When it comes to windows, contractors, designers, architects, and homeowners have been challenged by this one question: installing new vinyl storm windows or replacing old ones. As with any home construction-related additions, there are different factors we should pay attention to in order to make the best decision and avoid any issues.

In today’s post, we’ll take a look at the difference between replacement windows and vinyl storm windows.

Replacement Windows

When old windows are replaced with newly installed ones, those are called replacement windows. This type refers to several different variations. However, replacement windows, in general, offer significant savings in energy usage, along with better durability compared to old windows.

There are also low-energy replacement windows that can be customized to any size, shape, and other design specifications. From bay windows to casements, these modern windows offer superior performance and a sleek look.

Vinyl Storm Windows

Vinyl storm windows, compared to the standard vinyl replacement windows, are priced significantly less. At a more economical price, they are useful in stopping the cold winter air from coming into your home; this is a fantastic solution if you don’t have the budget to get a brand new set of full windows.

This type of window is also an excellent pick for apartment dwellers because of its portability. They are also easier to remove and pack away when the colder months are over or when you switch apartments.

Storm windows crafted from a window screen frame using vinyl were common in the Northern climates to repel the frigid air. The screen frame doesn’t give off insulation. It acts as the barrier; it works to stop the air movement between the single pane glass and the storm panes.

On the other hand, vinyl storm windows can also lessen the condensation between glass panes, trapping the heat inside in places with hotter climates. Storm windows are ideal for use in historic homes; they don’t alter the interior or exterior of the property, preserving the historic home’s architectural integrity and history, while at the same time effective in keeping it comfortable inside the house.

Energy Star Ratings for Home Windows

To help homeowners decide among the different types of windows, the U.S. Department of Energy has introduced and implemented strict criteria and Energy Star ratings for the various climate regions across the country. This initiative is a brilliant way to find the best energy-efficient window products for homes and offices. Whether it’s vinyl storm items or other replacement windows, here are some of the important measurements to know from the DOE. A window’s U-factor, which is how much heat escapes or is let inside your home. The higher the U-factor, the more heat is transferred. The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) gauges the amount of solar energy that comes through the window. SHGC lets you know how well your window can deter the heat of the sun from entering your house. A lower SHGC figure means less solar heat is coming into your home.

Consider These Factors

Whether you need to replace or restore your windows, here are the primary considerations you need to keep in mind. 

What is your budget? This important question will dictate how any home upgrade is going to go. If money is not an issue for you, then you can perhaps pass up on vinyl storm windows and get replacement ones. For homeowners working on tighter budgets, then storm window are a great, budget-friendly alternative.
Are you handy? If yes, you can do a do-it-yourself storm windows installation. However, if you’re going for replacement windows, better call a professional. Either way, it’s always best to consult a window expert no matter what you decide to go with.
Are your windows old? When your current windows are more than three decades old, then you definitely should get new replacement windows. Old, worn out windows are not energy efficient, which can only skyrocket your energy costs. They will also not be effective in keeping your house secure and comfortable. Installing new ones will save you more money as time goes on.


Final Thoughts

Installing new replacement windows to replace your old ones clearly provide long-term value. However, the cost of purchase and installation is more up front. Your best bet is to go with your local trusted window professional and get their recommendations on proven brands.

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