Choosing Between Single or Double Pane Windows

Photo of section of the white sample of PVC of a window on a white background

Choosing just the right window for your home and lifestyle can be quite overwhelming. There are so many things that need to be considered. Style, comfort, efficiency, and quality of materials all play a strong role in customer satisfaction. Important details such as window type, the amount of sunlight that filters through the window and double- or single-pane glass can make a difference in your energy costs as well as the appearance and comfort of your home.

If you’re confused about the difference between single-pane windows and double-pane windows, the following guide can help you make the wisest choice for your family.


Single-Pane Windows

Single-pane windows are made with a single layer of glass. They come in all of the same styles and materials that double-pane windows do, but they are not as efficient at keeping out noise or seasonal temperatures. Their initial cost is less, which makes them a good choice for those who need to stay within a strict budget, but over time, energy bills will be higher.

Single-pane glass treatments have no insulation. When you have only one pane of glass, outside temperatures and noise will affect the inside of your home more easily. If you live in a quiet neighborhood and your seasonal temperatures remain mild and consistent throughout the year, single-pane windows might be enough. However, the costs of heating or cooling down your home are directly related to the type of window you choose.

Double-Pane Windows

Double-pane windows, also known as dual pane windows, come with two panes of glass. These panes are separated from each other by a spaced filled with air. That air traps winter’s colder temperatures or summer’s heat in between the two windows and forms a barrier that blocks the heat and cold from affecting your home. The energy savings over single pane windows can be as much as 24 percent in cold climates during the winter and 18 percent during the summer in hot climates. That results in lower energy costs and less noise, which can be an important consideration if you live on a busy street.

Double pane window treatments do initially cost more than single-pane windows do, since they use double the materials, but the insulation and strength they offer can make them a much better buy. In fact, with double-pane windows you won’t have to use your air conditioner as often and your heater can be set at a lower temperature because the air inside your home will be more consistent.

Single Pane vs Double Pane Windows Energy Savings

As mentioned earlier, double pane windows are more energy efficient than single pane windows. You may still be wondering whether single pane windows are energy efficient at all?

Single pane windows do protect your home from the outside weather to some degree. They just don’t go quite as far as double pane windows do. Compared to single pane windows, double pane windows insulate your home far better. This results in reduced airflow an energy usage.

Therefore if you’re after energy efficiency, which most people are, double pane windows are the way to go. You may pay a little more up front for the windows themselves, but you’ll experience the savings in your energy bill for years to come. The amount you save will vary based on your home size and the windows you choose, but you could end up saving $100 to $400 annually on an electric heating bill.

How to Tell if Your Window is Single or Double Paned

If you’re replacing windows and trying to figure out what you currently have, don’t worry. It’s fairly easy to tell whether your windows are single or double paned. You may not be able to actually spot the two separate panes of glass (even though they’re there), but there’s a little trick to help you find out whether your windows are double or single paned.

Look to your window’s outside edge. This is where the glass meets the window sash. If you have double paned windows, you’ll notice a metal divider in the center of the window’s outside edges. Single pane windows won’t have this metal divider.

And if you’re still unsure, think about the age of your windows. If they were installed before 1980, they are almost definitely single paned windows.

You most certainly can replace single paned windows with double paned versions. In fact, it’s recommended. The major benefit to knowing your current window type is to be able to anticipate the level of change that your new windows will provide. Going from a single pane to a double pane should result in a major energy savings.

You shouldn’t sacrifice quality for cost. Bad seals, poorly spaced glass, or other defects can negate your energy savings or even allow condensation to form between the panes.

To get the intended energy savings, windows replacement need to occur on all of your windows at the same time.

Call Newman Replacement Windows and Doors today at 1.877.763.9626 for more information about our single and double window options or to schedule a free in-home estimate.

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