The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program recently hosted a webinar to address questions and provide clarifications regarding  a product specification for exterior and interior storm panels, which are also called storm windows.

Energy Star is considering a specification for storm windows because many of these products now carry low-E glass. Research conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory shows that low-E storm panels can reduce heating and cooling energy use by 5 percent to 14 percent over clear glass storm panels. Storm panels are installed in about 500,000 homes annually, but only about 10 percent currently use low-E glass. According to the webinar, it’s because there is lack of recognition by energy rating and certification systems.

A key benefit of storm windows with low-E glass is affordability — they have an expected incremental payback period of about five years or less.

The proposed specification would include products that meet the definitions of exterior and interior storm panels that are intended for use in residential buildings. The specification would not cover exterior storm panels without weep holes or other features that allow moisture to drain from between the storm panel and primary window; partial components of exterior or interior storm panels; storm doors or door inserts; and other related fenestration attachments, including window films, curtains, blinds, shades, shutters, awnings and jalousie windows.

Energy Star has released a framework document regarding the storm window specification. It can be found here.

Please send framework document comments to Windows@energystar.gov by February 12, 2016.

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