It was a dark and stormy night….

Not quite, but a good segue into a discussion about storm windows. Be honest, when you hear the term “storm windows”, you things of crusty aluminum contraptions that look like they were Frankensteined onto a house in the 1960’s. They are ugly and don’t work, the screens are ripped or gone and if you are really lucky, someone painted over them – in short, they look like a teenager with headgear braces – it works, but it’s not optimal.

So where to we stand now, for homeowners with old windows, maybe in a district where they can’t replace windows (if one thought that was prudent, we don’t of course).

Functionality: Storm windows provide a couple of basic functions:

  1. protection from the environment – sun, wind and rain
  2. protecting old windows
  3. helping with climate control. Here is more information on each.

What could possibly hurt a well built and well maintained window?

The list is long, but moisture and sunlight are at the top. Moisture causes rot, that is easy enough, water is nature’s ultimate solvent. Storm windows, good ones that is, keep “sideways rain” out of the mix and also let normal rain flow down and over the sill without messing with the glazing or causing general “rot trouble”. Sunlight is also an enemy – you would think it would help keep things dry and stable, but it actually ends up making paint (if it is weak due to age or a bad paint job) buckle and crack and can also cause interior fabrics (drapes, rugs, furniture etc) fade. There is an easy fix here, UV protective glass – and no, it’s not tinted, and it’s not film that will peel, it’s baked into the equation so to speak!

How about protecting classic windows?

That is easy, a layer of glass keeps critters, spiders, water, branches etc away from your valuable investment.

And climate control.. sometimes people talk up double paned glass, well, that has its place but is not necessary for effective retention of cold air and hot air.  Adding storm windows gives you a “double pane” effect without the worry of failed and cloudy (and expensive) double paned glass.

As a bonus.. sound control is another huge benefit.

If car shaped sub-woofers roll past your house, the weird kids next door play their weird music too loud, the stupid dog down the street won’t stop barking or you just hear too much you don’t want to, the air in between the storm window and your window absorbs the sound and dissipates it (not being very scientific but you get the point).

And… THEY ARE NO LONGER HIDEOUSLY UGLY – they are designed (the good ones anyways) to fit right in, matching the window color and profile (and for all that, they are reasonably priced and easy to install)!