If you live in storm-prone Florida, you’re probably well aware of the importance of protecting your home and family when a hurricane or other extreme weather event is bearing down.
One of the best ways to do this? Install high-performance impact resistant windows and doors. These specially designed architectural elements are engineered to withstand high winds, flying debris, and other hazards that accompany severe weather. In the event that they do break, impact windows are similar to automobile windshield glass in that they’re designed to remain intact in the frame and splinter in the least destructive way.
But the benefits of impact resistant windows and doors go far beyond hurricane protection.
Here, we’ll take a closer look at five of the lesser-touted benefits of high-performance impact resistant windows and doors.
1. Energy Efficiency
Because they’re made with multiple layers of glass, impact resistant windows and doors increase your home’s energy efficiency. In fact, heat gain and loss through windows alone is responsible for as much as 30 percent of residential heating and cooling energy use.
In addition to reducing your energy costs, impact doors and windows also help to keep your home more comfortable by eliminating drafts and promoting more consistent and controllable temperatures indoors.
2. Noise Reduction
If you live near a busy street, have noisy neighbors, or simply prefer the quietest surroundings possible, thick and strong impact resistant windows and doors reduce sound transmission—and the amount of noise that enters your home. The result? More peaceful interiors.
Because of their soundproofing capabilities, BobVila.com included window replacements as an effective strategy for overcoming outdoor noise. Compared to other approaches like sealing gaps with caulk and hanging sound-dampening curtains, noise-reducing windows can block as much as 65 percent of sound.
But the benefits of upgrading to thicker windows aren’t just aesthetic. Studies have linked noise annoyance with a variety of mental and physical health symptoms. In other words, your quieter home will also be a healthier home for you and your family.
3. UV Protection
While normal glass offers some protection from the sun, more than 50 percent of the sun’s UV rays can still penetrate glass. What does this mean for you and your loved ones? If your home’s inhabitants are standing anywhere near a window, they may still be subject to sun exposure—and the potential skin damage that goes with it. Enter impact window and door glass, which can be treated with special coatings that block harmful UV rays from entering your home.
And sun exposure isn’t just harmful to people. Over time, the sun can also cause damage in the form of fading, discoloration, and other preventable wear and tear to furniture, floors, and walls. With impact windows, your home and everything in it remain protected at all times, especially when paired with low-emissivity coatings.
Impact resistant windows and doors are known for their extraordinary strength and durability. This means that in addition to defending against severe storms, impact windows and doors are also a deterrent to threats of a more human variety: criminals.
In fact, outdated windows and doors make home security company ADT’s list of considerations burglars use when choosing which homes to target. The simple reason? Given the choice between attempting to break through multi-layered glass and sturdy aluminum or vinyl frames and less secure entry points, intruders will be much more inclined to choose the easier prospect.
In addition to adding another layer of security to your property, this also gives homeowners another layer of piece of mind—especially when you factor in escalating crime rates.
Investing in high-performance impact resistant windows and doors is also associated with a higher return on investment. Remodeling Magazine’s 2023 Cost vs. Value report reveals that homeowners who replace their windows with impact resistant vinyl windows can expect to recoup nearly 70 percent of the cost when they sell their home.
According to Holly Meyer Lucas, a team leader of Meyer Lucas at Compass in South Florida, the question of “Are there impact windows?” is one of the first concerns expressed by buyers during discussions of pricing and options.
Many insurance companies also offer discounts to homeowners who install these beneficial home improvements.
Another way to look at it? When you upgrade to impact doors and windows, you don’t just gain their immediate benefits. You also position yourself for a return on your investment if you decide to sell your home in the future.
There’s no denying that high performance impact resistant windows and doors are a wise investment for Florida homeowners looking to safeguard their homes and property during hurricanes and other serious storms. However, if you’re considering upgrading your windows and doors, it’s important to factor in these other benefits, too.
From energy efficiency and noise reduction to UV protection, enhanced security, and greater ROI, impact windows pay for themselves in many direct and indirect ways.