Storm Windows or Replacement Windows: Which is Best?

If you’re planning to upgrade your worn out windows, you might have a tough time deciding between storm windows or replacement windows. Every house is unique, so there are some factors to consider before making a decision.

Start by determining what problems you’re experiencing with your existing windows. If your current windows are drafty and fail to keep the cold air out, you need to focus on improving the energy efficiency of your windows.

If you don’t know too much about storm windows or replacement windows this article will help you have a clear understanding of what both window options are and the benefits.

The Difference Between Storm and Replacement Windows

Before making any decisions you need to know the difference between storm windows and replacement windows. To help you make the best choice for your home, we go over in detail what the differences are between replacement windows and storm windows.

Storm Windows

Storm windows are installed to cover the existing window, and they help the energy efficiency of the current windows by adding extra insulation. The most common a way storm window is installed is on the exterior of the window, but storm windows can go over either the exterior or the interior of your existing windows.

Old and drafty windows are usually the main reason to have storm windows installed. When it gets cold outside, storm windows can help prevent some of the air flow from getting into your home.

Storm windows are great if you need a cheaper option, or if you have an unique situation where you want to keep your existing windows. For example, historic homes with wood framed windows that add the charm of the exterior look of the house.

Replacement Windows

Replacement windows are installed after the existing windows are removed. Replacing your windows will ensure all the problems with your current windows will be fixed.

There are a variety of different style and color options replacement windows come in. To name a few style options, there’s double hung, slider, casement, awning, and picture. It is important to know what the replacement windows are made of.

The best type of windows for homes in the Midwest are vinyl windows. Windows made from vinyl won’t rot or warp over time. Vinyl windows can also come in a wood look if that’s what your prefer.

They cost more money then storm windows, but it’s worth the investment because replacement windows are very energy efficient. Getting Energy Star windows is cost efficient, so you will save a lot of money on your heating and cooling bills every month when replacing your windows with Energy Star windows.

Storm Windows vs Replacement Windows

storm windows vs replacement windows

Now that we explained the difference between storm windows and replacement windows, we can further go into detail the advantages and disadvantages for both.

Storm Windows Pros and Cons

The only way to know if storm windows will work for your home, you need to know what they offer and what they don’t.


  • Cheap
  • Quick and Easy Installation


  • Temporary fix
  • High maintenance
  • Restrictions to current window

The obvious advantage storm windows offer is the low cost compared to replacement windows. Storm windows can custom fit to the existing windows and come in many different color options. It’s also relatively easy to install storm windows.

A big downside to storm windows is the extra maintenance to keep the glass and tracks clean on the windows. There will always be a gap between the existing windows, so debris and moisture can get caught in between. To avoid moisture and oxidation, storm windows need to be maintained at least once a year.

Most storm windows can’t be opened, so you can’t crack the windows open if you have them installed. If you want to open your windows during the summertime you can take them off, but you would need to have a place to store them.

Installing storm windows isn’t fixing the current windows, it’s covering up the problem on the existing windows. Which means they’ll need to be changed out every two to three years.

For the most energy efficiency you should consider replacement windows, if you don’t mind tossing your current windows all together.

Replacement Windows Pros and Cons

There are a lot more benefits to replacement windows then there are disadvantages. We’ll explain below.


  • Energy Efficiency
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Professional Installment
  • Curb Appeal


  • High cost
  • Longer Installation

The main benefit of having new windows installed is removing all the problems you have with your current windows. Any rotting, warping, leaks, seal failures, or cracks the current windows has will be completely fixed and replaced with more energy efficient windows.

Replacing your windows will help you save money overtime because of the high quality and energy efficiency of new vinyl windows. Replacement windows also come with warranties, so you can feel more secure about your investment.

Having replacement windows installed can be a huge update to your home aesthetically. The curb appeal of your home is greatly improved by having new windows installed.

There is an extra cost for the installation, but you can be sure that the new windows are installed correctly since professionals install the replacement windows.

What is the Best Option?

When it comes down to a long term solution, replacement windows are the clear winner.

Storm windows are a good option if you need to save money or want to keep the windows that are true to your home. That’s it though as far as the benefits of storm windows, they are only a temporary fix.

Having new windows installed is a big investment so you want a trusted company to do the project.

To start your window replacement today by requesting for a free quote with Feldco or give us a call at 866-4FELDCO.


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