Ok, admittedly I am from California, and we drag out our winter coats when it dips below 50, so we don't use storm windows out here, and I am still trying to figure them out. But my properties in Indiana have them and they need to be replaced.
What has people's experience been in terms of just getting new energy efficient windows installed instead of using storm windows and having to pay to have someone put them up and take them down every year.
I do pay the utilities on a 6 unit converted house, and the bills are high, so I am thinking it might be worth it to just convert over to the newer windows and not mess around with storm windows any more.
I bought a house with steel roll out casement windows. I hired a contractor to replace them with Revere windows (18) which helped tremendously with noise (faces a very busy street) and energy. My bill was $4300...but they were done in 1.5 days, glass and frames taken with them.
I've seen my family buy and install storms on countless properties only to have to have them removed for cleaning and for trim painting. They are becoming more window replacement "friendly".
Also, I think you've got to blow in R-38 level insulation in your attic etc. to get a good energy package. At the end of my rehab, my bill last month was $49.00 and we'll see how it performs in the winter months.
Not sure why you would have to pay someone to put the storms up and take them down every year. Most storms even the real old ones, all you do is push the glass up and pull the screen down from inside the house. Also to have replacement windows installed, you can figure about 200 bucks per window. If you're not paying the heating bill, I wouldn't worry about installing new windows.
You need to look at the big picture. If it is an old house, with little or no insulation, and an inefficient furnace, what is the expected life of the structure? Does it make more sense to modernize the windows with thermopanes, blow in some insulation, and put in an efficient furnace? What is the expected payback period? Are there incentives from the local energy suppliers or govt. agencies? Or will you be lucky to have the house keep standing another 10 years, and/or have no possible way to make the previous improvements? If that is the case, then simply installing new aluminum combination storm windows is probably the best answer. Throw away the old storm windows and seperate screens that you have to swap out each season for these relatively inexpensive combo units that install on the outside of the window frame in about 5 minutes each (once you have measured for proper size, and had them either custom made or are able to fit standard sizes where possible).
Tenants will tear up storm windows very quickly. In fact, regardless of the type of window, they destroy screens with great frequency.
I do not install storm windows. If the windows are inefficient, I go to the local surplus store and buy new (surplus) windows dirt cheap. The last 2 I bought were $49 each for double-pane, double-hung windows. I installed them myself (about an hour each). That's what I do when I need new windows.
I certainly would not pay money to put windows with Low-E glass or any type of gas between the panes. It's a waste of money for rentals which will end up with some loser breaking the window anyway.
Finally, I never pay the heat in my rentals.