If you're frustrated with chilly drafts in the winter and high cooling bills in the summer, the problem could be with your windows. If you live in an older home, the windows probably aren't energy efficient unless they have been replaced. However, replacement windows can be expensive, so you may not be eager to invest in them. A good alternative is to buy storm windows instead. You'll get many of the benefits of new windows at a much lower cost. Here are a few things to know.
Match The Window To Your Budget
There are several options in storm windows. If your budget is small, you can buy windows made from plastic rather than glass. You may have to sacrifice on appearance and the ability to see out the window clearly, but you'll at least put an end to cold air seeping through the windows. Plastic windows are also damaged more easily than glass, and the plastic can turn a yellow color as it ages. However, they are lightweight, easy to store, and less expensive than glass windows.
Choose The Frames You Like
Storm windows are made from aluminum, wood, or vinyl, just like traditional windows. You may want to match the frames you have in your home already. For instance, if you have a historic home with wood window frames, you'll probably want wood storm windows. However, if you have an older home with aluminum frames, you might want to choose a different material for your storm windows since aluminum isn't very energy efficient.
Install Interior Or Exterior Storm Windows
You can install storm windows inside your home or on the outside. Interior windows are the least expensive and the easiest to install. However, you might want exterior storm windows to protect old wood frames on a historic house, or you might prefer the look of exterior storm windows. Whichever type you choose, it's very important to get an exact fit. You may want to hire a contractor to measure for the right size and install them the first time. You can leave storm windows in all year for the most energy savings, or you can take them out when cold weather passes.
Consider Additional Benefits
If you want storm windows you can leave in all year, you might want windows with screens so you can let in the breeze during pleasant weather. Storm windows come in a variety of styles, colors, and strengths. They can even double as additional home security if you buy the stronger windows. The air trapped between your current windows and the storm windows acts as insulation during all kinds of weather, and it also acts as a sound barrier. If you buy windows with treated glass, your home will even be protected from UV rays.
Storm windows are the ideal alternative to replacing your windows. They offer similar benefits as modern replacement windows, but they're less expensive and much easier to install. For more information and options for windows, contact a window company, like Southern Glass & Mirror.