Storm Windows & Doors
Northern Virginia winters can be punishing. Cold and strong winds constantly buffeting against outer doors and windows can create strong drafts indoors and severely impact energy-efficiency measures in the home as well as the comfort of the occupants. Installing storm doors and windows can make a big difference.
Storm doors are installed in front of an exterior access door to protect it from bad weather while allowing ventilation. Glass and screen panels are interchanged to protect against entry by insects and allow visibility. Storm windows can be installed inside or out, either as temporary panels or sheets that are permanently affixed to the window frame.
Interior storm windows are often suggested for owners of historic homes. Older windows can be made more energy efficient with the assistance of a storm window to block drafts and cut down on energy transfer, and at the same time, the homeowner can preserve the charm and character of an antique exterior. Apartment and condo dwellers often choose interior installation as well, since the smaller space means that only one or two windows may be needed to reap similar benefits. While exterior-mounted storm windows do offer a slight advantage in efficiency and protection, because they are exposed to the elements, they require much more maintenance than an interior storm window.
Storm doors are classified as full view, ventilating, or hybrid (also referred to as a roll-screen type). A full view storm door contains a full-length glass panel held within a door frame. When the season changes, these panels are exchanged for full-length screens. Full-view offers the advantage of letting in more light and affording a better view through them. However, the screens and glass require some labor to exchange, and they must be stored when not in use, which may require cleaning and sometimes repair or replacement when they are exchanged.
Ventilating storm doors are inlaid with one or two panels of glass that coexist with the screens. The glass panels can be shifted to reveal the screens and admit fresh air. This eliminates the inconvenience of having to store the glass and screens, but for this convenience the homeowner will sacrifice an unobstructed view out of the storm door.
The hybrid, or roll-screen, storm door is a combination of the best features of the full view and ventilating models. Divided in two by top and bottom glass panels, the storm door offers an unobstructed view when closed. When the top panel is opened, the attached spring-tensioned screen rolls down from a storage compartment at the top of the door. When the glass panel is slid back into place, the screen retracts. The style is relatively new and comes at a slightly higher cost than the other two options, but many favor it for its convenience and ease of use.
By choosing quality workmanship and professional installation, new windows and doors not only make a home more comfortable, they also make it safer.