The best storm windows fit tightly into place to stop air gaps and keep the cold outside. Aluminum frames predominate the affordable storm window market while wood storm windows are usually custom made and more expensive.
Interior storm windows are easier to install than those installed on the outside, especially on the second floor. And you have more stylistic options with interior storms. The value of exterior storms is that they take the brunt of harsh weather and protect your regular windows, so you get more years of service from them.
Storm vs Hurricane Impact Windows
This guide is about standard storm windows that homeowners add to their window frames to make them energy efficient and better protected against the harsh elements. It is not about hurricane-rated windows.
We’ve completed a page on the Top Rated Hurricane Impact Windows for those in coastal regions where tropical storms and hurricanes threaten.
Best Storm Windows Guide
This storm windows buying guide is part of a series of guide for the best house windows, it discusses the best storm window brands, interior and exterior options, materials and where to find the best rated storm windows in your area.
It starts with a list of the best storm window brands and lines followed by full reviews.
A short Buying Guide follows that gives you tips for choosing the best storm windows for your purposes.
The Best Rated Storm Windows
- Quanta – Aluminum/Interior & Exterior
- Larson Performance – Aluminum/Exterior
- Larson ComfortSEAL – Aluminum/Interior
- Window Inserts – Aluminum/Interior
- ProVia – Aluminum/Exterior
- Coppa Woodworking, Inc. – Wood/Exterior
- Weston Wood Storm Windows – Wood/Exterior
Storm Windows Cost
Here are costs for the windows only. Installation is often DIY. Costs for pro installation average $20 to $40 per window based on window type and how many you have.
|Window||Material||36″ x 48″ Cost|
What about Vinyl Storm Windows?
Vinyl windows are the best-selling standard windows, so a lot of homeowners search for vinyl frame storm windows, but they just aren’t manufactured. The reason is that the frame needs to be thin, and vinyl that thin and light would be prone to twisting. It simply isn’t as rigid or durable. And that makes aluminum the best material for storm windows for most homeowners. Others will prefer wood for a classic or historically accurate option.
Best Rated Storm Window Reviews
Here are more details about the best storm windows and why they made our list.
Note on storm window cost – Most storm windows are sold directly to homeowners who have the option to install them or hire an installer. We note storm window cost for each brand.
Quanta – Aluminum/Interior & Exterior (Best Overall)
Quanta storm windows are unsurpassed for quality and energy efficiency. And for options. Quanta manufacturers both interior and exterior storm windows, and it calls all the series QuantaPanel.
Frames: Aluminum frames
Glass: Low-E glass is used in all Quanta storm windows. As a result, every window in each series is Energy Star rated, making them one of the best energy efficient storm windows available.
Styles and more: Exterior windows are manufactured in double-hung, sliding and fixed/picture window styles. Interior QuantaPanel windows are produced in double-hung, sliding and fixed/picture types, the latter being suitable for use with casement windows too, though they are non-operable. Most windows are offered in white and bronze.
Window cost: $115 – $265 plus installation.
Larson Performance – Aluminum/Exterior (Best Exterior)
Larson is the best of the best storm window brands in one respect – it sells more of them than any other manufacturer, and it’s not even close. They are top sellers at Lowe’s, Home Depot, Builder’s Supply and nearly every other seller of building materials.
And most styles of Larson Performance storm windows are Energy Star rated.
Frames: T-5 Aluminum
Glass: Low-E (low-emissivity) glass is standard in Larson Performance storm windows.
Styles and more: The Performance Series is available in single-hung, double-hung and fixed windows. The fixed windows can fit over other window styles, but they prevent you from opening an operable window they are covering. Colors are white, brown and mill, which is a medium gray/silver finish.
Window cost: $90 – $140 plus installation.
Larson ComfortSEAL – Aluminum/Interior (Best Interior)
These interior storm windows are easy to install for the handy-around-the-house types. Larson estimates about 10 minutes per window to install, and that’s pretty accurate based on our experience.
Each window is backed by a lifetime warranty.
Glass: The Low-E glass is single pane, but energy efficient enough to earn the ComfortSEAL windows an Energy Star rating, reducing heat loss by up to 25% through windows.
Styles and more: These best interior storm windows are manufactured in single-hung, slider/sliding and picture/fixed styles. Your color options are white linen, an off-white, pebblestone, which is a clay color, and woodland, a medium brown.
Window cost: $180 – $260 plus installation. If you hire a window installer, such as a handyman service, expect to pay $20 to $40 per window.
Window Inserts – Aluminum/Interior (Best Cheap)
If you want affordable storm windows you can order online and install yourself in a matter of minutes, Window Inserts™ is one of the best storm windows for cost and ease. The brand also calls them EnergySavr™ inserts. The company makes the same type of product for sliding glass doors.
Frames: Aluminum frames feature a compressible weather-stripping gasket around the frame to create an airtight, efficient seal. The purpose of the insert storm windows is to create an air pocket between the cold outside air and your indoor living space.
Glass: It isn’t glass – and that sets them apart from the other top rated storm windows on the list. Instead, to keep cost at a minimum, these windows feature a clear vinyl glazing – and it is quite clear, not cloudy or grainy.
Styles and more: These are fixed inserts. Larger styles feature a cross member for stability or looks. Choose from one, two or three panels per window. There are no operational styles. This also means that when the storm window inserts are in place, you can’t open the window. However, these inserts can be removed in a few seconds and replaced just as easily. White, brown and tan frames are available, all at the same price.
Window cost: $30 – $90 per window based on window size. Choosing two or three panels rather than one does not affect cost. Discounts are available for 5+ and 10+ windows.
ProVia – Aluminum/Exterior (Best Premium)
ProVia sells a package of the storm window plus installation. You’ll need to find the ProVia website Where to Buy option to find a dealer/installer in your area.
The excellent construction makes them one of the best storm window brands for quality and durability.
Frames: Aluminum frames feature a black vinyl frame liner on operable windows for smooth opening. Mitered corners are strong and good-looking.
An expander at the bottom of the frame seals potential gaps and allows the frames to fit non-standard openings and provides drainage.
Glass: Single-pane and double-pane windows with low-E glass are offered. The marine glazing creates a weatherproof seal between glass and frame.
Styles and more: ProVia makes four series. Town & Country is a double-hung window, as is Concord. Valley Forge is a sliding window, and the Clinton Series is a fixed/picture window including rectangular and architectural shapes. The series is available in an Inside option and an Outside option. Both are easily removable.
Screens are standard in the double-hung windows and optional in others.
Each window series is available in more than 15 frame colors.
Window cost: $155 – $260 includes installation.
Coppa Woodworking, Inc. – Wood/Exterior (Overall Best Wood)
If you gotta have wood, we certainly understand!
Coppa Woodworking makes gorgeous wood storm windows for the exterior of your home.
Frames: Standard frames are ¾” Douglas Fir, unfinished with side, top and bottom rails that are a full 2” wide. About 50 standard sizes are available along with custom sizing. Coppa Woodworking says, “We build them to order, in the size and specs you need to fit your home.” And they’re made in the USA. Contact the company about other wood types and frame dimensions.
Glass: Single-pane glass.
Styles and more: These are fixed frames that secure to the outside of the window frame.
Window cost: A 36” x 48” window runs about $190 plus shipping. Installation is up to you.
Weston Wood Storm Windows – Wood/Exterior (Best Heavy-duty Wood)
When you want traditionally styled, premium-quality wood storm windows, consider Weston Woods.
The brand offers three sash options:
Glazed sash – White pine frames.
Open sash – The frame is the same as the glazed window, but there is no glass. You have the glass installed once they arrive. This cuts down on shipping costs and eliminates the potential for glass breakage in transit.
Knock-down sash – These Western red cedar sash kits are shipped unassembled. Less expensive to make and ship, the knock-down sash kits are an excellent DIY project for those with the skills to put assemble and install them.
Frames: Fixed frames are available in white pine and Western red cedar depending on the sash option you select.
Glass: Single-strength or double-strength float glass.
Styles and more: Styles are standard-quality, 4-light Victorian, Cottage, Circle-head (rectangular with rounded top) and a single-light storm sash for basement window interiors. Costs for some of these styles might exceed those given for the standard sashes priced below.
Window cost: A 36” x 48” window cost is around $350 for glazed, $220 for an open sash window and about $200 for the knock-down.
Best Exterior Storm Windows
The best exterior storm windows are well-built and easy to maintain. Of course, if you’re going to choose wood, expect more maintenance such as inspecting them annually when you take them down and the need to paint or stain them every 3-10 years based on your climate conditions.
We’ve listed these as the best exterior storm windows:
- Quanta Aluminum – Best Overall
- Larson Performance Aluminum – Best Exterior
- ProVia Aluminum – Best Premium
- Coppa Woodworking, Inc. Wood – Overall Best Wood
- Weston Wood Storm Windows Wood – Best Premium Wood
Best Interior Storm Windows
When shopping for interior storm windows, consider your home’s décor and design. Look for colors that fit your scheme, blending naturally with what’s already there.
While exterior storm windows mainly stay in place through the season, it’s nice to be able to remove an interior storm, if it is fixed. This gives you the option of using the operable window behind it.
There are movable interior storm windows to consider as well, with slightly higher costs than fixed options.
The best interior storm windows are:
- Quanta Aluminum – Best Overall
- Larson ComfortSEAL Aluminum – Best Interior
- Window Inserts Aluminum – Best Cheap
Best Energy Efficient Storm Windows
One of the key reasons to consider storm windows is to lower energy costs and keep them under control during the coldest months of the year.
It makes sense to look for windows with low-E glass that will reduce heat gain and loss, since windows account for a major part of wasted energy in all seasons.
The most energy efficient storm windows are Energy Star certified and when you check out the list released by Energy Star, there are only two manufacturers on it: Larson and Quanta.
Each of these most efficient storm windows brands place a range of their windows on the list – there are 30 total.
The Cost to Install Storm Windows
Exterior storm windows take longer to install, and whether they are fixed or opening windows plays a small part in that.
Expect estimates of $20 to $40 per window to install exterior storms. Interior storms are often DIY-friendly, especially those that push into place and are held with compression fittings.
Those that install using screws, brackets and similar hardware cost about the same – up to $40 per window.
But consider storm windows as an investment. They lower energy costs every year, so your storms might pay for themselves in 3-10 years depending on their cost. Plus, they make your home more comfortable. Finally, exterior storm windows protect the large investment you’ve made in your home’s standard windows, adding years to their durability.