Prices, Promotions, styles, and availability may vary. Our local stores do not honor online pricing. Prices and availability of products and services are subject to change without notice. Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Lowe's reserves the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions including after an order has been submitted.

Storm Window Buying Guide

Storm windows in a white living room.

Updated August 14, 2020

Brian G.

By Brian G.

Storm windows are an economical, easy way to increase the efficiency of older, single-pane windows. They reduce the flow of outside air into your home, and the airspace between storm windows and existing windows acts as added insulation.

What Are Storm Windows?

Storm windows are mounted as additional windows, either to the inside or outside of your home’s primary windows. Interior storm windows are designed to fit inside an existing window opening and usually cost less than adding exterior storm windows, which are installed on the outside of your windows. They aren't replacement windows, but people often install storm windows to achieve similar benefits at a lower cost instead.

Good to Know

Interior storm windows are most effective when they’re attached to older, inefficient, single-pane primary windows that are still in decent, operable condition. Adding an interior storm window to a new, dual-pane primary window won’t improve performance much, and adding one to a decaying, old primary window won’t extend the primary window’s life span even though it will give the efficiency rating a boost.

Benefits

White windows with green shutters.

Installing storm windows can be a simple, inexpensive way to increase the efficiency of your home's existing windows. There are many benefits to installing storm windows, including:

Increased Energy Efficiency

Reduces infiltration of outside air, helping your HVAC unit spend less energy to maintain the desired temperature

Additional Insulation

Helps you stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter with added air space between primary and storm windows

Improved Exterior Appearance

Offers several finish options to complement the color of the home’s exterior

Expanded Living Space

Provides a budget-friendly way to add three-season rooms and enclosed porches

Reduction of Street Noise

Helps deaden sounds from busy streets, nearby construction, loud neighbors and barking dogs

Easy Installation

  • Can usually be done in an afternoon, depending on the number of windows
  • Doesn't generally require carpentry

Protection of Primary Windows

  • Lengthens the life of seals on insulated windows
  • Protects from damage due to prolonged exposure to dust, light, wind and other harmful elements

Configurations

A Lowe's associate showing a couple a window.

There are four basic configurations of storm windows: two-track, triple-track, two-track slider and basement (also called picture) storm windows.

Two-Track

In a two-track configuration, the outer track contains a half-screen on the bottom portion and the outer pane of glass on the top portion. Neither the screen nor the pane slides up or down. The inside track contains the inside pane, which can be raised to allow fresh air to enter the home through the screen. Two-track storm windows are for use with double-hung windows.

When shopping for two-track storm windows, look for these features for better performance:

  • Adjustable ventilation stops on the inside track
  • Removable glass and screen for easy cleaning
  • Predrilled holes for easier installation
  • Quality weatherstripping for reduced air infiltration

Triple-Track

In a triple-track configuration, the two windowpanes and half-screen each rest in a separate track, so each sash can move independently. This configuration adds flexibility, giving you the capability to pass items through the open window when necessary. You can also move both glass panes to the bottom and the screen to the top for effective cross-ventilation. Triple-track storm windows are for use with double-hung windows.

When shopping for triple-track storm windows, look for these features for better performance:

  • Removable glass and screen for easy cleaning
  • Predrilled holes for easier installation
  • Quality weatherstripping for reduced air infiltration
  • Stabilizer bar for added strength

Two-Track Slider

Two-track slider storm windows are just like regular two-track storm windows, except they open horizontally instead of vertically. Two-track sliders are for use with slider windows.

When shopping for two-track storm windows, look for these features for better performance:

  • Adjustable ventilation stops on the inside track
  • Removable glass and screen for easy cleaning
  • Predrilled holes for easier installation
  • Quality weatherstripping for reduced air infiltration

Basement

Basement storm windows have only one pane, similar to a typical picture window. The pane is held in place by thumb latches on the outside of the frame for easy removal.

When shopping for basement storm windows, look for these features for better performance:

  • Built-in screen to keep insects out when the pane is removed
  • Predrilled holes for easier installation
  • Quality weatherstripping for reduced air infiltration
  • Stabilizer bar for added strength

Basement storm windows are usually available only in the following sizes:

  • 32 1/16 inch (w) x 14 1/16 inch (h)
  • 32 1/16 inch (w) x 18 1/16 inch (h)
  • 32 1/16 inch (w) x 22 1/16 inch (h)

 

Tip

To make sure you choose quality windows, examine the corners. They should be strong and airtight. Corner joints that overlap are preferable to those that are mitered. If you can see through the joints, they'll leak air.

Features

Low-E Glass

All types of storm windows mentioned above should be available with low-emissive (Low-E) glass to achieve even greater energy efficiency. Low-E glass is window glass that's been treated with an invisible metal or metallic oxide coating, creating a surface that reflects heat, while allowing light to pass through. This energy-saving technology first became available in 1979 and continues to grow in popularity. Windows treated with Low-E coatings are proven to reduce energy consumption, decrease fading of fabrics, such as window treatments, and increase overall comfort in your home.

Colors

Storm windows are commonly available in white, brown and mill (a silvery, aluminum color). Some manufacturers also produce storm windows in almond. If you need another color, ask a store associate about availability.

Security

With reinforced screens, extra durability and multipoint locks, these storm windows are reinforced to withstand forceful entry attempts, keeping your home safer without the need to install bars on the windows.

Taking Measurements

A Lowe's associate measuring an exterior window.

To ensure a good fit, it's important to have accurate measurements for every window in your home. Although some windows may appear to be the same size, it's best to measure each one individually.

  • To determine the width, measure from the inside of the moulding on one side of the window to the inside of the moulding on the other side of the window. Measure at the bottom, middle and top of the window. Use the narrowest measurement for the width of your storm window.
  • To determine the height, measure from the sill to the inside of the moulding at the top of the window. Measure at the left, middle and right of the window. Use the shortest measurement for the height of your storm window.
  • Using the smallest measurements ensures that the storm window's flanges will fit inside the exterior trim.
Related Tags: