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The Humble Storm Window: Making Older Windows More Energy-Efficient

Advertisements about window replacement are everywhere, from web searches to the local newspaper to fliers in your mailbox. Lost in the marketing shuffle is a tried-and-true, common-sense solution that allows you to save energy (and money) while preserving your home’s older wood windows: weather stripping plus a high-quality storm window.

Tuning up older windows and adding a storm yields energy efficiency levels comparable to those of replacement windows. A study done in Vermont found that “replacing a window solely due to energy considerations did not appear to be worthwhile.”

Tuning up your existing older windows and adding a storm has numerous advantages:

  • Restored, old-growth-wood windows that are 100 years old can last another 100 years when properly maintained.
  • You will preserve the original design of your home.
  • Your usable windows will not end up adding to the solid waste stream.
  • You can save money by installing the storm windows yourself. (BBR also provides installation services -- the choice is yours.)

“Old House Guy” blogger Ken Roginski agrees: “Adding storm windows is a less costly investment and, more importantly, you save your original windows (and the beauty of your house . . .).  You will not be responsible for adding to the landfill and destroying our planet.”

Boston Building Resources is offering sale prices on Harvey Tru-Channel storm windows during October (5% off). Plus, October orders will beat a price increase scheduled to take effect in November. It’s a great time to take your windows by storm.

See also this article on Houzz about window restoration versus replacement.