If you’re a homeowner in Southwest Florida or somewhere else that experiences hurricanes and intense weather, you’re probably curious about hurricane windows. After all, protection from hurricanes doesn’t seem like a bad idea. But what exactly are hurricane windows, and how much do they cost?
Why Do Homeowners Choose Hurricane Windows?
“Hurricane window” is the informal name for impact-resistant windows. Like their name implies, these windows are manufactured so that they are better able to withstand impacts from hurricane-flung debris without being destroyed.
Hurricane windows usually achieve this by sandwiching a transparent vinyl layer between glass panes. When the glass of a hurricane window is struck by debris directly, the glass panels will break while the vinyl layer remains intact. By staying intact, hurricane windows protect against sudden pressure changes that can destroy homes during storms. They also greatly minimize flying debris, since the glass mostly stays attached to the vinyl layer, and lower the chance of water infiltration during harsh weather.
Another beneficial aspect of hurricane windows that is often overlooked is their impressive energy efficiency. The vinyl layer that provides all the protection is also a great barrier against energy loss. Since many hurricane-prone regions also have very hot summers, the extra efficiency makes it easier for HVAC systems to cool homes, which can help keep energy bills low.
To protect consumers, most reputable impact-resistant windows are independently tested for effectiveness. While there are several ways to test hurricane windows for effectiveness, one of the most widely recognized guidelines comes from Miami-Dade County. Based on the county’s experience with hurricanes and tropical storms throughout its history, they have devised strict testing procedures to ensure that a window can withstand impacts from debris flying at hurricane-force speeds. After an impact at high speed, the windows and frames must stay intact for the window to be approved. Windows and doors that meet these regulations are widely recognized to be among the best storm protection available to homeowners.
Hurricane Window Costs
Considering the extra strength incorporated into hurricane windows, it’s no wonder that they are more expensive than similar non-rated windows. The heavy-duty glass panes and window frames require additional material to make them stronger than standard windows. There are many factors that contribute to a hurricane window’s final cost, but on average they cost more than their non-impact counterparts. The exact cost will always depend on your needs and preferences.
It’s also important to note that homeowners in many regions can help offset the extra cost of hurricane windows with insurance incentives. Before purchasing replacement windows, it’s wise for homeowners to contact their insurance company. In many places that are regularly affected by hurricanes, installing impact-resistant windows can lower homeowners’ premiums.
Style and Protection
The good news for homeowners in storm-prone regions is that they don’t have to sacrifice safety for style. Modern hurricane windows are attractive, sleek, and almost impossible to distinguish from non-hurricane windows. They’re even available in a wide range of window styles, such as double-hung, sliding, awning, and custom architectural shapes. Also, just because they are strong enough to withstand impacts in a hurricane doesn’t mean that they’re bulky or difficult to operate. Hurricane windows are just as easy to operate as other double-paned glass windows.
Southwest Florida’s Team for Windows and Doors
At Storm Shield, we’ve been working with residents up and down the west coast of Florida for years, so we understand how important hurricane protection is. We offer a range of windows and doors that are all rated for hurricane protection and meet Miami-Dade guidelines. To find out more about the benefits of hurricane windows on your home, contact Storm Shield today.