Replacing your windows with impact-resistant ones is costly, but if you consider the alternative, it might be worth it. In storms, for example, an old or defective window might break.
If you are concerned about how much your windows protect -- or fail to protect -- your home, here is some information you might find useful.
First, your windows do actually play a big role in your comfort and safety. Obviously, they protect you from the elements. But when you begin to talk about storm protection, that's where the qualifications begin.
Old windows, or windows that have some defect, can cost you money, and they might also compromise your safety. So if you have old or defective windows, read on.
Replacing your windows with impact-resistant ones is costly, but if you consider the alternative, it might be worth it. In storms, for example, an old or defective window might break. If a window breaks, the building envelope will be broken as well, increasing pressure in the house that could actually lift the roof and push the walls out. Scary? Yes.
Granted, the storm would have to be a very powerful one for that to happen, but it can happen in potent storms. Think of the window purchase as insurance –– we purchase insurance in case something happens, not because we are positive something will happen. Purchasing impact-resistant windows is buying insurance.
OK, the worst-case scenario is over. Now let's move on to other reasons to justify replacing windows with impact-resistant ones. Your energy bills will be lowered. That is a great reason just on its own. Impact-resistant windows are laminated glass with LoE coatings. This combination keeps heat and cold out, thereby reducing air-conditioning and heating bills, respectively.
You are most likely eligible for insurance discounts when you replace windows with impact-resistant ones, as most insurance companies understand the protection value these windows have.
Another bonus: The resale value of your home goes up when these windows are installed. Many impact-resistant windows come with a 30-year transferable warranty.
These windows are made with layered glass. That layering helps reduce outside noise, so when the lawn guys are out there blowing leaves with that noisy blower, you can still talk with your family and be heard.
Impact-resistant windows also deter burglars -- they can't easily break them to get inside. Oh, and the windows clean themselves. There is a coating that can be added to the windows that requires only sun and a little rain to maintain spotless, shiny windows. Well, you do still have to clean them on the inside, but the outsides are covered.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color." For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at DsgnQuest@aol.com.