My relationship with our triple-track aluminum storm windows is kinda rocky. It reminds me of my relationship with a boy in high school who one day I’d think was the bees knees (you know, when I was a teenager in the 1940s) and then the next day, or hour, I’d think he was the biggest jerk on the planet.

Yeah, that’s pretty much how I feel about the storms.

I hate them because they are ugly. Many of the screens are dry-rotted (can metal rot?) or something to the point that they’re in shreds, some with big holes gauged or cut in them. Then there are the shiny aluminum frames and the pinchy things you have to push in to open them and the big sheets of dusty glass hiding my pretty old windows.

And yet I love them because they let me open the windows without letting bugs in and the cats out. Ok, that only applies to the ones without shredded screens. Also, they allegedly reduce the amount of cold air gushing into my house in the winter, and they protect the old wood windows from the elements.

So what to do, what to do? Around here, cold is a factor from late November through February. Nuclear-level heat takes over from June to September, so we have to keep the A/C on and the windows shut.

That leaves four months of the year (March, April, May, October) when window-opening is a priority. So far this year we haven’t opened them much because the outdoors have been hotter than the indoors. And one night when we left the window open in our bedroom, a mosquito got in and woke us up whining in our ears and biting our shoulders.

If we’re willing to forego the cold-prevention thing, we could take off the storms and get screens only for the lower halves of the windows we most commonly open.

The front half of the house (the part without aluminum siding) already has no storm windows, and I haven’t noticed any significant difference in temperature.

The usual This Old House-ish suggestion is wooden storms that can be changed with the seasons – glass for winter, screen for summer. That would N-O-T work for us. We are way too busy (and yet also lazy) to make that switch twice a year. If the Christmas tree is any indication, we’d finally get the glass up halfway through the winter and the screens up halfway through the summer. And then what’s the point?

Part of me would love to just impulsively take them all down and figure out a solution later. The other part (the one that has a voice remarkably like D’s) says “Don’t you already have enough to do without worrying about this right now?”

posted by K | filed under Exterior, Extreme Temps | 7 Comments


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