As the days and nights become cooler with the changing seasons, you might be noticing that your new home has some drafts or that the charming older character home that you’ve purchased with the beautiful original windows is getting a little expensive to heat. One way to cut down on the drafts and the energy costs is to have your new home fitted with storm windows.
Storm windows create a barrier of air between themselves and your windows; this works like a dual-pane window, the two panes hold a dead space of air between them as insulation. Due to this insulating factor, the storm windows also help cut down on condensation and window frame deterioration from water damage. Less condensation can also help with winter mildew and mold problems.
Storm windows can come in an interior or exterior variety; each of these types has its own pros and cons so that your storm window choice should reflect your particular home needs. Interior storm windows come in a variety of types and complexities, ranging from a simple film taped over the inside of the window frame to the more complex magnetic seal acrylic glazed models.
The cheapest and easiest option, though least flexible once you have it up, is the thin plastic film version. This type is installed with double-sided tape to hold the plastic film to the inside of the window and then with a hair dryer you heat shrink the plastic film so that it’s tight across the window so that you can see out more clearly.
The only real problems with this system are that it is possible to damage the paint around the window from when you remove the tape, the film can easily be damaged by small children or pets, and that you can’t open the window at all when the film is up. Plastic film is a good option if you’re looking to replace the drafty windows in your new home in the future but don’t have the time or money to accomplish this before the winter hits this year.
More expensive systems are made from acrylic sheets and installed with magnetic or snap seals to the inside of the window. These are much easier to install than an exterior storm window and more durable than a plastic film. Interior storm windows are easy to install, particularly on upper floors where it can be awkward to install them on the outside of the home.
Exterior storm windows can be temporary or permanently installed. Most commonly they have wood or metal frames with glass or acrylic glazing. While the fact that they don’t change the interior look of your windows can be a desirable trait, they can be a hassle to install on homes with multiple stories.
Whichever option you choose, storm windows can really help cut down on the chill when it gets cold and as a result can significantly cut down on your heating bill this winter!