Whether you’re building a house, or looking to replace your old windows, there are so many decisions to make – the window style, the color, type of operation, frame material. What’s probably one of the most important – the number of panes in the window, or, glazing. Windows come with one to three panes of glass, and especially if you live in an area where winters mean snow, wind and low temperatures, it’s a choice that will affect your life in a major way. So, which should you choose, particularly in regard to energy efficiency?
For centuries, homeowners weren’t burdened with this choice, since traditional windows were all single-pane. It does not mean that it was sufficient, on the contrary, drafts and low temperatures were typical even for mansions and palaces, but that’s all there was. There is no reason to use single-pane windows, unless you live in the tropics – and perfect reason to replace them with more energy-efficient options if you haven’t already.
Two panes of glass in place of a single pane actually make an incredible difference, with all the advantages on the side of the former. The upgraded insulation properties emerge due to the air (or argon/krypton-filled, which is even more efficient) pocket between the two panes of glass. It is useful during any season, keeping the heat inside in the wintertime, and allowing your home to stay cool in the summer. Heat transfer is not nearly as quick, and the elements are kept out.
There are very clear benefits that make double-pane windows superior, such as:
- Lower energy bills
An investment into an upgrade to double-pane windows from single pane may decrease your heating (and cooling!) bills by as much as 20 to 30%.
- Noise reduction
Not only is heat transfer slowed down in double-pane vs. single-pane windows, unwanted sounds are also kept out more effectively.
- More even heat distribution throughout your house
No longer will the chilly draft from the window make you step away into a more comfortable zone – enjoy a perfect climate in every corner.
- Less condensation
There’s less condensation on double-pane windows, which means that they are more pleasant to the touch and less prone to window frame damage from the humidity.
Yes, they are even more energy-efficient than the double-pane windows, but the increase in insulation is not anywhere near the difference between the double-pane and single pane. The catch is that they cost up to 30% more than double-pane windows, making the idea of their installation unviable from a financial point of view. In certain cases, like living in extremely cold areas, or the desire to increase home value, it is a good idea, but otherwise you probably will change houses before you manage to recoup this investment.
We at Window Quality Works believe that window replacement is a good idea, but if you’re still in doubt whether it’s the answer for you, call us to discuss window restoration, which often resolves all windows issues at a fraction of the cost of replacement.