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7 Reasons to Update Your Florida Home with Impact Windows

Posted by Jimmy Hawley on Jan 13, 2021 8:15:00 AM

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As a Floridian, you know how important it is to protect your home during a hurricane. 

In the past, you may have thought your only option was to cover your windows with a protective storm solution like hurricane shutters or panels. Eventually, many homeowners discover that they prefer the look, functionality and peace of mind impact-resistant windows provide.

Although impact windows are more expensive than other options, their benefits often outweigh the costs involved. Here are seven reasons to invest in storm-safe glass this year:

1. Impact windows can offer significant energy-savings.

Your windows are responsible for up to 25-30% of a home's heat gain and loss in heating and cooling energy usage, according to Energy.gov. And here in Florida, improperly sealed windows account for an incredible 60% of all heating and cooling costs, according to a University of Florida study. 

What those stats prove is the importance of energy-smart windows! Some people think it’s your window’s age that plays the only influence in cooling and heating loss. But more often than not, it’s that the windows aren’t rated as hurricane-safe or ENERGY STAR-rated. 

That’s because traditional windows without an impact rating just don’t insulate as well as hurricane windows, all specifically designed to withstand Florida’s often extreme hurricane conditions. Impact windows not only have dual-glass and an insulating center, but they also use heavy-duty framing to reduce air leakage. No amount of cleaning your window tracks or keeping your blinds closed will compare.

Besides the thicker glass and better-sealed framing, ENERGY STAR-compliant windows can have a long list of additional energy-friendly features like high R-values, low U-values, low-emissivity glass, low SHGC (solar heat gain coefficients), high VT (visible transmittance), and AL (air leakage) ratings— all which can help to reduce your energy bills and extend the life of your AC. 

Not familiar with some or all of those terms? Check out our article for choosing the most energy-efficient impact windows.

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2. Impact windows come with a homeowners insurance discount. 

Your homeowner insurance provider wants to know that your home is as safe as possible, since that reduces your chance of needing to tap into your insurance coverage. That’s why insurers offer premium discounts to Floridians who take extra measures to increase their house’s safety. (The same principle that applies when installing security cameras also applies to installing storm and burglary-resistant impact windows. These are seen as smart investments that make it less likely you’ll need insurance assistance down the road!).

“A Florida law effective June 1, 2002 requires insurance companies to provide discounts on the hurricane windstorm portion of insurance premiums for residents who install wind resistant features on their homes,” according to the OLR Research Report.

That means an insurance discount is guaranteed, but the amount varies based on your insurer. Be sure to ask before purchasing your storm windows, as various strengths of impact glass may affect your insurance benefits differently. 

Get more insurance discounts in SWFL by reading our other blog.

3. Impact glass is often more aesthetically-pleasing and convenient than shutters or panels.

Let’s face it, as a Florida resident you need some form of storm protection for your windows to prepare for the hurricane season. Those who don’t have impact-safe windows probably have window coverings like storm shutters or panels to safeguard against turbulent weather. 

While these window treatments can get the job done, they’re sometimes considered less streamlined than the unencumbered look of impact glass. Strong glass alone allows for a clear line-of-sight and a sleek, bulk-free look— something you just can’t have with shutters or panels affixed outside of your home. 

In addition to the more simplistic look of impact glass, these storm-safe windows are virtually hassle-free. While you will always have to engage your shutters or put up your panels before a storm, there’s no preparation needed for your windows. They also require less routine maintenance— as an added benefit. 

See how easy it is to clean your impact windows here.

4. Impact window manufacturers are always making improvements.

Even if you already have impact-safe glass, do you know the force they’re designed to withstand or their warranty? If not, here are five ways to tell if your windows are impact-resistant and where to find their lifetime rating.

It’s important to understand that window manufacturers are constantly making improvements in efficiency and safety. So if your windows were installed a decade or more ago, there’s a chance that the products on the market today could help save you more money and increase your peace of mind. 

Take a look at some of the top-rated impact windows out there today to see if your current windows are still in the running. 

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5. Impact windows help with noise reduction.

Do you have rowdy neighbors who are always blasting music? Or do you live on a busy street and are often subject to zooming cars and incessant beeping? For situations like those, the added noise reduction of a better sealing window makes a world of difference.

Impact windows can help you achieve a sounder sleep at night or create a more relaxing mood in your home. They can also help to keep your inside noise contained, so you can enjoy the TV loud or have guests over without fear of annoying your neighbors. 

6. Impact windows reduce the chance of storm damage and theft.

The big motivator for investing in impact glass as a Florida resident is hurricane protection, but that’s not the only reason. Besides the energy savings and other benefits listed above, hurricane windows are dead ends for bad actors. 

In simulations, the manufacturers fling bricks or take crowbars to the panes, simulating debris that could fly at your glass during a storm. Oftentimes, these heavy items hurled at fast speeds don’t even leave a hairline crack. When they do, the windows still do not shatter; the first cracked exterior window pane sticks to an adhesive center, which is snug against another interior sheet of glass. That means no glass on the floor and no burglar crawling through!

Curious to learn more about the structure of an impact-safe window. Learn more about The Differences Between Tempered, Laminated & Hurricane Impact Glass on our blog.

7. Storm-resistant windows can increase the resale value of your property.

Last but certainly not least, storm-safe windows are a true investment in your home. When looking for a new home, you want the safest, most modern option for your family— and your would-be buyers are no different. Upgrades like these easily impress those looking to buy and might be a deciding factor between your place and the other option on the market. 

When installing impact windows, think of them as a long-term investment— an upgrade that’s sure to pay itself back come time to sell and even while you’re still living there.

Dig Deeper into the Impact Ratings

When choosing between standard windows and impact-resistant ones, here are five key factors to consider to keep narrowing down your options.

Better yet, download our free ebook, 12 Things You Need to Know About Impact Windows, which helps you answer some big questions like:

  • Which frame materials and qualities are available?
  • Which impact window styles can I choose from?
  • What is a low-e impact window?

If you’re ready to peek at your options, here are the best-rated hurricane windows for Florida homes. 


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