Installing storm windows will lower your energy bill while keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. | Photo courtesy of Larson Manufacturing Company.
Storm window installation is one of the most cost-effective solutions for upgrading energy inefficient existing windows. They’re easy to install and cost a fraction of replacement windows. In fact, low-emissivity (low-e) storm windows can lower your utility bill just as much as replacing an entire window.
Coated with an ultra-thin, virtually invisible layer of metal, low-e windows reflect infrared heat back into the home. This coating improves the window’s insulation ability, in turn lowering your heating and cooling costs. On average, low-e storm windows can save you 12%–33% in heating and cooling costs. This equates to $120–$330 in annual savings, assuming a $1,000 annual heating/cooling bill.
After deciding to install a storm window, your first step will be to choose which type is right for your home. All storm windows will make your home more energy-efficient, but the types vary widely—you can choose between different materials and coatings, and whether you want to install them on the exterior or interior of the home. We’ll focus on exterior storm windows, which fit on all standard double-hung windows and are the most common type installed by homeowners. Outward-swinging windows require interior storm windows.
When installing any storm window, there’s a risk of condensation developing between the existing window and the storm window. To minimize this risk, ensure that the original window is as air tight as possible by caulking the tops and sides (jambs and head). Do this before installing the storm window.