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Double track aluminum storm window help

Chris Redacted | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

So the question at the end of the day is refurbish or replace, and question on repairing as I cant seem to find any web pages on it. Thanks for reading.

If I Refurbish them:
1. Is there a coating or some type of paint that will help the aluminum frames for heat gain/loss issue? I read about vinyl vs aluminum storms and that was an issue.

2. Have a look at my photos, what is this part I have circled and pointed at?
It seems to be a guide for easy sliding of the glass, or an air seal? its there for the outer track to and they don’t move, Im thinking its an air seal.

3. Is there any energy problems with changing to the aluminum screen vs the black?

4. out side of question 2, the gasket or caulk around the frame to the siding, is there any other air sealing to be done on them? Is the black plastic used to fit the window in to the aluminum bar that make the window unit an air seal?

If I replace:
All I can seem to find is more Aluminum storm windows, I thought they had issues with heat gain/loss or something and wood or vinyl was better.

I only have 10 windows that are 32×40 ish. New low-e storms run ~50-100 each, but thats only aluminum.

Feel free to shot me links to read, or books to buy, etc.
Thanks again.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Brian Pontolilo | | #1

    Hi Christopher.

    This FHB article is a few years old now, but should give you some insights and resource to work with: Save Energy with Storm Windows

  2. Chris Redacted | | #2

    Thanks for the replys Brian. I will be sure to read it.

  3. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #3

    The conducted heat loss of the aluminum is of little consequence. A primary energy benefit of new tight storm windows is lower air infiltration. The additional up front cost of hard-coat low-E glazing has a rapid "payback", in most climates, and will recover the entire cost more quickly than new clear-glass storm windows.

    Whether re-mounting with better sealants and re-glazing with low-E glass is more cost effective than replacing the whole storm window with a new tight one isn't easy to assess, but in most cases I'd guess replacement is the better bet.

    There have been several good studies of low-E storm windows in the past couple of decades:

    And blog bits:

    The most air-tight triple track storm windows in the industry are Harvey's Tru-Channel, and they have a l0w-E glazing option:

    Harvey is a northeastern US regional player, and may not be available to you. The Low-E Larson's sold through box stores aren't bad, but there are others.

  4. Chris Redacted | | #4

    Harvey's Tru-Channel need to be installed by a "trained" team. They will not sell them to me at least not that I could find. I guess if I got the outside ready for them then they could zip them in it would be okay, assuming there are contractors that are "trained" in my area.

    Thanks again Dana.

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