Do storm windows save energy?

on October 3, 2018

Tired of paying for heating or cooling that is seeping through old windows? Purchasing replacement windows is not always the best option. If repairing old windows by weather stripping or adding caulk does not fix the breeze, consider upgrading with energy efficient storm windows.

How energy efficient windows work

Storm windows can be installed on the inside or outside of your home. Most commonly used with single pane windows, storm windows are more efficient than replacing old windows with double-paned glass. Storm windows have superior air-sealing, retain temperature better, create a reduction in noise, eliminate condensation and protect main windows from the wear and tear of mother nature. However, those who live in climates where the weather can get extremely hot or super cold will benefit the most from energy efficient windows.

How much money can you save installing storm windows?

The energy savings you will experience from storm windows is determined from a variety of factors. Each house calculates its cost effectiveness differently. Factors such as the furnace or air conditioning system, local climate, how well your home is sealed in other areas such as the doors and your roof all play a role in the amount of savings. Even current electricity rates affect energy savings.

According to, replacing single-pane windows with ENERGY STAR qualified storm windows can save you up to $465 a year on energy bills. This is assuming that your home is 2,000 sq. ft. The amount of savings varies on the location of your home, how many windows you have and what type of energy you use (electric or gas).

When purchasing storm windows, there are three main types: exterior, interior and temporary. Each type of storm window has its own pros and cons.

Exterior storm windows

Exterior storm windows are framed in aluminum, wood or vinyl. It is worth considering the pros and cons of each material before deciding on which exterior storm window is the best option for your home.

Aluminum frames are lightweight and require little maintenance, but save less energy due to the metal heating up quickly in the sun. Wood frames look best with older homes, but can expand and contract with the changing seasons causing a decrease in the effectiveness of the seal.

Wood frames also require the most maintenance and will need to be replaced quicker than aluminum or vinyl if not regularly maintained. In fact, vinyl storm windows resist sunlight but may warp or crack in extreme temperatures.

Exterior storm windows are often used to protect existing windows from wear or damage and to help prevent flooding from heavy rains or hurricanes.

Interior storm windows

Interior storm windows are easily installed and removable. The storm windows are generally made from lightweight, inexpensive materials such as glass, plastic or acrylic and can be framed or unframed. Some can magnetize to current windows while others compression fit. Interior storm windows are great for apartments or homes with multiple levels.

Temporary storm windows

Temporary storm windows are usually either an acrylic panel that is placed inside the pane or an insulating film that is heat shrunk to the window frame. Each solution is generally used to keep cold air out and needs to be replaced yearly. This option is only recommended as a quick fix if the budget is tight or we need extra time to install a better option.

How to make DIY storm windows

On a budget? Consider making DIY storm windows. It is very affordable and easy to construct for a novice handyman.

Storm windows and energy efficiency go hand in hand. Before spending a lot of money on replacement windows, research if storm windows would be beneficial to you financially and geographically.

Want to save money on energy bills and take advantage of clean energy such has wind and solar at the same time? Arcadia can help. We can help you easily find renewable energy options, lower power bills and even pay energy bills automatically all through the site. Arcadia not only helps homeowners but renters too!