Unless you live in a region of the country known for mild winters, you’re bracing for a drop in temperature that could easily fall below zero before it’s all said and done. And, once it hits the mark, it might hover there indefinitely. Ick. It’s enough to make most of us shudder just thinking about it. Instead, let’s focus on the image of your family tucked away from winter’s arctic chill.
Is your family safe and sound, all warm and cozy, spending time together during the deep freeze? Or are you dragging the furniture away from the windows to try and avoid the draft, with a distinct chill in the air as everyone burrows under blankets to watch a movie?
If the second scenario fits, you may have already winterized your entire house! When focusing on your windows, there are a number of ways to block the cold winds of winter.
- Adding weather stripping
- Covering the windows with a see-through plastic for added insulation
Notorious for energy loss
If you live in an older home, odds are that your windows aren’t nearly as energy-efficient as they could be. Even if your home is newer, though, advances in technology continue to increase the amount of energy efficiency that new windows provide a home.
Always check the EnergyStar rating to help you determine which windows are best equipped for your climate zone.
It’s fair to say that hanging plastic and other routine maintenance help reduce the chill in the air, but replacing your windows will make a much larger impact. You’ll feel the difference in your comfort level and lower your bills in the process also!
“Statistics show that homeowners can experience up to 30% energy loss through their windows. You may be surprised to learn that even if you replaced your windows as little as 10 years ago, you could be experiencing substantial energy loss as well. Replacing your windows can lower your energy costs by as much as 15% and some homeowners have reported seeing up to 30% reduction in usage.” explained Randy Reece, CEO of Reece Builders / Windows.
However, many homeowners across the nation, especially those that live in areas prone to hurricanes or tornadoes, don’t place energy efficiency at the top of their list of reasons why replacement windows are a worthy investment.
In addition to the fact that your old windows probably aren’t as energy-efficient as they should be, are they made of ordinary glass? If so, they’ll undoubtedly crack or even shatter when anything strikes them with a degree of force.
Homeowners today are looking at the added storm protection that impact windows provide their home and families. Instead of normal glass, impact windows contain tempered glass. It’s a bit stronger than ordinary glass, but that’s not the main reason that this glass is used. While undergoing the rapid heating and cooling process to temper the glass, the molecular make-up changes causing it to break differently. So, rather than cracking and splintering into piercing shards, the glass crumbles into tiny rounded pellets.
Now, we understand that if storm debris is hitting your windows, odds are that the winds packing it are pretty intense. Even glass pellets can do some major damage and cause serious injury when hurled through the air by the high winds associated with hurricanes or if there is a tornado on the ground nearby. Impact windows don’t fly apart because there is something between the panes absorbing the force of impact and holding the glass in place. Usually, a sheet of high-tech polymer adheres to the glass panes.
The reinforcement agent also plays a part in the increased energy efficiency that these windows provide. Inspectors rate Impact windows for both storm resistance and energy efficiency.
If you have wet winters…
You’ll want to make sure your windows don’t let moisture begin to seep into your windows. Granted, it takes a while, but over time moisture problems left unattended only get worse. It allows mold and wood rot to set in and once it does, it continues to spread throughout the interior framing of your home.
Mold causes serious health issues and they only grow worse with prolonged exposure. If your windows show signs of moisture damage or you discover mold growth, it’s wise to have a professional inspection done to assess the situation.
“Many buyers request a home inspection before they finalize the purchase. They often specify that mold is included in their pre-inspection requirements. Removal can get costly if it’s been in the home for an undetermined length of time. It’s not something new homeowners want to discover after the fact.” said JoshuaSilva, CEO of the Silva Group.
We get that.
If mold is discovered during those inspections, the seller is probably wishing they’d known about the issue long before that point. Mold is nothing to mess around with and discovering it early on will benefit your entire family.
Other benefits to check off the list
You probably weren’t aware there was a list, however, impact windows offer so much year-round value, we compiled a list so we wouldn’t leave anything out. There’s a lot more to these windows than blocking the cold and resisting the debris that hits them during severe storms.
They deter would-be intruders from gaining access to your home too. Think about it. A thief isn’t likely to stick around after their first attempt at smashing your window comes to an abrupt and whiplash-inducing—we hope!—halt when your windows don’t give way.
The protection doesn’t end there
Impact windows block over 90% of the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. That means you’ll never have to worry about sun fade ruining furniture and carpets.
Furthermore, noise reduction is a benefit that most homeowners don’t begin to value until they experience it for themselves. We become desensitized to our surroundings over time. You might not realize just how noisy your neighborhood is until it isn’t any longer!
A worthwhile investment
Preparing your home to better withstand the onslaught of the cold winter months isn’t difficult. Investing the time to complete some basic home maintenance tasks now will keep you and your family warmer this winter.
In addition, considering window replacement is an option worth considering as well.
No matter which benefits you’re considering, installing impact windows is a win-win all around. You’re bound to experience a more comfortable environment as you spend time inside over the winter. Moreover, you’ll find beating the heat during the summer more enjoyable too. Both your furnace and air conditioner will catch a break and you’ll be using less energy.
Whether you decide to winterize your windows or your brand new replacement windows stand strong against the season’s storms, making sure your windows aren’t left exposed to the elements maintains its structural integrity.
It’s a lot more enjoyable to break out the popcorn and snuggle under a blanket to watch a movie with your family on a cold winter’s day than to be under a blanket cowering from the cold all winter long.
For more great house maintenance tips, check out the other blogs on Check This House.