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Is There a Difference Between Impact Windows and Hurricane Windows?

Thanks to the huge risks hurricanes, high-velocity winds, and tornadoes pose, Floridians understand the importance of choosing sturdy windows designed for the local weather.

However, it’s easy to get confused when choosing the right windows for their homes. For instance, you may have seen several blogs use “impact windows” and “hurricane windows” interchangeably.

So the question is: “are impact windows and hurricane windows the same, or is there a difference between them?”

Is there a difference between impact windows and hurricane windows?

The short answer is YES.

While they share some similarities, impact windows differ from hurricane windows in several ways.

Since they are two different products, you need to know what each offers to enable you to choose the right one for your needs.

How do impact windows and hurricane windows differ?

Glass technology

Hurricane windows are made of a thin layer of laminate between the glass panes. Impact windows, on the other hand, are a lot thicker. They are made of multiple layers of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or PET laminated glass between the glass sheets.

Resistance against damage

Hurricane windows are only designed to provide resistance against wind and will do little to prevent debris and other projectiles from flying into your home.

Thanks to their sturdier construction, impact windows protect against wind and will not crack or shatter when flying debris hits.

Type of window frames

When installing hurricane windows, the standard window frames will work just fine and do not need to be replaced. On the contrary, impact windows are heavier and need wider, stronger frames for support.

Insulation and energy efficiency

With their thicker panes, impact windows offer better energy efficiency than hurricane windows, saving you money in the long run. They also block out external noise and enable you to listen to music without disturbing your neighbors.


Hurricane windows are cheaper to install than impact windows, which is understandable.

Impact windows are made of thicker materials, require heavier frames, and are installed by an experienced and trained team. While the initial cost of installation is higher, impact windows pay for themselves over time.

Hurricane windows or impact windows: Which is the better option?