Windows are highly significant elements of a building’s structure, whether commercial or residential. They are not only responsible for allowing the much-desired sunlight indoors but also add to the characteristics of the property.
Moreover, windows play a critical role in the comfort of the people living inside and in improving energy efficiency. That’s because windows could also allow excessive amounts of noise and wind from outside which could disrupt the comfort of the space.
If your windows aren’t adequately functional, you could be tempted to replace them. But this can be an expensive ordeal and may alter the appearance of the building. That’s where window inserts serve as viable alternatives. But what are window inserts? And what are the pros and cons of window inserts? Let’s find out.
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Window inserts: Understanding the basics
Window inserts refer to interior insulating window systems that utilize the existing windows and improve them holistically without compromising their appearance. This additional window allows for creating a significant thermal break along with 3 inches of meaningful dead air space which is a major improvement to the standard inches of dead air space provided by insulating glass panels.
With interior insulating windows, you can eliminate 75 to 90 percent energy nullifying infiltration and also curb down the heat loss from conduction by up to 50 percent. Moreover, window inserts can bring down noise pollution by more than 50 percent.
In a test conducted on a specific brand, it was found that the window insert successfully reduced heating as well as cooling energy use by around 29 percent. It also brought down interior window condensation to a significant extent. A study conducted by the US Department of Energy found that window inserts have reduced the ventilation, heating, and energy used in air conditioning by over 20 percent. These inserts can be kept in a single position all through the year or you can also remove them when the weather is milder.
If you are a homeowner who’s satisfied with the appearance of the existing windows and not ready to incur the hefty cost of replacing the windows, then window inserts can be a suitable solution. No matter whether you wish to do away with dust and air infiltration or damaging UV radiation or pollen issues, you may consider window inserts without any hesitation. There are several pros and cons of window inserts but the benefits outsmart the disadvantages by numerous points.
Installing the window inserts: Pros and cons of window inserts
If you are researching various replacement window options and cannot decide whether or not to keep the old one, it’s better to let your window stay where it is. Rather it’s time to learn about the smart and easy alternative which will not only rule out the inconvenience but also help in saving a lot of money.
Window inserts: Bringing big benefits with a little cost
As window insets are measured to fit the window frame perfectly, they can blend seamlessly with almost all kinds of window designs. Within a few months, you may even forget that the existing windows have got new inserts. So if you are thinking that bringing these inserts will make your windows look ugly, you are mistaken. For homeowners living in old houses with diminishing insulation, window inserts can be an invaluable addition.
An important benefit of window inserts is their ability to reduce the noise indoors. The air pockets as well as the seal brought about by the inserts can reduce the outside sound by up to 70 percent. This is something you cannot achieve with conventional storm windows.
Like all other structures of your building, windows age too. With proper care and maintenance, a window can last for ten decades at the most. Since window inserts take away a considerable amount of pressure from the existing windows, it helps in preserving the structure for a few more years.
As is already mentioned, window inserts can create extraordinary sealing, unlike traditional windows. Generally, exterior storms come with weep holes that allow the water to enter the gap between the storm window drain and the window. On the other hand, interior storm window inserts are not exposed to these powerful weather elements, which rule out these weep holes. As a result, a highly airtight seal is created that leads to improved insulation.
High return on investment
As it goes with all kinds of insulation, window inserts help in saving your dollars in energy bills every year. Moreover, the savings accumulated over the years will make the initial cost of installation reasonable. It goes without saying that bringing down energy loss through windows is one of the most critical measures people can take to acknowledge climate change.
Easy installation process
You can install and take out window inserts without a fuss. Homeowners with a varied range of mobility will not have any trouble fixing these window inserts in the existing window frames. This is because these interior inserts are tailor-crafted to fit the window frames seamlessly. Some window inserts can also be installed by a layperson and won’t need any contractor to get the job done.
Window inserts: Are they worth it?
In many parts of the world, it’s a common practice to replace windows after a decade or two. And when the time comes, you have to decide between replacing the windows or getting window inserts.
When you weigh the pros and cons of window inserts, you will see that the advantages are generally greater. Most importantly, it allows you to save a lot of money. But in certain situations, the window inserts may not be the right option for you and it’s better to get rid of those old dilapidated windows as early as possible.
Window inserts may not be economical in the long run
Window inserts come with a low price tag when you get a new one. But that doesn’t mean they can offer the same value for money in the long run. This is because window inserts utilize the same frame as the existing window.
This means they may not be as sturdy and insulated as a new full-frame window. In the long run, you may have to shell out hundreds of dollars in bearing the energy costs every year. Moreover, when you have to lose much of your temperature-controlled indoor air, the window insert wouldn’t be much economical.
Besides the loss of energy in the older building structures, there is also a gap between the frame of the building and the windowsill. And previously it held the counterweight allowing the double-hung window to roll down and go up. Now in the modern era, windows are equipped with friction sliders. As a result, a non-insulated gap is left behind making it difficult to save on energy costs.
The durability of the window insert may be a big question
Window inserts are typically fitted into the existing window sill and then it is sealed in that specific place. In other words, it is retrofitted into the sill and finally sealed through caulking. This means, that when the old insert window is pulled out, you will notice that the elements that are keeping the heat, rain, snow, and cold out of the indoors are some screws, caulk joint, and caulking.
On the flip side, full-frame windows are particularly made for the opening of the window and involve a new trim, will, and comprehensive insulation which makes them highly durable. These windows have superior sealing ability to keep out all the elements and also give more space than window inserts as you won’t have to allow space for fitting the insert.
Window insert may change the look of the windows
Generally, window inserts are a form of cut and paste structure with a bit of standardization depending on the expertise and skill of the installer. You can choose between various color options, materials, and the placement of the frame in the window.
This means you are likely to get a new and standard window that’s retrofitted into the existing space. On the flip side, if your budget permits, you can get a customized window that easily fits into a unique space.
As a homeowner, your to-do list is likely to have no end, particularly with the arrival of spring. Right from painting the exterior to mowing the lawn to repairing the cracks on the exterior. And in this cocktail of preparations, you cannot afford to miss those broken and poorly performing windows.
If you need to replace those windows immediately, consider bringing in window inserts instead. These acrylic frames will seamlessly fit into your existing frames with the compression tubes holding them perfectly in place. So postpone the window replacement for this year (and many years to come) and invest in window inserts instead. With these window inserts, you can transform a hundred-year-old home into as energy-effective as a modern building.