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Storm window suggestions?

I am restoring an 1865 second empire and heard, depending on which source I trust, storm windows are a great idea that will save me lots of money.

I've looked into a few, and I like that Harvey Tru-channel come in black, have super low air infiltration and are supposedly approved for airport sound abatement. I don't like the cost so much, and not sure I like having a screen for just one sash.

Larson storm windows are much cheaper (I think) and seem to have the option of having a full-length screen, meaning I could open the top and bottom sash half way and get a nice convection on summer nights which supposedly is what old windows were designed to do. But they don't come in black (a dark brown though) and they don't list any stats (only that each series is "better" than the last) and say nothing of noise abatement.

Does anyone have experience with these brands? Anyone have experience between half a screen and a full screen?

Re: Storm window suggestions?

"Approved for Airport Sound Abatement"

By whom exactly?

The manufacturer?

Just beware of marketing gimmicks unless there is independent testing to back that up. I will make no comment about any of the windows as I lack the knowledge, I can just spot sales tactics a mile away.

Re: Storm window suggestions?

Yup, according to the manufacturer, without citation, and I can't find any info ****** about such programs or what is or isn't approved.

The one thing I have learned about storm windows is there are no standards, there are no independent tests, there are no regulations, window manufacturers control the existing agencies (AAMA, NFRC), different agencies make wildly different recommendations, and the one time there was a tax credit available for them the rule was written so no storm window over a single pane window could every qualify. Local credits don't cover them, either.

Re: Storm window suggestions?

Did it just censor the word "******?"

Re: Storm window suggestions?

Probably. The automatic word censors here are pretty extensive- you can't write "scr-ape" without a hyphen because of the word contained therein!

In the US, if the NFRC doesn't rate it and approve the rating then there is no rating and it's just hype. Any storm window will abate noise somewhat but I'd look for quality of build as my preferred parameter of choice. Many are of jammed-together riveted or crimped construction which will loosen up in time. If the seller won't let me yank and pull on a sample to see how well it's made then I don't want that seller involved in my purchase.

I'm still looking for a storm window seller if that says anything about them- this is why I don't do storms except for replacement of damaged units with an identical unit and why I won't stand behind anything except the install quality. Storms are not historical and newer fenestration is far superior. Your money is better spent either restoring or replacing- just my opinion and YMMV!


Re: Storm window suggestions?

I have installed the silver series window(two track, double hung) of Larson last year. A pretty good piece in a classy style. It was the full screen I opted. You can surely go for it. the main thing that attracted me is the insulation property and the cheap value. These kind of fixtures can surely help us to enhance the resale value of our home. With these benefits in mind, I just got my brand new vinyl storm doors from Toronto. As they come in a lot of styles and colors, it was pretty cool to pick my favorite.
Its the post from this residential window installers http://www.clerawindows.com/blog/the-difference-between-vinyl-storm-doors-and-aluminum-storm-doors/ that helped me to differentiate between vinyl and aluminium storm doors. Hope it will help you too. :)

Re: Storm window suggestions?

Storm windows date back to the advent of the first high central heating bill, so they may be just historic enough for a late 19th century dwelling.
Full screens demand that your sash move freely, and certainly with 150 year old windows this means they must have been or need to be rehabbed (stripped of paint from all contact surfaces, and the balance system (weights or springs) renewed.For me, the presence of storms made a window rehab project doable, because the storms are fine as temporary windows while the work is ongoing.
Wood-framed storms are very good, if made with top-notch joinery from a rot-proof hardwood (a tropical like mahogany or spanish cedar is best). White pine is going to be a waste of money, unless you're in an arid desert.
If having working outside shutters is your thing, then you have to look into interior storms, unless you also have operational interior shutters too!

Re: Storm window suggestions?
Sombreuil_mongrel wrote:

Wood-framed storms are very good, if made with top-notch joinery from a rot-proof hardwood (a tropical like mahogany or spanish cedar is best). White pine is going to be a waste of money, unless you're in an arid desert.

Casey: please indulge me on several follow-on questions on storm windows . . .
I'm in N. Arlington, and my all-brick house is 1964, and I believe retrofitted with storm windows "SW" (maybe original, I really don't know) - they are double hung with screens (with missing or broken panes). The SW's are wood framed, and several have corner joints split apart, and all have very brittle plastic track guides from UV sun exposure.

I would like to have the damaged SW's replaced, and early on, found little contractor interest (Home Depot laughed at me, but they are often bozos).

(1) What is your recommendation (or anyone's suggestion).

The glass windows are original & single pane, in decent shape; they are all moveable and have aluminium friction guides (and no balances like very old windows). Typically, the windows are 3x3 panes, and my wife believes they are individual panes (not 1 sheet and bordered into 9 squares). Of course, the outside glazing & borders have disintegrated, and I think it's a slow, but a very DIY project to re-do with the right tutorial, except that the sloped land plot makes access difficult for a weekender like me -- 3 sides of the 1st floor are 1.5 to 2 stories high plus the actual 2nd story, which is dormer style, .
My wife is a purist, but she wants to replace some of the original windows with new ones, but I'm opposed because it won't match the mostly Storm Window appearance.

(2) Do you have thoughts about the glazing and exterior pane border disintegration ?

Re: Storm window suggestions?

It censored the word "on-line..."

Anyway, my original old-growth wood windows have already lasted me 150 years and with storms should easily last centuries more, while it seems like most American replacement windows will last 10 or 20 years if you're lucky, and they're ugly. And the historical board won't like it, either. It's also a lot less labor to add a storm to get about the same performance.

Can you open the top and bottom storm window half way, so you can ventilate from the top and bottom? That's the only reason I'd want a full screen.

All of my sashes now move freely. I've rehabbed most of them, replaced rotten ropes with chains that should last a century, and weather stripped them with spring bronze which hopefully should last decades. I've also been dumpster diving to collect enough antique glass to replace broken panes ;)

There were a few wood storms on my house when I bought it but in pretty rough shape. They look nice, but are so huge and heavy that removing 3 stories worth of them every summer would not be a fun task. I'm looking for the convenience of modern storms. Oh, and the screens will be nice, too (the house wasn't really updated for about 100 years)

Re: Storm window suggestions?

I don't ever recall seeing wood storms with plastic guides. Maybe an arduous search for storm hardware would locate replacement parts ?
I don't know what you mean by the perimeter pane border disintegration. Sounds quite dire. You mean the putty is falling out?

Re: Storm window suggestions?

I remember those wooden storm windows with plastic sash guides. It was an attempt to give the look of a wooden storm with the ease of moveable sash similar to aluminum storms. However, the plastic became brittle with age. Also, moisture tended to get behind the plastic guides and cause the paint to peel from the wooden frame.

There is much to be said for full storm windows. The amount of dead air space is far greater than any dual pane window can equal. It is that dead air space which is giving the thermal efficiency. They also keep the wintry winds from driving against the primary window.

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