Living in areas prone to hurricanes can be a challenge. One of the ways to protect your home and loved ones during such events is by installing impact windows or hurricane windows. However, many homeowners confuse these two types of windows, making it difficult for them to choose the right one for their needs. In this article, we will provide a detailed comparison of impact windows vs. hurricane windows, highlighting the differences between the two types of windows and the benefits they offer.
What are Impact Windows?
Impact windows are a type of window that is designed to withstand high impact from debris during severe weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms. Impact windows are made from laminated glass that is much thicker and more durable than traditional glass. The laminated glass consists of two or more sheets of glass bonded together with a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) interlayer. The interlayer provides additional strength and security, making it more difficult for burglars to break into your home.
- Impact windows provide excellent protection against hurricane-force winds, flying debris, and other severe weather conditions.
- Impact-resistant windows offer added security against burglars, vandals, and other intruders.
- Impact windows reduce outside noise, making your home more comfortable and peaceful.
- Impact-resistant windows help to prevent harmful UV rays from entering your home, which can damage furniture and fabrics.
What are Hurricane Resistant Windows?
Hurricane windows are designed to provide the same level of protection as impact windows during a hurricane or other severe weather events. The primary difference between hurricane windows and impact windows is the level of flexibility. Hurricane windows are made of tempered glass, which is stronger and more durable than traditional glass but is less flexible than the laminated glass used in impact windows.
- Hurricane resistant windows are designed to withstand high winds, heavy rain, and flying debris during a hurricane or other severe weather events.
- Hurricane-resistant windows offer added security against burglars, vandals, and other intruders.
- Hurricane resistant windows help to reduce outside noise, making your home more comfortable and peaceful.
- Hurricane-resistant windows help to prevent harmful UV rays from entering your home, which can damage furniture and fabrics.
What are the Differences?
The differences between impact and hurricane rated windows can be summarized into three categories: glass quality, lamination, and installation.
Impact windows are made from laminated glass that is much thicker and more durable than the tempered glass used in hurricane windows. Laminated glass consists of two or more sheets of glass bonded together with a layer of PVB or EVA interlayer. This makes the glass in impact windows much stronger and more resistant to high-impact forces than the glass used in hurricane windows.
The laminated glass used in impact windows is much thicker than the laminated glass used in hurricane windows. Impact windows use a thicker interlayer and more layers of glass to create a more durable and robust window that can withstand high-impact forces. In contrast, hurricane rated windows typically use one or two layers of PVB interlayer and tempered glass.
Impact windows are made up of thicker glass, so they require stronger frames than hurricane windows. These frames are made of materials like aluminum or vinyl to ensure that the windows can support their weight. Additionally, the frames on impact windows are attached more firmly to the structure of the home, which increases the strength and security of the window as a whole. Hurricane windows typically have frames that are thinner and less strong than those on impact windows.
Impact windows are generally more expensive than hurricane resistant windows due to the extra layers of glass and stronger frames required for the installation. The cost of impact windows can vary depending on the size of the windows, the material used for the frames, and the specific features of the glass. Hurricane windows, on the other hand, tend to be more affordable because they have fewer layers of glass and thinner frames.
Both can help to make your home more energy-efficient by preventing air leaks and keeping your home at a more consistent temperature. However, impact windows are generally more effective at this because of the added layers of glass and insulation. The additional layers of glass help to reduce heat transfer, which can keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This can lead to lower energy bills and a more comfortable home environment.
Both can help to reduce outside noise, but impact windows tend to be more effective at this because of the additional layers of glass. The multiple layers of glass and insulation in impact windows can help to block out more noise from outside, which can be especially useful for homes located near busy roads or in urban areas.
Both require professional installation to ensure that they are properly secured to the structure of the home. However, impact windows can be more challenging to install because they are heavier and require stronger frames to support their weight. Additionally, the installation process for impact windows can take longer than the installation of hurricane resistant windows.
Which Window is Right for You?
The choice between impact and hurricane resistant-windows depends on your specific needs and budget. Here are some factors to consider when deciding which window is right for you:
The first thing to consider is your location. If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes or tropical storms, then impact windows may be a better choice for you. On the other hand, if you live in an area with less severe weather, then hurricane windows may be sufficient.
Impact-resistant windows are generally more expensive than hurricane windows due to the extra layers of glass and lamination they require. If you are on a tight budget, then hurricane windows may be a more affordable option.
If you are concerned about protecting your home from more than just hurricanes, then impact windows may be a better choice. They offer protection from intruders, UV rays, heat, and sound pollution. Hurricane-resistant windows, on the other hand, are designed specifically to protect your home from wind-borne debris during a hurricane.
If the look of your windows is important to you, then impact windows may be a better choice. They come in a wider range of styles and colors than hurricane windows, so you can choose a design that complements the aesthetic of your home.
Check with your insurance company to see if they offer discounts for impact windows. Many insurance companies offer discounts for homes with impact-resistant windows, as they are seen as a measure of protection against hurricanes and other severe weather.
Ultimately, the decision between impact windows and hurricane resistant windows comes down to your individual needs and budget. Both types of windows offer excellent protection, but impact windows may be a better choice if you are looking for all-around protection from a variety of threats. Hurricane-resistant windows, on the other hand, are a more cost-effective option if you are looking for protection specifically from wind-borne debris during a hurricane.
The difference between impact windows and hurricane resistant windows is primarily in their construction and intended use. Impact windows are designed to provide all-around protection from a variety of threats, while hurricane windows are designed specifically to protect your home from wind-borne debris during a hurricane. Both types of windows offer excellent protection, and the choice between them ultimately comes down to your individual needs and budget.
If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes or other severe weather, then investing in impact windows or hurricane windows is a wise decision. These windows offer a measure of protection against the elements, giving you peace of mind knowing that your home is safe and secure. With the right windows, you can weather any storm that comes your way.