If you live in an area that's prone to hurricanes or high winds, then you may want to invest in impact windows for your home. Specifically, these refer to windows that are made of extremely durable materials, making them less susceptible to damage from hurricane-force winds and flying debris. If you're considering impact windows for your residence, however, there are some things you need to know.

There Are Two Main Types

First of all, understand that there are two main types of impact  windows: laminated and insulated-laminated. The former consists of two sheets of durable glass bonded together with a plastic, shatter-proof film. With insulated-laminated glass, on the other hand, an extra pane of glass is used to provide additional insulating qualities. These are typically recommended in climates where there is a greater temperature range throughout the year.

Your Insurance Policy Might Require Them

Depending on where you live, it's possible that your home insurance policy may require you to have impact windows in order to qualify for special rates. This is due to the fact that homes with impact windows are less likely to sustain serious damage during a hurricane or similar high-wind event. As a result, policy holders with impact windows are considered a lower risk to the insurance company and may in turn enjoy lower rates and special discounts. In this sense, the cost of installing impact windows can be offset over time.

They Provide Additional Benefits

In addition to providing your home protection from high winds and flying debris, impact windows provide a number of other benefits. For starters, they add resale value to your home. They also provide added protection from the sun's UV rays, as well as improved sound reduction. Their higher durability also increases security within your home, and impact-insulated windows can lower your energy costs throughout the year as well.

Not All Companies Install Them

If you're shopping for impact windows, be sure to buy from a company that sells them and installs them. It's important to find a window company that has experience installing impact windows, as they can be more challenging to install than traditional windows. And of course, you want to make sure the installation is done correctly. Any reputable company should also include some sort of warranty on your new impact windows so you can enjoy added peace of mind with your purchase, so keep this in mind as well.