In the last few years, impact windows and doors have become extremely popular in South Florida. Let’s take a look at the industry of hurricane-proof doors and windows, and discuss why impact windows are becoming the most commonly chosen method of hurricane window protection.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggests multiple studies about the impact of climate change and global warming on hurricanes. Their latest research has shown that:
Almost all major atmospheric and oceanic scientists agree – the intensity of hurricane season will continue to grow as the planet becomes warmer. Floridians and those all-around hurricane-prone areas are taking notice of this, and investing in protecting their homes.
The Florida Building Code (FBC) prescribes several performance and construction requirements for exterior windows and doors statewide. If you live anywhere in Florida that is located within the wind-borne debris region, all new doors and windows must have hurricane protection. This protection includes impact windows & doors.
This code applies throughout all of Florida, from Naples and Sarasota to Boca Raton and Miami. However, some counties – like Miami-Dade County and Broward County – have even more stringent requirements for building codes.
For your home to be Miami-Dade approved, it must meet HVHZ (High-Velocity Hurricane Zones) requirements. All exterior openings – both residential and commercial – must either be protected against hurricane-blown, wind-borne debris. Homes in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and many other counties must meet these requirements when installing replacement windows and doors.
It may often be cheaper to get impact-resistant windows than it is to replace both your windows and hurricane shutters. The hurricane windows cost has decreased in the last few years, so it may be a better financial option to replace your windows with impact windows. We recommend contacting a reputable company in South Florida like Wrights Impact Window & Door for an accurate quote and estimate.
Heat gain and heat loss through windows may be responsible for up to 30% of your heating and cooling costs, according to the Department of Energy. If you choose the right impact-resistant windows, you can minimize this heat loss, and keep your power bills down.
Compared to traditional windows, impact windows are thicker, stronger, and more durable. Also, some types of impact windows include features like argon gas layers, which help insulate the window and prevent heat loss, providing it with a high R-value (insulating value).
In Florida, it’s also essential to look for impact windows with a low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). A lower SHGC means that less heat is allowed into your house by the window. In a hot climate, you want to minimize solar heat gain and UV radiation to help keep your home cool.
While energy-efficient impact windows may be a bit more expensive, the overall savings you’ll enjoy can easily outweigh the higher up-front costs.
The other big way that impact windows can help you save is by reducing your insurance bill. Even if you’re in an area where building codes do not legally mandate impact windows and hurricane-proof doors, you can save big on your monthly home insurance bills if you take steps to hurricane-proof your home.
Homes in Florida have the highest overall insurance premiums in America, mostly due to risks like wind and water damage from severe storms and hurricanes. However, impact windows can help prevent wind damage to the inside of your home, and also prevent water damage from heavy rainstorms during a hurricane.
If you live in a wind-prone area, the addition of high-quality impact windows and doors to your home may be able to save up to 10-15% on your homeowner’s insurance policy or more. Given that the average cost of annual premiums in Florida is over $2,000, this adds up to quite a bit of money over the lifetime of your windows!
PACE (property assessed clean energy) financing is available for impact windows in Punta Gorda, West Palm Beach, and elsewhere in South Florida and the rest of the state.
You can finance your impact windows and doors even without a high credit score, and the cost of the improvements can be added to your annual tax assessment.
There are many reasons why impact windows and doors are becoming so popular in South Florida, and even on the West Coast of Florida, which traditionally has a lower risk of hurricanes.
Impact windows are more affordable than ever and offer you the ability to reduce both your insurance and power bills. And with a vast variety of styles and excellent PACE financing options, it’s easier than ever to protect your home.
So don’t wait. Make sure you are abiding by all South Florida requirements for protecting your home against hurricanes. If you’re interested in new windows, you should consider impact windows from a reputable company such as Wrights Impact Window and Door.