How Much Energy Impact Windows Can Help You Save?

Do leaky windows drive up household energy costs? The answer to that question is a resounding yes.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “ Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25%-30% of residential heating and cooling energy use.” That means that every day you’re paying for hours of climate control that’s literally going out the window.


Some of the biggest causes of drafty windows are poor installation, deteriorating seals, single-pane construction, and worn frames. For many, the best solution to these very common issues is upgrading to energy efficient impact windows. The Department of Energy estimates that switching from single-paned windows to ENERGY STAR® – certified double-paned, clear-glass windows can bring annual savings between $126-$465 nationally, depending on the region.


However, finding the right energy efficient window for your home can really depend on where you live. For example, certain frame types, glazing’s, and insulation options might work better for some homes than others. There are also a few other things to look for and consider to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.


This symbol indicates that your windows either meet strict energy efficiency standards and exceed local energy-code requirements. ENERGY STAR® products are independently tested and certified.

National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) Rating

NFRC ratings allow you to compare energy efficient impact windows and doors by providing multiple energy performance ratings. This includes how well a product prevents heat from escaping a room, resists unwanted heat gain from the exterior, and effectively lights your home with natural daylight. It also rates how much air will leak into and out of a room.

High-performance Low-E

Low-emissivity glass is an option for energy efficient impact windows. Its benefit is that it minimizes the amount of ultraviolet light allowed through the glass and reflects heat to keep it outside your home.

Glass Tints

Tints can mitigate the amount of heat coming into your home. They often come in a variety of hues, from bronze to blue.

Argon Gas

Filling energy efficient windows with gas provides effective insulation. This feature is often paired with Low-E coatings.

Are your hurricane windows truly built to withstand it all?

There are several types of materials available for hurricane windows – some more secure than others.

Here’s a quick guide to the options available, and we’ll show you firsthand what kind of impact a truly hurricane-proof window can handle.

Tempered Glass

What is it?

Tempered glass is heated to approximately 1300 degrees and cooled rapidly, creating a glass that is more resistant to impact and temperature variations than standard glass. When broken, tempered glass shatters into tiny cube-shaped pieces, making it far safer than standard, annealed glass – which breaks into large, dangerous shards.

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How Strong is it?

Tempered glass is approximately 4 to 5 times stronger than standard, annealed glass and is known as “Safety Glass” due to its special, tiny cube breakage pattern. While this glass is stronger than standard annealed glass, it is not technically a “hurricane resistant glass” and will need protecting with some type of hurricane shutter.

Laminated Glass

What is it?

Laminated glass is composed of three layers; two layers of glass with a super strong, clear polyvinyl butyral (a type of plastic) interlayer bonded with heat and pressure. This high-strength interlayer keeps the layers of glass “stuck” in place even when broken. The thickness of each layer varies depending on the application of the window.

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How Strong is it?

Storm Solutions carries PGT windows, the company with the most NOAs (Notice of Acceptance by Miami-Dade County, the highest standard of impact resistance in the country) of any impact-resistant window manufacturer.

PGT’s laminated windows are designed to withstand repeated impacts from a 9lb 2×4 flying at 34 miles per hour— they are sure to protect you and your family in the event of a serious storm.

Laminated Insulated Glass

What is It?

Laminated insulated glass consists of two layers – an outer layer of laminated glass and an inner layer of standard glass, usually filled with Argon gas for insulation. These windows not only provide exceptional protection from impacts like their single-paneled counterparts, they also offer sound and temperature control. If you are interested in both hurricane protection and energy efficiency, a laminated insulated window may be right for you.

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How Strong is it?

Laminated insulated glass has generally the same wind and impact resistance properties as laminated glass alone. As we said earlier, that means the glass can handle repeated impacts of a 9lb 2×4 beam traveling at 34 miles per hour!

High-Impact Acrylic and Polycarbonate

What is It?

Optical-grade Acrylic or polycarbonate are ideal alternatives to glass windows. Acrylic and polycarbonate sheeting is lightweight, high-strength, and generally lower cost than standard glass or laminated glass. These glass alternatives offer safety benefits much like laminated or tempered glass in that it does not break easily, and when it does, it holds together rather than breaking into dangerous shards.

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How Strong is It?

Acrylic sheet can withstand 17 times the impact of traditional glass, whereas polycarbonate can withstand an impressive 250 times the impact of glass.

Are your home or business windows impact resistant? If you aren’t sure or are looking into making upgrades to your windows, contact Storm Solutions to learn more and to get a free quote today!