iCare Community Magazine
The Value of High Impact Windows
Living in Florida during tropical storms and hurricane seasons often means boarding up windows with plywood if your home doesn’t have high impact windows. Protecting your home from a hurricane’s high winds and debris is step one for many homeowners that live in hurricane-prone areas like Southern Florida and the Keys. Even during less-intense storms with wind speeds under 75 mph, the windows and roof of your home are still vulnerable to the damage that hurricane winds can bring. With the cost of replacing single or double-pane windows with high impact windows, many homeowners across the eastern seaboard wonder, “Are high impact windows worth it?”
What Makes Windows Impact Resistant?
High impact windows, impact-resistant windows, high impact storm windows, and hurricane impact windows are different names for the same thing. They are windows and frames designed and tested to withstand wind speeds upwards of 110 miles per hour hurricane damage that since 2001. So, the state of Florida has required that all new homes built after 2001 have high impact windows installed:
“The Florida Building Code (FBC) requires windows to be impact resistant or protected if located within one mile of the coast where the wind speed is 110 mph or greater.”
The tempered, impact-resistant glass used in hurricane windows is similar to the windows you already have in your vehicle. High impact windows are composed of two layers of tempered glass, held together by a polymer chemical. When this type of glass gets hit with fast-moving debris, it shatters in a spiderweb pattern.
Breaking in a spiderweb pattern is much safer than old single pane or non-tempered glass, which can shatter into dangerous shards and fall into your living space. High impact windows help protect you from broken glass, the elements outside and will remain in the window frame even after the glass has shattered due to high winds.
Windows That Protect More Than Just Your Home
There may be many additional benefits to high impact windows that may not be immediately apparent, such as:
Stable indoor temperatures for a more comfortable home
• Reduced energy bills
• Increased indoor air quality
• Greater curb appeal
• Less window maintenance
Many high impact windows come with a coating that will filter out most UV rays, reducing the heat gain that happens when the sun shines through the windows. Vinyl framed high impact windows also provide a tight seal, preventing unwanted outside temperatures and contaminants from infiltrating your house. These two design features will increase the overall energy efficiency of your home and make it more comfortable all year round.
ENERGY STAR estimates that if you are replacing single-pane windows with double-pane high impact windows, you could see savings between $126 to $465 per year in energy costs. If you are upgrading your existing double-pane windows to a high impact product, the savings are still estimated to be $27 to $111 per year. Plus, new windows can beautify your home, inside and out, with an updated look!