Storm & Utility Windows Buying Guide

Storm windows are an economical, easy way to increase the efficiency of older, single hung windows. They work by reducing the flow of outside air into your home, with the airspace between the storm and existing windows adding insulation. Use our buying guide to upgrade your windows.

Shopping for New Storm & Utility Windows

Feel the benefits of storm windows immediately with increased insulation and lower heating and cooling costs.

Utility windows are a low-cost alternative to using regular windows in areas that don't necessarily require them, like garages and sheds.

How to Take Measurements

  • To determine the width, measure from the inside of the moulding on one side of the window to the inside of the moulding on the other side of the window.
  • Measure at the bottom, top, and middle of the window.
  • Use the narrowest measurement for the width of your storm window.
  • To determine the height, measure from the sill to the inside of the moulding at the top of the window.
  • Measure at theleft, right, and middle of the window and use the shortest measurement for the height.
  • Using the smallest measurements ensures the storm window's flanges will fit inside the exterior trim.

 

Configurations & Features of Storm Windows

There are four types of configurations you can have with storm windows: basement (picture) windows, two-track, two-track slider, and triple-track. They're also normally used in conjunction with single hung, double hung, and slider type windows.

Measure Twice, Install Once

To make sure your windows fit properly, measure each one separately, even if you think they're the same size. Although some windows might appear to be the same size, measuring each one individually ensures you get a proper fit every single time.

Basement Storm Window Sizes

Storm windows that go in the basement only have one pane, which is secured with thumb latches on the frame's exterior so you can remove it quickly. Some signs of excellent basement storm windows include pre-drilled holes for easy installation, weatherstripping for better protection from the outside elements, a stabilizer bar for extra strength, and a screen to keep bugs out if the pane is removed.

Two-Track

With this configuration, the storm window has a screen on the bottom portion and outer pane of glass on the top portion, both of which don't slide up or down. The inside pane (located in the inside track) can be raised for fresh air. This type of storm window pairs with double hung windows. To ensure a good purchase, look for a two track window with adjustable ventilation stops on the inside track, removable glass and screen, pre-drilled holes, and quality weatherstripping.

Two-Track Slider

The only change with this window is it opens horizontally instead of vertically, and pairs with slider windows instead of double hung windows. As well as looking for the previous features, make sure your two-tracker slider window has a stabilizer bar for extra strength.

Triple-Track

This type of storm window features individual tracks for each pane and half-screen so each sash can move independently, allowing you to pass items through the open window. For increased cross-ventilation, the screen and both panes of glass can be moved to the top. Triple-track windows pair with double hung windows, and you should look for windows that have a removable glass and screen, pre-drilled holes, quality weatherstripping, and a stabilizer bar.

Colour Options

Storm windows are usually available in brown, white, and mill (a silvery aluminum colour), but some manufacturers also make almond-coloured storm windows. Find the right colour to complement your home's décor.

Security

Look for things like reinforced screens, extra durability, multi-point locks, and panel clips that can help your storm windows withstand forced entry attempts. This can help keep you safer without having to install bars on the windows.

Low-E Glass

Low-Emissive (Low-E) glass has been treated with an invisible metal or metallic oxide coating, which provides superior energy efficiency by reflecting heat but still allowing light to pass through.

Utility Windows

Even though storm windows for sheds (called utility windows) might not be as important as the ones on the house, it's still important to choose quality windows with strong, airtight corners. Look for corner joints that overlap for better insulation, and skip windows where the corners are mitered.

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