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Madison Roofing: Article About Storm Windows

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When homeowners aim to improve the energy efficiency of their home, one of the first things they often do is replace their existing windows with ones that are more energy efficient. However, this might not be the answer unless the existing windows are severely leaking air or are missing glass. Instead, homeowners can save money by having a Madison roofing and window company install storm windows. This can also be beneficial because storm windows can help reduce the amount of air that enters the home.

Manufacturers make storm windows for just about every type of window, and they can be installed on the inside or outside of the home. Interior storm windows are generally more convenient than exterior storm windows because they are easier to install and remove, have a tight seal to the primary window and require less maintenance since they aren't exposed to weather. The tight seal with interior storm windows means that they are even more effective than exterior storm windows at reducing air movement.

Storm windows also differ in the types of panes they use. Those with glass panes last longer and provide better visibility than those with plastic panes. However, glass is heavier and more fragile.

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Although plastic panes are cheaper and easier to install, they can also be damaged easier. Acrylics and Plexiglas are lighter and tougher than glass but scratch easier and develop a yellowish color as they age.

Storm windows come with a choice of frame materials as well, and each of these materials have pros and cons. Aluminum frames are light, nearly maintenance free and very strong. However, they are poor insulators because they conduct heat very fast. Vinyl frames are often made of polyvinyl chloride, which is generally called PVC, and UV stabilizers are added to prevent sunlight from deteriorating the material. However, sunlight can still cause color fading over time. Additionally, vinyl can expand with high temperatures and eventually warp, and it can crack after repeated exposure to low temperatures.

Wood frames are good insulators, but they have the most downsides compared to aluminum and vinyl. They expand and contract with changes in temperature, so they could fit too loosely in the winter if they are installed in the summer or fit too tightly in the summer if they are installed in the winter. Heavier and thicker than aluminum, wood frames reduce the view out of the window and the amount of natural light that comes into the home. They also require more maintenance, although this can be reduced with aluminum or vinyl clad frames.

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