Installing Storm Windows

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Steps to install an exterior storm window

  • Measure the window
    • Measure the opening width at three locations - top, center, and bottom
    • Measure the opening height on the right, left, and in the center
    • If the measurements differ, use the smallest of the three when ordering a new storm window.
    • Both stock and custom sizes are available at local retailers
  • Prep the window opening
    • You may need to scrape off some old paint.
  • Caulk around the sides and top of the opening before you screw the window into place.
    • Exterior storm windows are designed with holes at the bottom to allow water or condensation to drain so do not caulk the bottom.
  • Check that the window is square and install following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Adjust the expander on the bottom of the window so it’s tight against the windowsill.

Important Considerations

  • A good short-term solution are window insulation kits that come with weather-stripping and plastic film that can be installed with a hair dryer to create a tight seal.
  • Window insulation kits, weather stripping, and Low-E storm windows can be found at your local home improvement store.
  • If you have old windows with cracked glass or rotted frames that require a lot of maintenance and are in total disrepair, replacing them with new high performance windows is probably a good idea.
  • There are non-energy benefits to replacing your windows, such as improved property value and ease of use, but the cost of new windows will not likely be offset by energy savings alone.