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Impact vs Non Impact Windows - A Solid Choice for Home Safety

Impact vs Non Impact Windows: A Solid Choice for Home Safety

by Steven Wilson

Understanding the basics of impact windows is vital in the debate of Impact vs Non Impact Windows.

These windows are built for extreme weather, offering strong protection in hurricane-prone zones. On the other hand, non-impact windows provide standard protection, less focused on severe conditions.

The choice between these window types is a key decision in home construction, impacting safety and efficiency. Considering factors like protection, energy efficiency, and cost is essential.

A comprehensive look at these factors highlights the importance of an informed choice, as the right windows can significantly enhance a home’s safety and aesthetic value.

Quick Differences Between Impact vs Non-impact Windows

FeatureImpact WindowsNon-Impact Windows
ProtectionProvide robust protection against high winds, debris, impacts, and burglaries.Less protective; glass more likely to shatter upon impact.
Energy EfficiencyEnhanced insulation, UV protection, and potential energy cost savings.Energy-efficient, especially with laminated glass. Similar to impact windows in this regard.
Preparation & ConvenienceLess preparation required for storms, offering ease during emergencies.May need additional storm preparation, like installing shutters.
Noise ReductionEffective in reducing outside noise.Offers sound reduction but may be less effective than impact windows.
Visual ImpactRegular appearance and clear view.May need shutters for storm protection, blocking views.
CostGenerally more expensive, about 1.5x to 2x more than non-impact windows.More affordable but offers less protection during severe weather.
Safety FeaturesLaminated glass remains intact even when broken, reducing injury risk.Tempered glass breaks into small, less harmful pieces.

Key Comparison: Impact and Non-Impact Windows

When choosing between impact vs non-impact windows, several key factors come into play, each contributing to the decision-making process for homeowners.

Protection Levels: How They Fare Against Elements

Impact windows offer superior protection against the elements. Designed to withstand high winds and flying debris, these windows are a fortress in hurricane-prone areas.

Not only do they stand up to severe weather, but they also offer added security against potential break-ins, a feature non-impact windows lack.

Non-impact windows, while less protective, can still hold up under normal conditions, but they’re more likely to shatter when faced with extreme weather or impacts.

Read Also: JELD-WEN vs Milgard Windows – A Comprehensive Guide

Analyzing Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings

Both types of windows can be energy-efficient, especially when fitted with laminated glass. However, impact windows step up the game with enhanced insulation and UV protection, potentially leading to more significant energy cost savings in the long run.

Although non-impact windows are more affordable upfront, the long-term savings and benefits of impact windows could offset the initial higher investment.

Convenience in Storm Preparation and Safety Features

One of the most significant advantages of impact windows is their convenience. They require less preparation for storms, offering peace of mind during emergencies. No need for shutters or additional protective measures – they’re always ready.

Non-impact windows, however, often need extra protection like shutters, adding a layer of hassle during storm preparations.

In terms of safety, impact windows have laminated glass that remains intact even when broken, minimizing the risk of injury, whereas non-impact windows typically use tempered glass, which breaks into smaller, less harmful pieces.

Evaluating Noise Reduction and Aesthetic Impact

Impact windows are not only functional in protection but also effective in reducing outside noise – a boon for those in noisy neighborhoods or busy streets.

Non-impact windows also offer sound reduction, but they may not be as effective. Aesthetically, impact windows maintain a regular appearance and ensure a clear outdoor view, unlike non-impact windows, which may require shutters that can obstruct views and alter the exterior look of a home.

In assessing impact vs non-impact windows, it’s clear that each type has its unique advantages and limitations. Understanding these differences is key to making an informed decision that aligns with personal preferences, safety requirements, and budget considerations.

Which is Better? Analyzing Situational Suitability

The choice between impact and non-impact windows largely depends on specific needs and situations of homeowners.

Best Scenarios for Choosing Impact Windows

Impact windows are ideal in these scenarios:

  • Locations Prone to Severe Weather: Homes in hurricane or storm-prone areas benefit immensely from the robust protection offered by impact windows.
  • Areas with Higher Security Risks: The added strength of impact windows can deter break-ins and burglaries.
  • Noise Reduction Needs: If you live in a noisy environment, the superior noise cancellation of impact windows is a blessing.
  • Energy Efficiency Seekers: For those aiming to reduce their energy bills, the enhanced insulation of impact windows is a plus.

When to Opt for Non-Impact Windows

Non-impact windows are a suitable choice in the following situations:

  • Moderate Climate Areas: In regions with less severe weather, the standard protection of non-impact windows suffices.
  • Budget Constraints: If the cost is a significant consideration, the lower price of non-impact windows is attractive.
  • Aesthetic Flexibility: For homeowners who prefer customizing window protection, like adding stylish shutters, non-impact windows offer more options.

Cost-Benefit Analysis for Homeowners

A cost-benefit analysis reveals:

  • Initial Investment: Non-impact windows are less expensive upfront.
  • Long-Term Savings: Impact windows can offer more savings over time through energy efficiency and reduced insurance premiums.
  • Resale Value: Homes with impact windows might have a higher resale value, especially in storm-prone areas.

Long-Term Benefits and Drawbacks

Long-term considerations include:

  • Durability: Impact windows typically have a longer lifespan, providing value over many years.
  • Maintenance: Non-impact windows might require additional maintenance, especially if protective measures are needed during storms.
  • Insurance Benefits: Some insurers offer discounts for homes with impact windows, acknowledging their enhanced safety features.

In conclusion, the decision between impact and non-impact windows should be made after carefully considering individual circumstances, budget, and long-term goals.

Each type has its unique advantages, tailored to different homeowner needs and situations.

Read Also: Marvin vs Loewen Windows – Unbiased Comparison

Conclusion

In summarizing the key differences between impact and non-impact windows, it’s clear that each type offers distinct advantages tailored to specific homeowner needs.

Impact windows stand out for their superior protection, energy efficiency, and noise reduction, ideal for those in storm-prone areas or seeking enhanced home security.

Non-impact windows, while offering less protection, are more budget-friendly and sufficient for milder climates.

Looking ahead, future trends in window technology and design are likely to focus on even greater efficiency, innovative materials, and smart features, enhancing both functionality and aesthetic appeal. Homeowners considering an upgrade or new installation should keep an eye on these developments.

Our recommendation for further research is to consult with local experts and consider the specific needs of your home environment. This ensures a well-informed decision, balancing practicality, aesthetics, and budget for the best window selection.