In Florida, being prepared and protected against storms (particularly hurricanes) is essential to life in the Florida summer. And having a solid set of hurricane impact windows is vital to safeguard your home and your family. So it’s only natural to want to research to see the best impact windows for your money.
According to one study, roughly 70% of Florida homeowners have invested in defending their homes against climate disasters, and about 40% of Florida homeowners have spent some money to protect their homes against hurricanes specifically. [Source: The Hill, Redfin]
Finding the best impact windows can be difficult because everyone has different goals and criteria for choosing their hurricane windows. Some people prioritize cost, others prioritize strength, and others may prioritize energy efficiency. For this article, we will break down each option objectively so you can be prepared to decide which is the best impact window system for you.
How to Choose the Best Impact Windows for Your Home
A significant part of preparing for hurricanes is protecting your property. That process starts with choosing the best impact windows or accordion shutters for you. However, dozens, if not hundreds, of hurricane-impact windows are on the market, which makes choosing the best impact window for your home challenging, to say the least.
Over the last 30+ years, we’ve helped over 20,000 families protect their homes and families throughout South Florida. In this comprehensive article, we’ll share our experience, explore the world of impact windows, and highlight a few options that will work best depending on your needs. At the end of the day, there is no best hurricane impact window, but there is undoubtedly a “best for you” impact window.
For most of our customers looking for hurricane-impact windows, they are looking for one of four things;
- The strongest possible impact window
- The most cost-effective impact window
- The most energy-efficient impact window
- The best impact window, with no expense spared.
The best impact window is typically a combination of 3 or 4 of the abovementioned criteria. With the wealth of options available on the hurricane window market today, it is possible to get great deals on some of the strongest impact windows.
The Best Impact Windows For Strength
If you are looking for the strongest hurricane impact window, the most critical considerations and features will be:
Determine the strength of an impact window with its PSF Rating
Many hurricane window companies try to mislead Florida homeowners by saying that the thickness of the glass is the most critical factor for determining strength. However, if you ask an engineer, they will always look at the PSF rating. The PSF rating displays how much positive and negative pressure the window can endure before failing. This rating is the only specification that directly correlates with the strength of the impact glass. Don’t get duped.
Reinforced aluminum adds strength to your hurricane window frame
Another essential feature to consider when looking for the best impact window is reinforced aluminum.
A hurricane window, like a chain, is only as strong as its weakest link.
Even if you have the best impact window and glass on the market, if your window frame can’t withstand the immense pressure and force of the storm, your window will fail.
A reinforced aluminum frame will add to the structural integrity of your impact window system. Reinforced aluminum can help your window maintain its shape and keep it securely anchored to your home in far more severe winds than a standard hurricane window frame.
Heat-Strength Glass or an SGP Interlayer can help strengthen your impact window glass
The best impact windows for strength always include Heat-Strength Glass and SGP Interlayers. These options add an additional layer of security and strength to your hurricane window system. On average, these options can double the PSF rating of your window system, which in theory, will help to make your hurricane glass twice as strong.
Although to truly benefit from heat-strength glass or SGP interlayers, it is also recommended to get reinforced aluminum frames. Combining the strongest frame options with the strongest glass options is a vital component of the best impact window options for strength.
The Best Impact Window Brands For Strength
If you want the best impact windows for strength, a few options include reinforced aluminum and heat-strength glass or SGP interlayers.
ES Windows, CGI Windows, and PGT Windows all have windows that fit the bill. However, ES Windows stands out because they offer these options at a far lower cost.
When looking for the best impact windows with reinforced aluminum & heat-strength glass or SGP Interlayer, most brands will charge an additional 30-50%. However, ES Windows does not charge extra for those features; most customers will save around $4,000 with ES Windows compared to other manufacturers, making them the clear winner for customers looking to get the best impact windows for strength.
If you are in the market for the strongest hurricane windows, book your free consultation and quote today. We are a preferred partner with ES Windows and five other major manufacturers, and we can help you get the lowest prices on all the top hurricane window brands. With 20,000 families protected and over 1,000 five-star reviews online, we are South Florida’s most trusted provider of hurricane windows and accordion shutters.
What Are The Most Cost-Effective Impact Windows?
There are a few clear winners when considering strength, cost, durability, and energy efficiency. Let’s break down the top three:
No. 1 • ES Windows Multimax ES-MX1000 (Best)
The Multimax line by ES is the most cost-effective hurricane-impact window system on the market. No other manufacturer offers the strength that ES does at their price. ESW Multimax line costs roughly the same as most other manufacturers, but ES Windows includes options such as reinforced aluminum and heat-strength glass as standard. In contrast, other manufacturers charge 30-50% more for these options. That’s why ES Windows is our vote for the best impact window brand for strength.
- PSF Rating:
- +80/-80 PSF
- Standard Glass Package:
- 5/16″ Laminated Heat Strengthened Glass
- Frame Warranty:
- 10-year Warranty
- Laminated Glass Warranty:
- 10-year Warranty
- Stress Crack Warranty:
- 3-year Warranty
No. 2 • ECO 100-Series
The ECO 100 and the 700 series both come with heat-strength glass as a standard, similar to ES Windows. However, the quality and finishing on the ECO line are less polished than the ES Windows line and typically can’t compete.
The Best Impact Windows For Energy Efficiency
There are a few excellent options to consider when looking for the best impact windows for energy efficiency. Let’s start by explaining the options for hurricane windows that can help decrease your carbon footprint and energy bill.
Best impact window energy efficiency options
Low-E or Low-Emissivity can improve an impact window’s thermal performance and energy efficiency. A Low-E coating adds a thin metallic oxide coating to the surface of the impact glass. This coating helps deflect infrared energy and heat, allowing visible light to pass through the window. This coating can help prevent heat transfer, reduce the energy required to cool your home, and also help to keep heat inside your house (if or when it gets cold.) Low-E Coatings are among the most important components in the best impact window builds for energy efficiency.
Argon-Insulated glass features a sealed air space between the glass panes on a hurricane window filled with argon gas. Argon is a non-toxic, odorless, and inert gas that can help insulate your windows from thermal transfer.
Argon is a poor conductor of heat; because of this, when Argon gas is used in the interlayer of a hurricane window, it can prevent heat from transferring through the window, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
There are a variety of tints available in colors ranging from bronze to gray to green, and even tints specifically designed to keep turtles safe near coastal communities. Tints can help to prevent light and heat from transferring inside your home.
Vinyl Window Frames
Vinyl frames are less conductive to heat and can prevent heat loss in colder climates. Although typically, they are not worth the additional investment in Florida because they do not perform as well in warmer temperatures.
The best impact window brands for energy efficiency
Almost all of the top manufacturers offer the appropriate options for energy efficiency. However, ES Windows typically provides the best pricing for energy-efficiency options.
But first, let’s break down how much energy-efficient options cost on average and who offers what:
- All five of our top manufacturers provide options for Low-E Coatings and argon-gas insulation.
- Argon Insulated glass will cost an additional 15-20% with most manufacturers.
- Low-E will cost an additional 10-15% with most manufacturers.
- ES Windows charges an additional 10-12% for Low-E coatings with a gray or bronze tint, while other manufacturers charge 20-22% extra.
- ES Windows Low-E with Tint will look like a true gray or bronze tint, while other manufacturers’ Low-E with tint options will add a shade of green due to the Low-E’s natural color.
What is the best impact window brand?
So, what is the best impact window for the money?
In conclusion, each person can interpret which hurricane windows are best differently. Although, some objective truths are that ES Windows currently offers the best bang-for-your-buck options. However, its always wise to get an expert opinion. Get in touch with us for a free consultation and quote. We’ve helped over 20,000 families find the best impact window system for their homes. We will inspect your home and help you choose the best hurricane windows for your needs.
Why Choose Assured Storm Protection?
Trusted Hurricane Service Provider for over 30 years
All prices are subject to change without notice.
This article is not kept up to date with current pricing.
Please contact us for the most up-to-date pricing.