Insulating Your Home: Double vs. Single Pane Windows
Looking to save money? Most people would swear that double-paned windows will help save energy, save money, and add more value to a home, but does that really hold true?
In the United States, the annual energy loss attributed to your home's windows accounts for nearly 25% of lost heating and cooling. Double-paned windows can help reduce that statistic, but it's also important you employ some other important methods to reduce energy loss throughout the year.
Double vs. Single
Double paned windows definitely do a better job at keeping the inside temperature comfortable, whether that means keeping in the heat or stopping the cool A/C from blowing right out the window. Double paned windows help to lower your home's environmental footprint. They also offer added perks like insulating the outside noise and making your home more peaceful.
Even a clear double paned window that's framed by vinyl or wood is going to reduce heat loss by up to 24% in cold climates. It can also reduce cooling costs by up to 18% in the summer months compared to old, single paned windows. But, not all double paned windows are created equally.
Although any double paned window is going to save you some electricity compared to an older single paned window, the energy savings will vary anywhere from 30% to 50% depending on if you choose an average window or a top of the line energy efficient model.
The pros that are associated with all of this energy saving includes saved money and a reduced greenhouse gas emission level, helping the environment while helping your wallet too. Not to mention that you'll have increased interior comfort with the blocking of outdoor noise pollution and a better controlled climate inside.
Why Not Choose Double?
As a whole, there's not really any reason why you wouldn't want to choose a double paned window to go into your home. But, there are some issues you should be aware of when it comes to installation and window quality. These things can reduce or even negate the energy savings you're after.
First, you can't buy just one. If you are just replacing one or two windows in your home, you aren't going to get any energy savings from that. Your whole house needs to have double paned windows to seal it up and prevent energy loss.
Second, quality truly does matter. Cheaper double paned windows may have seals that fail and even improperly spaced glass. This can effect energy savings and even lead to condensation problems and other issues. Quality is key, and generally that means paying more. Expect to pay about $600 for an average window or $850 for the best the industry can offer.
If you're buying a house with double paned windows, be sure to have your home inspector look them over carefully so they can check for signs of failed seals, air leaks, or condensation which could be a sign that the windows need to be replaced.