, and easy install for the storm windows as the top contender.

Are Storm Windows Worth Buying

Storm windows boast of boosting a home’s energy efficiency and preventing air leaks. These fit over a standard window on the house’s interior or exterior.

The windows are an affordable option compared to replacement windows and are favored for the older homes. They can save on utility costs, help with climate control inside, and protect against the threat of devastating storms. As with any product, there are potential downsides.

What Is the Function of a Storm Window

Many homeowners with an older property that has single-pane windows will add storm windows for extra protection and added energy efficiency. Still, these can be added to any style of window. Here are different types and how they work.


Many of these go over an existing window on the house’s exterior to establish an efficient seal. The windows are available in wood, vinyl, and aluminum frames.


These materials are either plexiglass, glass, or acrylic trimmed to fit tightly as an insert in the window. These are a favored option in many historic-style households.


For those living in areas with winters that get frigid, temporary storm windows are common. These plastic sheets offer insulation when applied to the window’s interior. The kits are available with a double-sided adhesive or magnetic tape application.

Tips on Choosing Storm Windows

Some storm windows can open, or you can buy those that stay closed, depending on your preference. The best option would be to compare your current window’s operation. For single-hung windows, it makes sense to go with a two-track storm window, and double-hung windows require a three-track option.

When looking for the best option for your household, here are a few tips to follow to ensure you select the right choice for your needs.

Work with a professional: A reputable contractor can assess your particular needs and offer suggestions on the most suitable windows for those requirements.


The priority is to select the highest quality and most energy efficient, durable materials to ensure an extended lifespan and the greatest effectiveness.

The install:

You’ll get the best protection and insulation when the windows are properly installed. Often, the installation should be handled by a professional with the expertise and knowledge to do the job adequately upfront. Learn about what to know before installing storm windows at https://www.wflx.com/.

The ratings:

The windows with the best energy ratings, like the Energy Star label, should be at the top of your list.


Most people consider how their house looks from the interior and from the curb. In this case, you’ll want to find windows that seamlessly fit the house’s architecture and the current window style.

What Are the Advantages of Storm Windows

Once you understand what storm windows are and their ratings aside from other options, it’s important to follow up with the benefits associated with adding them to your household. Let’s review some of the reasons these are worth considering for your home.

Greater energy efficiency

Reduction in heat loss: These windows create an insulation layer, disallowing air escape during extreme temperatures. The home stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Savings: Because the windows add a layer of insulation, the costs to heat and cool are reduced.

Reduced drafts

Drafts are blocked: The windows block cold drafts from coming into the home, making it much more comfortable and warmer.

Reduced Noise

Insulating sound: Adding storm windows over existing windows can insulate the sound from the surrounding area, keeping the environment tranquil.

Private: With less noise pollution, you have greater privacy from the city’s hub or loud neighborhoods.

Protection from the conditions

Resistant to the elements: Storm windows resist harsh weather conditions, protecting against wind, snow, rain, and other harsh elements.

Retain existing window condition: With the existing window protected from the elements, they have a longer lifespan.

What Is the Price Point for Storm Windows

The price point for these windows ranges between “$75 and $200,” with the primary factors affecting the cost being the material and the size.

The US Dept of Energy indicates that adding these windows to a home will reduce energy costs by as much as roughly 10 to 30 percent, depending on the primary window and your choice of storm window. Please visit www.ParadiseExteriors.com for examples of premium storm windows.

For the best option, you should find one with Low-E glass and an Energy Star rating. Storm windows with Low-E glass will keep temperatures in the household regulated. These aren’t for everyone, though. Let’s look at the downsides.


The storm window is difficult to keep clean, and that makes the primary window more challenging to clean.

The aesthetics:

One downside, particularly for older, more historic houses, is that the appearance is difficult to detract from. The primary window and the architecture of the house have a distinct style. Adding a storm window takes away from this appearance.

While storm windows might not look as good as their primary counterpart, those made today can be aesthetically pleasing. Finding a color and material that coincides with your home is important. You can choose between vinyl, wood, and aluminum frames.

If you live in an older historic home, an interior storm window will avoid blocking the aesthetic from the curb. They will offer the energy efficiency without affecting the appeal.

Final Thought

For old homes fitted with single-pane windows, a storm window added to the house can improve energy efficiency at an affordable price point compared to window replacements. When well-maintained, these windows can endure a lifespan of roughly 20 years.

It’s suggested to choose ones with an Energy Star label and Low-E glass for temperature control as a priority. If you have an older historic home, selecting the interior option is recommended to avoid affecting the curbside view.

These will perform as effectively but allow you the appeal typical of a historic house.

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