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When to Replace or Install Storm Windows and Doors

Here are the warning signs that you need new storm windows or doors

By Bryan Dube on

Related Topics: windows, FAQ, storm doors, storm windows

Winter in northern New England  brings gusting winds and cold weather outside. Drafty windows and shaky storms become too inefficient over time, and periodically require updating to keep your home warm. 

The Warning Signs

It’s all too easy to overlook your windows and doors, and put off repairs for another year. If you aren’t sure whether you should make some changes sooner rather than later, here are a few telltale signs that your home might be due for an upgrade.


  1. Your windows haven’t been replaced in 15 years or more
  2. Strong winds cause your windows to rattle noticeably
  3. You can hear whistling during high winds around your door
  4. Windows and doors are drafty, especially in the winter
  5. Icicles form noticeably on window sills or door jambs 
  6. You can no longer open the existing storms on your house

Older windows, especially single paned windows, often need storm windows installed to bring a home up to the latest energy efficiency codes. Most major municipalities have baseline requirements for home air leakage, and tightening up the doors and windows can greatly decrease this inefficiency measurement.


City Code Requirements

Once you’ve established a need based on the inefficiency or overall noise of leaky windows and doors, it’s important to review the code standards in your town next.


Burlington, VT has specific energy efficiency requirements that all homes must meet. City mandates require all homes to have double glazed windows that meet a minimum U-factor of .32. The exception to this rule is to add storm windows to an existing window that is single glazed, to help meet the necessary energy code requirements.


Here at Acme Glass, we have been helping homeowners around Chittenden County increase efficiency for over 70 years, so we’ve gone ahead and compiled our zoning requirements guide.



Do I Install New Storms, or Replace the Window?

Installing storms can help with a lot of the problems that older windows can cause. But for the highest energy efficiency, replacing older windows altogether is a sound investment.


Storm Windows

For a cheaper solution this winter, invest in new storm windows to keep your home warm. Installing storm windows is a quick project, once you know the size that your windows require. This is a measurement you can take yourself, if you know how. For the complete instructions on finding the measurements for new storm windows in your windows, read our How-To Guide for Measuring for Storm Windows and Doors >


If you’re not handy or simply don’t have the time or interest, call our technicians at Acme Glass to take a professional measurement at your home today.


Replacement Windows

Modern window technology has come leaps and bounds in the last 30 years, and windows today outlast their predecessors by decades. Different materials and insulation types do come at higher price points, but are an investment in the overall resale value of your home. Click here to learn more about the costs of replacement windows.

homeowners guide to replacement windows


If you’re not sure what the best answer is for your home, contact Acme Glass for a consultation.


Do I Add a Storm Door, or Replace the Front Door Entirely?


If your front door is causing major air leakage, you have two options. Replacing the entire door will be a small investment, but can help update the entire look and feel of your home. Or you can keep the door you have and add a storm door for the colder months.

4 Signs you need a new door

  1. Inspect your existing door for large dings or dents
  2. Check your door for noticeable gaps or severe signs of weathering.
  3. Look for water damage or insect damage.
  4. If you fight with the door to open and close it, this might be a good time to invest in a new exterior door.

Any of these are signs that the integrity of your door has been compromised, and that you do in fact need a new door.

Did you know Acme Glass offers various makes and styles of front doors? Visit our Pearl St. Showroom to test out different brands, to find the right look and feel for your home. 


If your door seems intact and strong, but there’s still a noticeable draft, consider adding a storm door.


When adding a storm door, most homeowners swap out the storm glass for a screen door during the warmer months, so you can increase the heat in the winter and natural cooling during the summer.

Whether you install new storms to keep warmth in your home, or upgrade to a fresh new look and feel, you'll be glad you buttoned up your home for another New England winter.

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