Inside Storm Windows
Although there is a traditional tendency to regard storm windows as being somehow cheap and flimsy, this certainly does not need to be the case. Windows built with quality materials and installed well can provide a high degree of comfort and insulation to your room, and save you money at the same time.
The most difficult choice of all to make is the one which must be made right at the start. If you feel that your windows are no longer doing the job well enough, you have several possibilities. The most obvious one is to replace the entire unit, but this can take a huge investment of both time and money. There will be considerable disruption to your household, even if it is only the windows of one room which are being replaced. The results will nearly always be worth it in terms of improved insulation, but the time and expense may simply be too high for the job to be worth doing.
Fitting interior storm windows is the most obvious alternative, as it provides some of the benefits of completely new windows with only a fraction of the disruption and expense. Interior windows will have the effect of trapping the air in a pocket between the two windows, providing an effective insulation of the room inside. This will lead to a reduction in heating bills as long as the settings on the heating system are adjusted down. Interior windows are the easiest to fit, the easiest to clean and maintain, and can also be removed relatively easily if the circumstances demand it.
Another possible alternative to inside storm windows is outside or exterior storm windows. These are far less common, as they are more expensive and harder to fit, but they can be the right option in some cases. If your windows are set well in to the wall, so that there is no obvious fitting place on the inside, exterior windows can be easier to fit. They can also do the job of insulation far more effectively as the are able to trap a large pocket of air. The other main reason for using these windows is that they protect the main windows from weather damage.
Another potential advantage of indoor storm windows is their capacity for soundproofing the room from outside noises. To do this effectively, they will need to be made from a more robust material and be better constructed than many of the lightweight windows which are commonly seen. If traffic noise, or noise from a nearby building, is a problem for you, it can certainly be worth making the extra investment in a more solid construction. A good quality storm window can last for half a century, and still be performing as well at the end as it was at the start.
The actual fitting process for inside storm windows is nowhere near as complicated as that for the main windows, and if the materials have been measured properly it should be easy. Anyone who is reasonably adept at carrying out home improvement work should be able to do the job themselves and save even further money. If your time is more valuable, you can always use the services of a professional window installer, and they should make light of the work as long as there are no unusual shapes or designs. You should then be able to easily maintain your inside storm windows.