Storm windows come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be made from a range of materials. Ranging from less expensive plastic or coating only intended for one season to more durable, coated glass intended for use in energy loss reduction for years.
The coating is usually a glaze applied directly to the polycarbonate plastic or glass making the windows far less susceptible to breaking in a storm. The panes of glass are typically clearer, offering more visibility with a longer lifespan, but they can be heavy and break if dropped or improperly installed. Plastic storm windows cost a lot less and provide a more inexpensive option for those on tight budgets, and especially for tenants renting an apartment or house.
The plastic panes, usually made of Plexiglas, will be stronger and weigh less than their glass counterparts. Some discolor over the years and may easily scratch. Additionally, they offer reduced visibility and usually don’t hold up well over time when exposed to lots of direct sun.
The frames come in a range of materials. From aluminum, to wood, to vinyl, each frame offers its own unique benefit. Whether it’s the good insulation provided by wood or the lightweight, durability of aluminum, they allow for many options dependent upon budget and intended use. Vinyl frames are by far the most popular, and unlike wood which will age over time, or aluminum which conducts heat, vinyl frames are less expensive, more lightweight and usually come standard with UV guards against harmful light. However, they tend not to perform as well in extreme temperatures. Deciding what is best for your needs and your budget will go far in assuring you get the storm window that is right for you.
A final added benefit of all storm windows is most come with an easy step by step guide for do-it-yourself installation. They can be installed and removed with relative ease, making them an especially attractive offer for renters.