Historic homes are a source of pride and joy for the homeowners who live in and care for them. These homes are beautiful landmarks, full of history and stories about the people who’ve lived in them over the years.
Living in a historic home has a significant caveat, however: the difficulty and expense of preserving them.
One of the biggest dilemmas historic homeowners face is the extent to which they keep to the original character and functionality of the home; this depends quite a lot on the physical condition, intended use, and historical significance of the home (who has lived there, what historic events have happened there, etc.). Some homeowners opt to restore the property, giving it the look of a certain time period and removing evidence of other periods. Others rehabilitate their home, altering when needed to maintain the home’s functionality while keeping the original character of the home. Still others simply preserve the existing property.
For many homeowners who actually live in a historic home, it is important to both maintain the home’s character and make sure the home is habitable. Most homeowners want working plumbing even if their home was built before the invention of indoor toilets. And many homeowners—citing cost savings and concerns about the environment—would like their historic homes to be more energy efficient.
If you own a drafty, energy inefficient historic home, you might think that you have to sacrifice character in order to achieve energy efficiency. After all, today’s double-pane windows just don’t have the same look as the single-pane windows original to your home.
That’s where storm windows come in!
Storm windows allow you to keep the original windows of your home while improving its energy efficiency. They can be exterior or interior, and they come in several varieties: two-track, two-track slider, triple-track, and picture.
Tip: Here are some additional ways to make your home more energy efficient.
Exterior storm windows are installed on the outside of your home over the existing window. They can be wood or metal. These windows will increase energy efficiency and will reduce outside noise. They also have the added bonus of protecting the original window from damage—meaning that you will have to do less maintenance and repair to the original window over time. The downside to exterior windows is that they take away somewhat from the character of the original window.
Interior windows are, you guessed it, installed inside your home over the existing window. Like exterior storm windows, they increase energy efficiency and insulation while reducing outside noise. Unlike the exterior version, interior storm windows will not protect your windows from the elements; however, they do not take away from the character of the home on the outside.
Both exterior and interior storm windows come with low-E coating, which reduces heat loss through the glass.
Among historic home preservationists, storm windows are highly recommended. With a little repair to the existing window (such as weatherstripping and painting) and the addition of a storm window, you can achieve maximum energy efficiency in your home without sacrificing its beauty and historical integrity.
If you have questions about storm windows, let the glass experts at Jack’s Glass point you in the right direction. Our local, family-owned and operated business has been helping Kentucky homeowners with their window needs for more than 70 years. Contact us today at our Elsmere, Covington, or Dry Ridge location.