Best Storm Windows and Interior Storm Inserts for Maximum Energy-Efficiency

Updated: Apr. 29, 2024

Storm windows are a must if you live in a climate that often sees inclement weather. Since they're made to be durable you want to buy a reliable product from a reliable brand. We've gathered some of the best storm windows to help you with your search.

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If your home has older windowssingle-pane windows that are drafty in the winter or windows with wooden frames, you may be thinking about buying storm windows. Storm windows fit into existing windows’ interior or exterior frames to provide an additional barrier against bad weather, wind and drafts. They can also increase the energy efficiency of your home while blocking out UV rays. And that’s not all. According to Ezra Laniado, founder of Landmark Construction Crew, storm windows also improve soundproofing. “If your property is near a loud site like an airport or sports arena, storm windows are an important investment that gives the occupants peace and quiet,” he says.

But not all storm windows are created equal. “The type you buy depends on your specific requirements, budget and aesthetic preferences,” says Jeramy Sibley, president of Glass Doctor. Read our larger storm window buying guide, which will help guide you through the process. Once you know what you need and your budget, these are our picks for the best storm windows in various categories.

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Best ‘Invisible’ Storm Windows

Allied Windows, Inc.

If you love the look of your existing window or you have a historic home, aesthetics matter. Allied Windows, Inc. creates custom-made storm windows known for their “invisible” quality. The storm window does its job without disrupting the historic character or charm of the existing windows.

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Best Interior Storm Inserts

Indow Insulating Window Inserts

Distinct from an interior storm window, these insulating window inserts from Indow simply press into place and are removed at the end of cold weather season. Indow’s products come in various thicknesses and treatments. Entry-level inserts block drafts and reduce noise, while higher-grade inserts offer more complete soundproofing and UV protection.

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Best Bargain Solution

3M Indoor Window Insulator Kit

If you really don’t want to spend much money but need to seal off those drafty windows, solutions don’t come much simpler — or cheaper — than this 3M Indoor Window Insulator Kit. Just cut the lightweight plastic film to fit the outer perimeter of your window interior, attach it with tape (included) and shrink it into place with a hairdryer. When springtime rolls around, dispose of the plastic film.

What to Look for When Buying Storm Windows

  • Type: When choosing a storm window, consider your window type, the weather in your area and your budget, suggests Sibley.
  • Material: Choose a durable material such as aluminum or vinyl, says Sibley. Also, look for options with multiple panes of glass, he adds.
  • Energy efficiency: Consider energy-star certified windows and look for low-emissivity (Low-E) coatings to reduce heating and cooling costs, advises Sibley.
  • Appearance: “Pick a window that complements your home’s appearance and suits its overall style,” says Laniado. “Remember, curb appeal is always a significant factor for potential home buyers in the future.”
  • Installation: “Some manufacturers may require professional installation to validate a warranty,” warns Sibley. “Hiring a professional may also provide insurance coverage in case of accidental damage during installation.”
  • Fit: Ensure the storm windows are the correct size and shape to fit your existing windows snugly. This is necessary to provide effective protection against the elements.

Types of Storm Windows

  • Exterior storm windows: According to Sibley, these windows, installed on the outside of existing windows, offer the “best option for maximum protection against the elements and improved energy efficiency.” They extend your window’s lifespan and boost curb appeal. However, they are pricier and may need professional installation, he notes.
  • Interior storm windows: This version is installed inside existing windows. “These are best for cost-effective insulation without altering the exterior appearance,” says Sibley. Easy installation is a plus, but they are less effective against drafts and may require more maintenance, warns Sibley.
  • Temporary storm windows: Sibley says you can install these windows seasonally or as needed. “They’re best for temporary insulation, renters or short-term needs,” he explains. They are very affordable, reusable and easy to install and remove,” he adds. But remember, they offer less insulation and are not as durable.
  • Disposable storm windows: This is the way to go for short-term insulation at an affordable cost. “They are made of a plastic film and attached with adhesive tape,” explains Sibley. He adds that while easy to install, this option is less durable, may require frequent replacement and obstructs visibility.

Why You Should Trust Us

We interviewed various experts for insider information, including Jeramy Sibley, president of Glass Doctor. Glass Doctor specializes in mobile service, with vehicles stocked for various needs. Their specialists offer service almost anywhere, with some locations providing emergency services seven days a week. Sibley offers valuable insights into choosing the best storm windows, drawing from Glass Doctor’s expertise in residential glass solutions.
For this article, we also consulted Ezra Laniado, founder of Landmark Construction Crew Inc. While Laniado holds an engineering degree from USC, his true passion lies in construction. He uses his engineering knowledge to construct energy-efficient, cost-effective homes. With more than 30 years of experience, Laniado’s expertise in construction and attention to detail make him a valuable contributor to our article on the best storm windows.

How We Found the Best Storm Windows

Our process began with extensive research about the various storm window options available. We considered factors such as the materials used, durability, ease of installation and compatibility with different window types. To further refine our selection, we analyzed real user reviews to gauge performance, reliability and overall satisfaction with each product. Additionally, we consulted with industry experts to understand what features are most important to consumers.