Hurricane Impact Windows Explained
Impact Windows = Hurricane Windows
Impact Windows are a great investment, especially in Florida, where heat and hurricanes are second nature. The benefits do not end with just hurricane and storm protection though. One of the most beneficial is energy efficiency, which can lead to HUGE savings. Lets also not forget the insurance savings, burglary deterrent and reduction, sound proofing, ease of use, aesthetics, peace of mind, and so much more!
How to know what type of hurricane product to buy? How are they rated?
Let's start with how Impact windows are rated, but to understand that, let's look at how Impact products are made.
Frame: There are a few options, but vinyl or aluminum are the most used. There is also wood/clad, fiberglass, and a few highbreds like Glastra, from Kolbe Windows. Wood/clad are seen more in northern areas or in high end custom designed homes. Aluminum and Vinyl are generally the best option in Florida. When deciding, I believe you need to look at warranty, energy efficiency, strength, aesthetics and cost.
Warranty- Vinyl > Aluminum
Cost- Aluminum > Vinyl
Our Design Professionals can walk you through all the options and educate you on what is best for you. Schedule a pressure free consultation today.
Glass Pack (Impact): Impact glass is actually three layers laminated together. Two layers of heat strengthened glass laminated around an inner layer of SGP or PVB. The layers of glass or inner layer can change to make windows stronger. This section is your Hurricane Impact resistance glass. Some windows only have this glass and reduces cost by being impact, but not impact insulated. This is often referred to in the window industry as mono or impact monolithic. For better energy efficiency and some sound reduction, many customers choose Impact Insulated windows adding an air space and an additional piece of glass. This additional piece of glass is referred to as the sacrificial glass. This will add to cost, but in return will increase energy efficiency.
Type of Glass, Low-E, Argon, Tints: There are several upgrades that can be added to windows to increase energy efficiency in windows. Low-E is one of the biggest energy savers. Low-E is a coating that is generally applied in layers to the Impact section of the glass pack. Low-E window glass is glass with a low level of emissivity. This refers to the ability of glass to emit or reflect energy as thermal radiation. Low-E window glass reflects heat while allowing as much natural light as possible to pass through the window itself. Low-E also means that a house’s temperature can consistently reflect the interior temperatures inside while blocking exterior temperatures from passing through the glass.
Seals & Felts:
Ratings for Impact Windows
As many know, Hurricanes are rated in categories, Cat1-Cat5, based on max wind speed. Impact Windows and Doors however, are a bit more complex.
When high winds or hurricanes hit, it is crucial that our homes are protected. Once wind or storm pressure gets inside, the homes structure, including the roof may not survive. The damage to your home can be severe, and can happen in minutes. The right Impact products can protect you and your home. Get a pressure free consultation today.
Window and Door Ratings
DP - Design Pressure (Impact or Non-Impact)