Hurricane Shutters vs. Impact Windows – why it matters

Which is Better, Hurricane Shutters or Impact Windows?

Hurricane Shutters and Impact Windows are both excellent hurricane protection products that can protect your home during a storm, but which is best for your home? While the decision is subjective and challenging, our guidance is always simple. It all boils down to budget and your value of aesthetics and convenience. We’ll make it easy with our 30-second solution finder tool.

Impact Windows vs Hurricane Shutters, side-by-side comparison. Home with Supernova Accordion Hurricane Shutters next to a home with ES Windows Installed in South Florida

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Let’s break the decision between hurricane shutters and impact windows into three categories for simplicity’s sake—rank which of these three factors is most important to you from 1 to 5.

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How the solution finder works

If you ranked cost as your most important factor and home aesthetic and convenience as half or lower than your ranked cost, you likely were recommended hurricane shutters. If you ranked home aesthetics or convenience highly, you likely got impact windows as your recommended hurricane protection option.

But if you said your windows are over 20 years old, you were likely recommended to get impact windows, regardless of your choice, because it’s cheaper to get impact windows in the long run if your current windows need to be replaced soon. Buying new traditional windows and hurricane shutters together is often more expensive than getting impact windows alone.

But you don’t have to trust our tool; let’s break down the benefits individually.

If your windows are over 20 years old…

Hurricane-rated impact windows are the best option if your windows are over 20 years old.

Getting impact windows vs. hurricane shutters is far more cost-effective the older your existing windows are. According to the general rule of thumb for window replacement, the average window in South Florida must be replaced within 20-30 years of its installation. If your windows are within the average timeframe for replacement, it’s often much more affordable to get hurricane windows than to get both traditional windows and hurricane shutters separately.

Which Are The Best Windows?
We’ll break down all the top brands so you can make an informed decision

Windows vs. Shutters: Hurricane Shutters Win On Affordability and Pricing

Generally, you’ll spend 3-4 times less on accordion shutters than impact windows. For budget-conscious Floridian homeowners looking for an affordable way to safeguard their homes from hurricane damage, hurricane shutters like our Supernova Accordion Shutter are an excellent option.

Learn more about shutter and window pricing and impact window pricing

Windows or Shutters: Impact Windows Are Far More Convenient

Comparing hurricane shutters to impact windows, hurricane windows require no setup before a storm to be ready to protect your home, but virtually all hurricane shutters will require some setup on your part before they are prepared to protect your home.

The deployment process is relatively easy for accordion shutters, typically taking less than an hour to close and lock your shutters. Still, the process for hurricane panels is far more cumbersome, normally requiring a full day of manual labor hauling rather heavy aluminum panels around your home.

Impact windows remove entirely the need for setup before a storm (other than ensuring your windows are closed and locked). In comparing impact windows vs. accordion shutters, windows win on convenience. But both accordion shutters and impact windows are relatively convenient compared to hurricane panels.

ES Hurricane Impact Windows provide better around the clock protection compared to hurricane shutters.

Impact Windows Provide All-Day, Everyday Protection

While both our hurricane windows and hurricane shutters provide equal and more than adequate protection from hurricanes, impact windows go beyond protecting your home from tropical weather threats; since your protection is permanently installed, windows can also help protect you from everyday threats like theft or break-ins, rogue baseballs, and everyday ordinary storms.

In comparison, hurricane shutters can only protect your home from these threats while they are closed and locked. Many homeowner associations throughout South Florida prohibit having your shutters or panels closed outside of tropical storms or hurricane watches or warnings, so they are essentially only effective at preventing everyday damage immediately before and during a storm. This means that if you’re looking for a solution that provides always-on protection, impact windows might be the best choice.

Hurricane Shutters & Impact Windows & Insurance Benefits

Both hurricane shutters and impact windows provide equivalent benefits for insurance premium savings, but hurricane shutters, in particular, can be problematic with insurance claims in some situations.

When you report to your insurance company that you have hurricane protection and receive premium discounts, there is a precedent that you will deploy your shutters whenever a potentially damaging storm threatens your area. If you do not deploy your hurricane shutters during a storm or hurricane, and there is property damage, your insurance company may deny your claim, saying that you could have taken reasonable steps (deploying your hurricane shutters) to mitigate the loss.

For hassle-free insurance benefits and claims, hurricane windows are the best option. Still, if you are religious about closing your hurricane shutters before a storm, you’ll likely avoid any problems with insurance benefits or claims with hurricane shutters.

Impact Windows Provide Greater Noise Reduction, UV Protection, and Energy Efficiency.

Impact windows provide more than just excellent hurricane protection; they help protect your home from various threats and annoyances and can even help you save some money.

Noise Dampening

The standard hurricane window has three-layer glass far thicker than traditional windows, providing excellent noise-dampening. Your neighboors construction projects or parties are much les of an issue with hurricane impact windows.

UV Reduction

All hurricane windows have a coating that blocks 99% of UV light from entering your home, protecting your skin, furniture, and other contents from damaging UV rays.

Energy Efficiency

Due to the reduction of UV rays, a lower heat-transfer coefficient, and improved insulation, impact windows also help you save on energy costs and help keep your home cool during the blackouts that frequently happen after a powerful hurricane.

Impact Windows Provide Greater Curb Appeal and Property Value

If you’re concerned with your home’s curb appeal, impact windows are a no-brainer option. Since they are just far stronger versions of traditional windows, they will blend seamlessly into your home’s existing aesthetic. Additionally, with windows, you have complete control of your window installation, including your window’s style, color, and design. Impact windows are the only form of hurricane protection where your home often looks far better than before the installation.

Also, adding impact windows to your home can increase property value to a far greater degree than just installing accordion shutters. On average, hurricane windows can increase the average Florida home’s market value by 5-15%.

Are hurricane shutters worth the investment?

Hurricane protection in a hurricane-prone area such as South Florida is always worth the investment, and hurricane shutters are currently the most cost-effective way of protecting your home.

It only takes one storm to cause massive damage, and the physical damage of a hurricane takes its toll, as does the stress and worry of living through the storm and its aftermath. Quite a few of our customers who lived through hurricanes with massive damage to their homes shared heartbreaking stories of having to stand against their doors to keep them closed for hours as winds raged, sleeping in their homes exposed to mosquitoes and other pests after the storm subsided, spending weeks in the limited amount of hotels still left with minimal damage as they waited for repairs to their homes, picking up the pieces of the damage to items that insurance couldn’t replace like family photos, heirlooms, and sentimental items.

While home insurance helps to replace the damage, there are some things home insurance can’t replace and protect you from that excellent hurricane protection, like hurricane shutters and impact windows, can protect you from.

Are impact windows worth the investment?

While much of the value of Hurricane Windows is subjective based on your individual preferences, many key benefits help justify the impact of Windows’ higher price tag.

  • With hurricane windows, you never have to worry about deploying your hurricane protection. Your windows are always ready to protect your home (as long as you keep them closed and locked when they’re not in use).
  • The increase in home value, the increased energy efficiency, reduced wear on furniture and other contents of your home from UV damage, and insurance premium benefits alone will help to offset the price difference between hurricane shutters and impact windows.
  • Your impact windows always stand ready to protect your home, regardless of the threat, whether a major hurricane or a rogue baseball from your neighbor’s kids.

Assured Storm Protection is Florida’s Top Choice for Hurricane Impact Windows & Shutters

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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.