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Old 12-03-2009, 11:27 AM   #1
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Selecting Storm Windows

I'm trying to select storm windows to install on the outside of existing original prime windows. It's a house built in 1935, they are the wooden double-hung type. For the most part, for energy efficiency, we plan on sealing the prime window sashes and then installing storms. (There will be a few that remain operational for safety reasons.) We thought about window replacement but could find nothing affordable that would allow us to match to the existing wide wooden trim throughout the house.

We live in NE Tennessee where it doesn't get too hot or cold for extended times, but we want to save money on energy bills in the long run because we plan on being in the house indefinitely.

I've been reading on-line about low e-coatings, low air-infiltration ratings, quality construction indicators, etc. I called a window factory (that a local distributor carries), and they said their storms have never been rated for the air-infiltration index.

Would you all consider a window without this air-infiltration rating? Who are some quality storm manufacturers that I should consider? What about low e-coating? I appreciate any advise.



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Old 12-03-2009, 01:15 PM   #2
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storm windows do little. R-1 value only is added. Almost all are the same. Low-E is not available. Argon is a gas filling the cavity of double glazed windows so again not for a storm window. But replacement windows fill the existing space of your existing windows. The interior trim is still used and is not removed to install new replacement windows. The exterior trim and siding is also not disturbed. Manufacturers like Silverline will make replacement windows with your specifications to the exact measurements you need.


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Old 12-03-2009, 01:34 PM   #3
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I'm finding info indicating that Low-e is available on some storm windows.

A company that offers them:

A study that was done comparing low-e to clear glass storms:
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:29 PM   #4
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I am not aware of anyone testing storms for air infiltration. By their nature, a storm is designed to leak a little air(for circulation). If not, moisture will be trapped between the storm and the prime.
If you are sealing the prime windows shut, that will help. Plus with the storm, you have a bit of a noise damper.
Another note. Depending on the prime window make up - I believe you mentioned wood, and the type of glass that is put into the storm, you can qualify for the energy tax credit.
There are two companies that I am aware of that offer this. Provia and Gorell.
Check out their websites.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:08 PM   #5
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I'm on my second home that I installed storm windows on, and I fully believe that they do add some value to help with cooling and heating my home. One of the main advantages that I like is that they help to prevent air from coming in around the older wood, double-hung, windows, especially when the wind is blowing. I did testing at both houses before putting on storm windows using a candle to check for air infiltration before/after storm window installation. On my second set I had an option of using a "tinted" glass, probably not a low-E type, but tinted enough to help with this bright S. GA. sun in August/Sept. I do believe that in our winter these windows hold some air between the old wooden windows and the storm windows to keep the home warmer. I seal three sides of my storms, but leave the bottom somewhat unsealed. I caulk the bottom with the exception of two places one-inch long for "breathing" to prevent moisture build-up. I bought my storms from a local builder supply business which went bankrupt July 01. They could not compete with two apron stores on this town, but they did have the only mill shop in town which I, and other contractors, miss greatly now. David
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