Storm Windows Offer Protection, Energy Efficiency

Martin Bomba
Written by Martin Bomba
Updated August 24, 2015
woman adjusting storm windows
Consider installing storm windows to protect your home from heavy wind and rain. (Photo by Steve Mitchell)

Wind speeds of Category 5 hurricanes can exceed 156 mph and pack a punch in the form of flying debris.

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If you live in an area prone to tropical storms and hurricanes, you’ve no doubt spent a fair amount of time fastening shutters or boarding up your home’s windows to protect it before evacuating. While most people think of ways to protect their windows, they often overlook the option of installing windows that don’t need so much protecting. Installing storm windows, or hurricane impact windows, is an easy way to increase the safety, value and energy efficiency of your home. Read on to find out why the decision to install storm windows should be an open-and-shut case.

MORE: Angi's Guide to Replacement Windows

Impact resistance

Storm windows go through rigorous testing for strict coastal building codes. One of the most important tests involves withstanding multiple impacts from a large “missile.” In large missile impact testing, storm windows must withstand the impact of airborne debris moving at roughly 34 mph. In addition to the superior strength of the windows, the glass is made to be shatterproof with a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer that holds the window together in the event that the glass is broken.

Air and water resistance

Storm windows also must meet or exceed strict requirements for air and water resistance. They easily withstand the damaging winds that could rip through weak shutters or old windows. The same goes for their performance in heavy rain. Storm windows are tested for water penetration resistance with a combination of powerfully sprayed water and static pressure. Professionally sealed storm windows are often to thank for preventing extreme water damage to homes in tropical storm and hurricane-prone areas. 

CHECK OUT: How Much Does It Cost to Replace Windows? 

Energy efficiency

Many of the aspects that make storm windows safe in extreme weather also make them wonderfully energy efficient. A seal strong enough to keep hurricane winds and waters out keeps your conditioned air inside. The shatterproof glass also filters out 99 percent of UV rays for a cooler home and offers protection from sun damage to carpet and drapes. Many storm windows are Energy Star approved. Make sure to ask your window replacement company if they carry these models.

RELATED: 4 Benefits of Installing a Storm Door

There are many great reasons to fit your home with hurricane impact windows, but the main reason we stress is safety. If you live in an area commonly affected by hurricanes, storm windows are an easy way to fortify your home from extreme weather. Visit your local window replacement company today to learn more about the great options for hurricane impact windows in your area. And remember, storm windows come in a variety of customizable models, so you won’t have to sacrifice style for increased safety.

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As of Aug. 24, 2015, this service provider was highly rated on Angi. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angi for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angi.

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