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Storm Windows vs Replacement Windows: Which Is Better?

One of the longest ongoing debates for homeowners has been trying to decide between storm windows vs replacement windows. Contractors, designers, architects and the everyday homeowners have all gone back and forth in their ideas of what’s better.

storm windows vs replacement windows

The truth is, the answer isn’t always the same for everyone. Each situation is unique to the home involved and there are many factors to consider when deciding between storm windows vs replacement windows.

In this article, we’ll go over what you need to know about storm windows and replacement windows to help you make the best decision for your home.

What’s the Difference Between Storm and Replacement Windows?

Before you can make a smart decision between storm windows and replacement windows, you need to know the difference between the two. Both options are unique and we’ll go over them now in detail below.

Storm Windows

Storm windows can come in two different styles – exterior or interior. The difference between the two is pretty self-explanatory. Exterior storm windows are installed on the outside of your current windows and interior storm windows are on the inside.

Exterior storm windows are the more common style and are usually the option people choose when deciding between storm windows vs replacement windows.

Storm windows are made to provide extra protection against the elements such as wind and rain as well as help increase insulation. They’re usually found on older homes that may have old or worn out windows.

However, that’s pretty much the extent of storm windows. They’re simply an addition to your windows and can be removed at any time you’d like.

Replacement Windows

On the other hand, replacement windows can come in a wide variety of styles. There are casement, double hung, awning, picture and sliding windows just to name a few.

The biggest difference between storm and replacement windows is that replacement windows completely take the place of your old windows. You’ll be getting completely new windows that fit securely in your current opening.

Replacement windows are typically installed when your current windows can no longer perform as they should. For example, if your windows are drafty, have mold, damaged seals or don’t open and close properly anymore, then you should replace them.

Replacement windows can be made of many different materials but the best choice for Midwest homeowners is vinyl. Vinyl windows will never rot, warp or expand when exposed to moisture and they’ll stay strong and beautiful throughout every season.

With replacement windows, you know you’re getting rid of any problems that may have been caused by your old windows.

Storm Windows vs Replacement Windows

replacement windows on a home in Chicago

Now that you know the difference between storm windows and replacement windows, we’ll go over the advantages and disadvantages of them to help you decide what’s best for your home.

Storm Windows: Pros and Cons

Many people struggle when deciding between storm windows vs replacement windows simply because they don’t know what each has to offer. It’s important to know what storm windows will and won’t offer your home.

Pros of Storm Windows

One of the biggest reasons why people choose storm windows is because they’re simply cheaper to install. Since they only cover your existing windows, the only real work involved is getting them measured. After that, it’s a very simple installation and you can take them on and off when you please.

The benefits pretty much end there for storm windows.

Cons of Storm Windows

Since storm windows are only an add-on to your existing windows, they have quite a few negatives associated with them. They just can’t do the same job as a full window replacement.

For example, storm windows require routine maintenance to keep the tracks and glass clean. The glass can easily become dirty because there’s a very high chance that moisture and debris gets caught between the storm window and the original window.

They’re also less energy efficient. Since you’re using storm windows to try and solve the problem that your current windows have, the problem isn’t fixed.

No matter how well the storm windows fit, there’s bound to be gaps between them and your original windows. One last disadvantage that storm windows have is that they’re simply less attractive than new replacement windows.

Replacement Windows: Pros and Cons

Replacement windows are a completely different animal compared to storm windows. They offer many more benefits and have less disadvantages. We’ll explain below.

Pros of Replacement Windows

The clear and obvious benefit of replacement windows is that they completely get rid of your old windows that are causing your home to become drafty and use more energy.

Since they come in so many styles and colors, you have more options to choose from to enhance the look of your home. You can even install vinyl windows with wood grain finishes if you prefer the beauty of wood.

Replacement windows are also very energy efficient. The best replacement windows are made from vinyl and have insulated frames and glass. You won’t have to worry about the elements sneaking into your home like you would with storm windows.

When you replace your windows, your new ones will be custom made to fit exactly in your current openings. You can read more about the benefits of replacement vinyl windows here.

Plus, replacement windows flat out look better. Your old, worn out windows won’t be around to hurt your curb appeal anymore. Replacement windows will totally transform the look of your home giving it a fresh and crisp update.

Cons of Replacement Windows

The only real con of replacement windows is that they’re more expensive. However, it’s an investment worth making. You’ll end up saving money over time because of how energy efficient they are.

Another con could be that they take a longer time to install. But luckily for you, the installation of replacement windows is done by professionals so you don’t have to worry about anything.

Other than that, the only con would be you won’t know what to do with all the money you’re saving from not having to crank your furnace and air conditioning.

And the Winner of Storm Windows vs Replacement Windows Is..

Replacement windows! There are just too many benefits that replacement windows offer over storm windows.

Think of it like fixing your car. If you get a flat tire would you rather rely on a simple patch to repair the tire or would you rather get a new tire? Hopefully you choose to replace the tire and hopefully you choose to replace those windows.

When the time does come for a window replacement, look no further than Feldco. We’ve served over 350,000 homeowners so it’s no wonder why we’re named America’s #1 window company.

Get started on your window replacement project today with a free quote online!

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