Home Improvement Blog: A Toolbox of Ideas

Storm Windows vs Replacement Windows: Why New Windows are Better

Posted on Wed, Sep 23, 2015

rain_on_storm_windowMany older homes are equipped with storm windows, which fit over top of your existing windows to provide protection from the elements. If you already have these windows, you may be wondering why you should choose new replacement windows, since they already insulate you from the cold. When comparing storm windows vs replacement windows, it’s easy to see that new replacement windows have a number of advantages.


Taking On and Off

The biggest disadvantage to storm windows is that they must be taken down and put back up seasonally. This can be a time-consuming task that many people avoid doing until temperatures have dropped significantly. By that time, they have already missed out on a great deal of energy savings.

There are some other problems involved with removing and replacing these windows. A few of the issues you might encounter are:

  • Winding up with broken or damaged windows
  • Finding a place to store them when they’re not in use
  • The hazards involved with placing windows on second-story openings
  • The possibility of disturbing landscaping while installing or removing storm windows


Storm windows also require a significant amount of maintenance to keep them in good working order. For example, the tracks must be cleaned and lubricated each time they are installed or removed to ensure they work properly. Replacement windows on the other hand require very little maintenance, and their tracks do not typically need to be cleaned or lubricated.

Cleaning the windows is also more difficult, because the outer panes of glass must be manually unscrewed first. This can be especially problematic when cleaning windows that are very high up. They are also less likely to stay clean, since moisture can easily become trapped between the panes and cause them to become streaked. Vinyl windows are much easier to clean, because they contain panes that tilt inward, meaning you will never have to get on a ladder or remove outer sections.

Energy Efficiency

Replacement windows do a much better job at insulating your home against the elements. No matter how well they fit, there is bound to be gaps between your storm and regular windows that will allow cold air to pass through. While the amount of air can be reduced through caulking or weather stripping, it cannot compare to the airtight seal that a new replacement window provides.

Replacement windows also have an advantage in that they may contain double or triple panes of glass for added efficiency. These additional panes of glass add to the cost of new windows only slightly, yet will provide you with a great deal more energy efficiency. You may even find that upgrading to triple pane windows is a worthy investment that will more than pay for itself over the long run.


When it comes to aesthetics, replacements windows are far more attractive than storm windows are. That’s because they tend to have smoother lines and a seamless fit because they are all one unit. These windows are available in a multitude of colors to match any exterior siding, and are designed so that they never need painting. While storm windows themselves do not require painting, the frames of the traditional windows they sit on do, and can become unsightly when paint begins peeling and cracking.


When you choose vinyl replacement windows, you can enjoy all the benefits of them year round, without having to worry with taking them on and off. Replacement windows are more affordable than you may think, so if you’ve been holding onto your storm windows due to monetary concerns, you may be surprised at how little they cost. Obtain an estimate today and find out just how much new windows can do for your home.

Replacement Window Buying Guide


Image courtesy of Toa55 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net