For many home owners storm windows are a thing of the past. Newer homes that are built with modern, energy efficient windows are designed to be efficient in all 4 seasons. However, if you live in an older home with outdated windows you may still be spending the first day of fall installing your storm windows in preparation for a cold winter. The best solution is to install new windows throughout your home. But if you don’t have room in your budget; storm windows can be a lower cost alternative. These aren’t replacements for your existing windows, but rather a secondary window installed on the exterior of your home. Let’s take a look at what that may entail.
Benefits of Installing Storm Windows
Improving Energy Efficiency: By creating an air space between your existing windows and the storm windows, the insulation rating of your windows is increased. This will lower your overall heating bill in the winter.
Reducing the Ambient Noise If you live on a busy street, the additional layer of glass will help to reduce the street noise emanating in your home.
Extended Life of Primary Windows: Storm Windows provide an additional barrier between your primary windows and the elements, thus extending the life of your current windows and seals.
Installing Storm Windows Step by Step
Take Accurate Measurements: Just like any other do-it-yourself project, the first step is to take accurate measurements of all of your window frames. While many of the windows appear to be the same size and may have the same nominal dimensions; you need to carefully measure each one individually. In each case, take note of the smallest measurement to ensure that the storm windows will fit in place with ease. Take 3 measurements both vertically and horizontally and use the smallest measurement less 1/8” to order your windows.
Check the Fit: Place your new storm windows inside the window frame to check for proper fit. Center the window and make sure that the sashes slide smoothly without binding.
Drill the Window Flange: The frame of the new windows may already have predrilled mounting screw holes. If not, this a good time drill the pilot holes which should be spaced approximately 8 inches apart. It is also a good time to fill any holes that may have been utilized by any previous storm windows that you no longer own.
Apply Caulking: Remove the storm window and apply a bead of high-quality caulking along the frame where the storm window will rest. Caulk along the top and along both vertical sides. Do not caulk along the window sill, as this would trap moisture between the windows.
Insert the Window: Place the window into the opening tilting it as you do so to make sure that you don’t smear the bead of caulking.
Fasten the Screws: Screw the storm window in place. Start with the top middle screw to hold the window in place while you insert the remaining screws around the perimeter. Remove any caulking that oozes out as you tighten the screws.