Impact Windows vs Accordion Shutters: What's Best for Miami Residents?

(updated 4/2021)

Choosing between accordion shutters and impact windows is not an easy decision for many homeowners in Miami. There are many factors to consider such as strength, durability, appearance, and cost, but it all depends on what factors matter to you.

If you’re currently on the market for new or replacement windows, it is vital to consider the pros and cons of both options and make an informed decision.


What Is the Need for Window Protection in Miami?

When you live in a high-risk hurricane zone, nothing is more important than protecting your home, family, and pets against strong winds and debris. Miami is known as a city with frequent hurricanes, which occur mostly from June through November.

According to the Florida Building Code for Miami-Dade County, newly built homes must have either hurricane impact windows or exterior protection used over the non-impact windows.

In the path of a hurricane, you want to be confident that you have made every effort to protect your property and loved ones from the threats of heavy storms. Hurricane protection is a substantial business, and there’s a variety of options to consider. Let’s discuss the most common and find out which one has the edge over the other.


The Pros and Cons of Accordion Shutters

Accordion shutters are among the most popular types of hurricane shutters. They are an economical way to protect your home from hurricanes and are the near-default option homeowners choose in Miami. 

These storm shutters are permanently installed and fold up like an accordion when not in use. Typically, you’ll see accordion hurricane shutters made from metal or polycarbonate.


The Pros:

1) Inexpensive

Both commercial and residential property owners prefer accordion shutters because they’re cheap and easy to install. Buyers can also opt for other types of hurricane shutters such as automatic roll-down shutters, Bahama shutters, colonial shutters, and storm panel hurricane shutters.

Accordion shutters price ranges from $15-$20 per square foot, which is quite affordable to most Miami homeowners.

2) Easy to Use

Accordion shutters are permanently connected beside the windows, so no extra storage is required. They are fast and easy to open before a storm.

3)Adequate Protection

Although accordion shutters don’t offer better storm protection than impact windows, they are better than many other options such as plywood boards or storm panels.


The Cons:

Some of the disadvantages of accordion shutters are:

  • If you are replacing windows with non-impact resistant windows and add accordion shutters, it would be more expensive than installing new hurricane impact windows and doors.
  • Old accordion shutters can actually become dangerous debris in a hurricane if they are not well installed and maintained.
  • Accordion shutters lack visual appeal, and thus, affect the curb appeal of your home.
  • They off little insulation against exterior noise.
  • Accordion shutters don’t allow much light into the house when closed, preventing you from seeing what’s happening during a storm.


The Pros and Cons of Impact Windows

Impact-resistant windows have become popular in the United States since they’re one of the top ways to prevent destructive winds, flying debris, or intruders from entering your home.

They are designed with an inner layer of extremely tough vinyl to take an impact and prevent glass shards from flying about everywhere. A strict rating system ensures your windows are tested to withstand up to a Category 5 hurricane.


The Pros:

1) Top-Notch Protection

Impact windows play a crucial role in hurricane safety. You don’t have to worry about installing or closing your hurricane shatters whenever a hurricane comes, as your home is protected 24/7.

In addition to hurricane protection, impact windows improve your home’s security system. They protect you from intruders. Anyone trying to break into your house will first have to break the impact glass windows, which is not an easy job for any trespasser.

2) Superior Energy Efficiency

Hurricane impact windows prevent 99% of the UV rays from entering your home, keeping your house cool while you still enjoy the sunshine. This also helps you to save utility bills by 20-50%.

3) Attractive style options for any home

Impact windows give the exterior of your home a more natural look, which increases its resale value. They come in virtually every modern design and style that you'll need to improve the functionality and aesthetics of your home.

4) Better Insurance Premiums

You will get better insurance premiums since hurricane impact windows are always in place, offering the best protection for your property. 

5) Easy to Install

Impact windows are easy to install. They are stand-alone installations that don’t require added protection. You don’t need to have shutters installed over these windows. 

6) Reliable Durability

Impact windows last longer and pay for themselves in the long run. The materials used endure wind and pressure that will effectively offer you the safety you need. They have aluminum and stainless-steel components that do not corrode easily.

7) Noticeable Noise Reduction

While impact windows don’t cancel all noise pollution, they reduce noise in your home by around 70%.


The Cons:

The biggest disadvantage of installing hurricane impact-resistant windows is the high initial cost.

  • They can be twice the cost of a normal non-impact window of the same type and size.
  • The good news is, they last longer with minimum maintenance, providing you a better return on investment.


Which Option Should You Choose?

Accordion shutters and hurricane impact windows both protect against storms, but there are a few features that differentiate them.

Having looked at the benefits of both, we believe that impact windows are the most long-term economical option. While accordion shutters are a fine option for homeowners in Miami, they don’t offer many benefits that impact windows do. Even when done professionally, strong winds can rip them off, leaving your home vulnerable to damage that may lead to expensive repairs.

Hurricane impact-resisting windows guarantee year-round security because they do not need to be opened, closed, or removed during the stormy season. While impact windows have a higher upfront cost, the chance to protect and beautify your home or business is worth the investment.


Learn More About Impact Windows: 💡


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Live in South Florida? Contact Us Today!

Alco Windows and Doors is a licensed distributor and installer of hurricane impact-resistant windows in South Florida. Our main goal is to beautify and protect your home or business against the effects of the stormy weather by offering top-quality services.

To learn more about accordion shutters vs. impact windows, contact us today. Our team members are always ready to answer any of your questions. You can also check out our guide to learn more about Alco financing and choose an option that best suits your needs.

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