The House Detective: by Barry Stone, Certified Home Inspector
Dear Barry: We have old steel frame windows in our home and would like to minimize heat loss. Rather than install dual-pane replacement windows, we’d like to install inside windows and leave the old windows in place. This might not look as good, but we don’t want the mess and expense of removing the old windows. Do you think this is a good idea? Walter
Dear Walter: Adding interior windows will reduce some heat loss from your home, but vinyl-frame, dual-pane replacement windows will do this much more effectively and with much less mess that you expect.
Removal of the old windows does not involve removing the frames from the walls. When replacement windows are installed, the old glass and dividers are taken out, but not the frames that are embedded the siding. The replacement windows are installed over the old metal frames.
Before deciding which way to go, check out the prices for replacement windows, and discuss the replacement procedures with the window installer.