- Storm windows help protect against drafts and heat loss in the cold months.
- You can install storm windows on either the interior or exterior of your window.
- Once installed, a storm window limits the functionality of your window—meaning you can’t open it. They are generally uninstalled and reinstalled each year.
Storm windows are flat, exterior panels that you install during the winter over your regular windows. They fit into the same frame as your existing windows, and offer another layer of protection against drafts and heat loss.
Storm windows don’t open or close. In this way, they are less functional than other types of windows. However, they can improve the insulation of your home, creating a seal against the cold weather.
How do storm windows work?
You can install storm windows on either the exterior or the interior of your windows.
Exterior storm windows are more common, but interior varieties have the same benefits. Some homeowners prefer interior storm windows because they don’t interfere with the look of the home. If your home is in a historic district, for example, this might be an important consideration.
Once you install storm windows, you won’t be able to open your windows. This means that you have to uninstall and reinstall each year if you want to be able to open your windows during the warmer months. If you are installing storm windows on the second story of a home, this can be a daunting prospect.
Pros and cons of storm windows
- Provide insulation. Storm windows reduce drafts and heat loss.
- Economical choice. For homes that need seasonal protection from the cold, they cost less than replacing windows with highly insulated options.
- Potential hassle. Storm windows must be installed and removed each year.
- Limited functionality. When they're in place, they limit movement of the existing windows, thus limiting ventilation.