If you could install ANY storm window you wanted . . .
If you could install ANY storm window you wanted . . . what would you choose?
I just moved into a cool townhouse built in 1980. It somewhat mimics the style of the 1920's bungalows in the neighborhood, with a little more modern of a twist. It's very bright and sunny, with one 18' wall being entirely casement windows facing east (windows are painted shut).
Outside of the wooden casement windows (which have unfortunately rotted quite a bit, and will have to be restored) the rest of the windows are bronzed aluminum and very large, and open to the side.
We have been in the house a month and can already tell that in winter it is very drafty and cold, partly due to the single-pane glass and partly also due to the fact that aluminum windows that are so large will never completely seal. In the summer, we know that we are going to be hot, hot, hot. We are trying to minimize running the A/C and heater, partly on principle of the thing, and partly because our power utility is Genexa (wind powered) and PRICEY. Soooo . . . we decided that we would like to add (permanent) storm windows over all of the windows in the house; bronzed aluminum over the bronzed aluminum windows, and I guess white or paintable fixed aluminum storms over the wooden casements (after they are fixed).
Fine, sounds easy enough. But then the glass company said, "what kind of glass would you like?" And I said, "um, storm window kind?" :)
Reading and browsing this and other forums at GardenWeb and the HomeSite made me realize that I had many many options. So, I ask the experts . . .
1) assuming that you would like the storm windows to confer some additional energy benefit in addition to the inherent insulating benefits they would provide (e.g., could I add something like a low-E coating?)
2) assuming that you would like the storm windows to confer some sort of STORM benefit (i.e., some kind of impact resistant? storm? coating/glass)
What would you use?
I've had a hard time to much more research than this. My twins don't allow me much time on the computer, sigh. The other thing I'm confused about is that different window companies have all tried to sell me different types of storm windows. One guy insisted I needed tinted glass (why?), another guy offered an impact-resistant acrylic layer in the windows, but said they were only good to 60mph?. One guy said his storms were good to 115mph, but they seemed a little bulky (and were more than 2x the price of some others).
Thanks for your help as I decide this. It's a little scary, I think, to spend so much money on something that I've never even given a second thought to, and it's so hard to try to look things up with the littles underfoot . . .