Window-Shopping Tips: How to Choose Impact Windows

Impact windows are an essential feature of any Florida home. The state’s frequent thunderstorms and hurricane season make them a necessity. Keep in mind that not all impact windows can provide the same level of protection. 

What are the factors you need to consider when choosing new impact windows? 


Durability would naturally be the most important quality of impact windows and doors. Impact-resistant windows and doors have heavy-duty frames and laminated glass that don’t break away from your windows or doors when they’re hit by strong winds or wind-driven debris. The laminated glass is made of two panes that are bonded through a special silicone glazing process. 

Frame Material 

Most contractors would recommend choosing a window with a heavy-duty extruded aluminum frame. Try to look for an aluminum window replacement coated with electrostatic paint—this special type of paint has minimal maintenance needs. 

Energy-Efficient Features 

To keep indoor temperatures at a comfortable level, make sure to choose energy-efficient impact windows. Features you should look for in an energy-efficient impact window include laminated insulating

glass, heat-reducing glass tints, and hi-performance low-E selections. Remember that a few green features don’t necessarily make a window energy-efficient—you need to take into account window performance as well.

ENERGY STAR®, a government-run program, certifies windows and doors that have passed its stringent standards. Simply look for the ENERGY STAR label on impact windows and doors. Don’t forget to check the NFRC ratings underneath the label. Here’s an overview of what these ratings mean: 

  • U-factor – The U-factor gives you an idea of a window’s insulative capabilities. The higher a window’s U-factor, the better it can prevent heat transfer. 
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – The SHGC indicates how much heat from the sun can pass through a window. The lower a window’s SHGC, the less heat that can pass through its window glass. 
  • Visible transmittance – A window’s visible transmittance rating gives you an idea of how much sunlight can pass through a window’s glass panes. The higher the visible transmittance rating, the more natural lighting a window can provide. 
  • Air leakage – The air leakage rating, as the term suggests, gives you an idea of how much air can enter their homes through windows. The lower the air leakage rating, the fewer drafts a window will let in. 

Looking for impact windows and impact doors near me? Prestige Windows & Doors offers a wide variety of premium windows and doors. To schedule an appointment, call us at (305) 820-5999 or fill out this form.