Do Inside Storms Offer a Good Opportunity?
I've heard them called "inside storms" and "interior insulating panels" and they've been around in one form or another for many years. Some type of frame is put around a glazing panel–usually plastic–and is then attached to the inside of a window to improve energy performance, reduce drafts, and increase comfort. In this week's news, we have Indow Window, a relatively new entry into this arena, announcing plans to roll out its product and program to dealers nationally.
I'm no expert, but it seems that these products have found some success in the market. They appear to enjoy some popularity for older homes and historic buildings. I know they are also used in urban areas, where apartment owners will turn to such products to reduce noise levels coming in from outside. But these inside storm products have never become hugely popular. Could that change?
That's our poll question of the week. And I know window manufacturers and dealers may be biased against such products–preferring instead to sell a replacement unit versus an interior panel–but I'd love to hear your thoughts on these products. Do they represent a good, cost-effective alternative to window replacement? What are the limitations of such products? What's prevented more widespread market adaptation? Is there a big opportunity still out there? Post a comment or email me and share your thoughts. We'd love to hear from you, particularly those of you who sell or have sold both.
Survey Results as of 08/26/2012:
Interior insulating panels...
Have potential, but available products have had limitations.
Do not present a cost effective alternative to replacement windows.
Are a cost effective alternative for many customers and a good opportunity for dealers.
Our survey results suggest many window and door industry folks see some potential for inside storms, but the numbers don't suggest many see a huge market for these products. The comments below indicate some of the limitations people have encountered over the years. In addition to the comments below, I heard from another reader who noted that he also has a concern about the use of these products on egress windows.
I don't know if the survey results reflect a bias against inside storm products or not. Exterior storm windows were once a big market, but they slowly lost ground to replacement products. There's reason to believe, however, the right storm product at the right price would be a success. It will be interesting to see if one emerges.