Encouraging Homeowners to Invest in Impact-Rated Windows
If you work with homeowners who live somewhere inland, one of their top considerations when choosing new windows for their home is probably efficient insulation. However, homeowners who live close to the coast in states like South Carolina and Florida most likely have two top considerations: insulation… and protection against hurricanes. They’ll need windows that are going to help keep their home energy efficient, but that can also hold up against hurricane-force winds and flying debris.
The solution for many coastal homeowners is to invest in impact rated windows. These windows are designed to do exactly what the name implies—stand up against the type of heavy impacts that coastal storms can bring. In some regions that have been designated as High Velocity Hurricane Zones, homebuilders are actually required to install impact rated windows (as you most likely already know if you work in one of these regions).
Even if you don’t work with homeowners in a High Velocity Hurricane Zone, impact rated windows may still be a good choice. Here are a few reasons to encourage homeowners to consider them in their remodel or new home construction.
Protection from High-Speed Debris
Impact rated windows undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they can stand up against the types of debris a coastal homeowner might encounter in a hurricane. The standard test is to fire a 9 pound 2x4 at 34 mph so that it hits the window end on. When homeowners invest in impact rated windows, they can rest assured that their windows will hold up even in a fierce storm, and they will be safe inside with their family.
Speaking of safety, impact rated windows act as a great security measure against break-ins and thefts. If a 9-pound wood beam traveling at 34 mph can’t break the homeowner’s windows, a burglar will certainly have a hard time getting in. Impact window manufacturers stress that they can’t guarantee that any window will be completely impervious to break-ins, but impact-rated windows will at the very least slow down an intruder, giving the homeowner or their alarm system enough time to contact law enforcement.
Prevention Against Fading Furniture
Many homeowners love letting the sunlight into their house but aren’t as thrilled when their furniture, curtains, and carpets fade as a result. Impact rated windows actually provide up to 99% UV protection, which means that natural light can still get through them, but the home’s interior doesn’t have to suffer discoloration.
Reduction of Home Energy Use
As a home performance professional, energy efficiency is most likely your foremost concern, and we couldn’t discuss the benefits of impact rated windows without talking about the effect they have on home energy usage. Laminated impact rated windows act as great insulators because of their thickness, reducing the need to heat a home in the winter and cool it in the summer. Some brands, like Eco Window Systems, even use a resin interlayer between their two glass panes for strong binding and insulation. The interlayer reduces the thermal conduction of the glass, which helps keep the home from getting too hot or cold.
If you’re interested in learning more about impact rated windows, talk to a local environmentally-friendly builder about the available options for homeowners in your area. Look for building contractors who have an Energy Star partner label, indicating that the builder is committed to protecting the natural environment and using the impact rated windows that will be best for the home and the homeowner.
Jason Fowler is a pre-construction manager at Sea Island Builders in Charleston, South Carolina. The company is dedicated to renovating and building homes that are energy efficient and support the health and wellness of the client. Sea Island Builders is a partner of Energy Star, the Indoor airPLUS program, the EPA's WaterSense Program, and is a Lead-Safe EPA-certified firm.
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