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    The Basics of Storm Windows

    Do your windows need an upgrade? Are you tired of leaky seals that make your house frigid during the winter and hot during the summer? If so, you may be in need of a storm window replacement. In addition to countless other benefits, a storm window replacement can increase your home's energy efficiency.
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    Storm windows can be installed on the interior or exterior of your pre-existing windows to provide an extra layer of insulation and protection. Whether you’re replacing old windows or installing new ones, storm windows can make your home as energy efficient and sturdy. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider a storm window replacement:

    Energy Efficiency: A storm window replacement adds an extra layer of insulation that will help your home stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. As a result, you’ll lower energy bills and save money.

    Extra Protection: A storm window replacement will shield your windows from the elements, increasing their lifespan considerably.

    Increased Privacy: A storm window replacement lessens the intrusion of outside noise, like car alarms, barking dogs, and pesky children. This extra layer of protection will keep your home quiet and calm.

    Storm shutters cover a home's windows and doors in Texas | © Wikimedia Commons / Robert Kaufmann/FEM

    Storm Window Styles

    Now that you’ve decided to try a storm window replacement, it’s important to understand how the different types of storm windows work. Here are the basic styles of storm windows that you should consider for storm window replacement.

    Two Track: The most basic style for storm window replacement, the two-track style features a screen as its bottom half. Used with double-hung windows, the outer screen allows in more fresh air once the inside window is open. This style is a simple way to protect your windows while still providing ventilation.

    Triple Track: Also for use with double-hung windows, the triple track style allows each component of the window to move on its own, allowing for a greater range of motion and an improved flow of air into your home.

    Basement: A basement storm window is a simple, single frame storm window installed over a picture window.

    Storm Shutters: Usually made of steel or aluminum, storm shutters are often used in regions with extreme weather patterns. These shutters fit over your existing windows to protect them from flying debris or high winds during a storm.

    Frames for Your Storm Window Replacement

    Aluminum: The cheapest material for storm window frames, aluminum requires little maintenance. However, aluminum is not an efficient insulating material.

    Wood: An excellent insulator, wood will generally be the most visually appealing frame material for your storm window replacement. Unfortunately, wood requires a great deal of maintenance and tends to weather easily.

    Vinyl: Strong and cost efficient, vinyl is usually adept at withstanding the elements. However, it can be damaged by extreme temperatures, both high and low.

    How to Take Measurements for a Storm Window Replacement

    After you’ve decided which style is appropriate for your storm window replacement project, it's important to measure the windows in your home that you would like to give a storm window replacement.

    To measure the width, measure from the inside of the moulding on one side to the inside of the moulding on the other side. Take measurements from multiple points, and use the smallest measurement.

    To measure the height, measure from the sill to the inside of the molding at the top of the window. Again, take multiple measurements from multiple points, and use the smallest measurement.

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    Written by: Ansley Clark, Editor