What Is Better: Impact Windows vs Hurricane Shutters

If you live in an area prone to severe storms, you may be asking yourself what is better, impact windows vs hurricane shutters? There is no one right answer to this question. Both have their own advantages, and your personal preferences and existing home setup will influence your decision as well. In general, both are good investments that help protect you from the hurricanes and tropical storms that so often pass through the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast.

Keep reading to gain expert insights into the advantages of impact windows vs hurricane shutters, get answers to frequently asked questions, and make an informed decision.

After asking what is better, impact windows or hurricane shutters, this local homeowner decided to go with both with help from Acadian Windows

Table of Contents:

Impact Windows

A diagram showing each part of our impact glass, including a heavy-duty multi-chambered vinyl frame, impact-resistant laminated glass, and a third piece of glass for insulation

Impact windows are named as such because they greatly reduce the impact that occurs when they are hit by flying debris, burglars, or other forms of impact. In other words, the glass that is utilized in these types of windows is impact-resistant. It is also multi-layered and shatter-proof, meaning that if it does sustain damage, you’ll be dealing with a crack in your window rather than shards of glass on your floor.

We also go a step further at Acadian Windows, ensuring that our impact windows meet the country’s most stringent wind codes, as we know just how powerful and damaging winds can be in our region.

Advantages of Impact Windows

A house that demonstrates the value of impact windows over hurricane shutters, providing constant protection against wind, rain, debris, UV rays, noise, and even theft

Why is it important to have impact windows? The potential consequences of having your windows break open during a storm can be dire. Not only will you most likely experience a tremendous amount of damage from wind, rain, and debris, but those powerful winds going through your home also greatly increase the chances that your house’s structure, particularly its roof, will not last the storm.

In fact, in some parts of the country, impact windows are required. According to the Florida Building Code (FBC), windows must be impact-resistant or otherwise protected against impact in areas within a mile of the coast where wind speeds are 130 mph or higher, and anywhere where wind speeds are 140 mph or higher.

There are also benefits to consider that are unrelated to storms:

  • UV Rays: Impact windows greatly reduce the UV rays that go through them as compared to normal windows. This results in added protection for your rugs and furniture, as well as the people and pets that are inside your home.
  • Noise: Impact windows also reduce outside noises. This is particularly beneficial if you live in a high-traffic area, allowing you to create a quieter, more relaxing environment inside your home.
  • Security: Another benefit to take into account is impact windows’ ability to protect your home from robberies and other types of break-ins. For example, impact windows in a Florida home were repeatedly attacked by a burglar without breaking.

Limitations of Impact Windows

Impact windows are an excellent layer of protection for your home, but they do have some limitations.

One consideration to keep in mind is that if a heavy object does crash into your impact window at a high rate of speed, it can still crack your glass. Your home’s interior will be safe, but your impact window should be replaced.

Impact windows also lack several benefits provided by hurricane shutters, such as shade from the sun and aesthetic value.

Hurricane Shutters

A house showcasing some of the disadvantages of impact windows vs hurricane shutters, which improve a home's curb appeal

Hurricane shutters are exterior shutters that provide outside coverage and protection for your windows. Unlike decorative shutters, hurricane shutters are specifically made to protect windows from high wind, heavy rain, and airborne debris. They create a barrier between your windows and storms.

At Acadian Windows, our hurricane shutters are made from aluminum to offer top-quality durability, attractive color and design options, and easy maintenance and use.

Advantages of Hurricane Shutters

The main advantage of hurricane shutters is the same as impact windows: protecting your home from damage during a storm. Hurricane shutters and impact windows are both able to reduce the likelihood that your windows will be broken, helping to keep your family, possessions, and property safe.

While impact windows reinforce the glass of the windows themselves, hurricane shutters help prevent outside elements from reaching your windows in the first place. Hurricane shutters are generally more affordable than impact windows, making them an excellent choice for homeowners on a budget. If your home faces severe enough conditions to sustain damage, it will often be cheaper to replace broken hurricane shutters as opposed to broken impact windows.

Additional benefits of hurricane shutters include:

  • Shade: When hurricane shutters are closed, they can reduce the amount of light and heat entering your home.
  • Noise: Like impact glass, hurricane shutters add another barrier between you and the outside world, helping to dampen noise.
  • Aesthetics: Another benefit of hurricane shutters vs impact windows is their aesthetic appeal. With shutters, you can enhance the look of your home with a variety of attractive styles and colors.

Limitations of Hurricane Shutters

While hurricane shutters have significant advantages to offer, there are also a few limitations to be aware of.

When closed, hurricane shutters can make your home’s interior quite dark, even if it is still light outside. During a storm, this can cause you to use more of your limited battery power to provide illumination if your electricity has gone out.

Something else to consider when making this decision is that hurricane shutters do need to be set up before a storm. If you take your shutters down when storm season ends, you’ll need to put them back up each year.

Even if you have shutters installed that you leave on year-round, you’ll need to make sure that they are closed and, if needed, latched. Although this is often a simple enough task, it is still something that you must remember to do before a storm arrives, or else your shutters will not offer you any protection.

Impact Windows vs Hurricane Shutters: How About Both?

A local home that decided not to choose between impact windows or hurricane shutters, deciding both were bestIf you’re still left asking yourself what is better, impact windows vs hurricane shutters, there is another option. Rather than choosing between them, you can use them both to give your house an even greater degree of protection.

Hurricane shutters can act as the first line of defense for your windows during storms. If a hurricane or tropical storm is bad enough to damage your shutters, it will be less expensive to replace them than your impact windows, which will likely still be intact behind the shutters. If your hurricane shutters sustain such severe damage that they completely break off, your house will still have a high degree of protection to fall back on with your impact windows.

Impact Window and Hurricane Shutter FAQs

Are Impact Windows as Strong as Hurricane Shutters?

Impact windows are absolutely as strong as hurricane shutters. In fact, in many cases, impact windows are the stronger, more durable option of the two. However, hurricane shutters still offer a significant amount of protection, and other factors may result in them being the best selection for you.

Are Hurricane Shutters Cheaper than Impact Windows?

Yes, hurricane shutters are generally more affordable than impact windows. However, that is only when looking at the initial expense. Keep in mind that impact windows tend to last longer, which can save money in the long run if they do not need to be replaced. Impact windows can also result in savings on your energy bills and insurance premiums. In other words, many homeowners find that impact windows are worth the added upfront investment.

How Much Do Impact Windows Increase Home Value?

Impact windows do tend to increase home value, but the exact amount will depend on a number of other factors. They can protect your home from damages and offer potential buyers a house that is safer from storms. Impact windows are also good at preventing burglaries through windows, reducing noise pollution, and filtering out harmful UV rays. For these reasons, some experts estimate you can get as high as around 80% ROI when you install impact windows.

Do You Need to Put Up Shutters if You Have Impact Windows?

You do not necessarily need to put up hurricane shutters if you have impact windows. Impact windows will significantly improve your windows’ protection from storm damage on their own. However, having even more layers of protection is never a bad thing.

In an especially severe storm or hurricane, your impact windows can still become damaged. If you put up hurricane shutters, you further reduce the risk of damage to your windows. Hurricane shutters will often be less costly to replace than impact windows if it comes to that, and the cost of installing either or both of these can be far less than the cost of storm damage inside your home.

Get the Gulf Coast’s Best Impact Windows and Hurricane Shutters

Impact windows and hurricane shutters are both valuable tools in defending against the hurricanes and tropical storms that so often hammer our area of the country. Are you deciding which is better, impact windows vs hurricane shutters? Or perhaps you’re considering whether you should get them both added to your home? Reach out to Acadian Windows, and our local experts will help you find the best option for your home.

We are always happy to answer your questions and share our vast knowledge about the high-quality impact windows and hurricane shutters we provide. No matter what you choose, we proudly provide a professional, thorough installation process.

To find out more about what we can offer to help protect you against storms, contact us today. We serve over 100 cities in Louisiana and Mississippi and can be reached by any of the following methods: