Can Impact Windows Withstand a Category 5 Hurricane?
As a South Florida homeowner, you are likely no stranger to hurricanes and the harsh winds that can impact your home. Regular windows cannot handle the wind and debris that hit the glass during a Category 5 hurricane. Category 5 hurricanes have the strongest winds, requiring specialized windows to prevent them from shattering.
If you are installing impact windows for your home, you may be wondering what level of protection they provide against harsh winds. Fortunately, impact windows can withstand category 5 hurricane winds and flying debris. The window frames and glass keep you safe even during the most severe storms.
However, to ensure you receive this level of protection, you need to work with an experienced installation team. A professional window installer will pick the right impact windows for your conditions. Impact windows in South Florida must receive a Notice of Acceptance that proves it has gone through wind-load calculations.
Once the windows have passed the test and it can withstand Category 5 wind speeds, you will need to apply for permits. All impact window installations must have a building permit that meets specific requirements. National Glass & Construction will work to ensure you have the correct permits for the project and the windows installed in your home meet strict quality standards.
What Kind of Energy Savings Do Impact Windows Provide?
When you install impact windows, you are not only receiving more durable windows, you are also getting energy-efficiency benefits for your home. You will receive lower energy bills and have a more comfortable home by investing in impact windows. The impact window’s frames will keep hot air out and the glass will reduce the UV rays entering the home.
According to the U.S Department of Energy, upgrading to more energy-efficient windows like impact windows gave homeowners 7%-15% savings on their energy bills annually. As South Florida homeowners, better energy efficiency will make a massive difference during the summer months when your home needs the most help staying cool.
What is Low-E Glass? Is it the Same as Tint?
Low-E, or low emissivity glass, has a specialized coating that will reduce the ultraviolet and infrared rays that pass through the glass. The coating reflects the unwanted damaging UV rays while still letting the natural light shine through into your home. Some of the top benefits of having Low-E glass windows are:
- Better Energy-
- Reduced Glare Inside the Home
- Keeps Home Cooler
- Reduces UV Damage
Unlike window tint, Low-E glass coating is completely transparent and does not affect the appearance of natural light in your home. Additionally, Low-E glass does a better job of reflecting heat away from the property. While the initial investment will be higher than the window tint, the energy savings will be much better with Low-E glass.
What Are The Differences Between Impact Windows and Regular Windows?
There are several key differences between regular windows and impact windows. The most crucial difference is the construction of the window, with impact windows having a more durable design. Impact windows have multiple layers of shatter-resistant glass encased in a strong metal frame.
For an impact window or door to be rated for hurricane conditions, they must undergo extensive testing. The windows are put through a series of tests to ensure they offer water ingress and air filtration resistance as part of the testing. The testing will find if the window offers proper protection and does not shatter or allow water to enter the property.
Regular windows typically have a single layer of glass that is not rated to protect your home from flying debris or strong winds. When there is a hurricane, placing shutters over the regular windows is necessary. The regular window design can break, causing water and intense winds to enter your home.
Regular windows are also a liability for potential burglars who can easily break the window to enter your home. Impact windows require no preparation to keep you safe inside your home. You will have one less thing to worry about during a potential hurricane and maintain the beautiful appearance of your home.
Can you Convert a Regular Window to an Impact Window?
If you want to give your home’s current windows an upgrade, you can replace your regular window with an impact window. Unfortunately, you can’t convert a regular window by replacing only the glass with an impact-rated version. Impact windows is more than just glass, it also includes frame and hardware which all require approval to create one complete system. The current windows will need to be removed from your home, and the impact-resistant windows will be put in their place.
It’s important you work with a qualified window installation team that will install your windows properly. If your impact window is not installed correctly, you could miss out on receiving the maximum amount of protection for your home. Working with a team like us at National Glass & Construction will ensure a successful replacement of your regular windows.