Double pane windows are widely used for their energy efficiency and capacity for saving money and raising a home’s value. Uninsulated windows are responsible for almost 25% of the yearly costs for cooling and heating in the average US home. It should come as no surprise that any solution to this problem is popular with homeowners.
In terms of energy efficiency, double pane windows are a major improvement over a single pane of glass. A window with double panes means it has two sheets of glass in one window frame. This creates a space between the sheets of glass which provides insulation to the home. With just clear glass and a vinyl or wood frame, these windows can reduce energy usage. Adding extra technologies can increase your savings even more. Such technologies could include Low-E coatings, argon filling in the space between the panes, and fiberglass framing. In fact, top of the line double pane windows could boost your savings anywhere from 30% to 50%.
Another benefit is the positive environmental impact that these windows have. By lowering energy use, these windows save you money and reduce the overall environmental impact of your home. Furthermore, the windows also help protect your HVAC unit by reducing its cooling and heating load. Double pane windows have also been shown to reduce noise, which makes them especially desirable in busy urban areas.
In general, double pane windows don’t have too many disadvantages. However, there are some issues that can negate or reduce the effectiveness of the window. For example, there are manufacturers that sell lower quality windows. Manufacturing issues such as improper distance between the two panes and lower quality framing can reduce your savings. These issues could lead to problems in performance, such as condensation between the panes of glass. To avoid this, make sure that you buy from reputable, certified companies that have plenty of reviews and references.
Because of the extra pane of glass, double pane windows are a bit more expensive than single pane windows. Unfortunately replacing only one or two of your windows won’t be all that helpful in reducing your energy bill and increasing the comfort in your home. You will reap the most benefit by replacing all of the windows in your home. This is a big investment upfront but can pay off in the long run. Window installation can be handled by the DIY-er, but if problems occur, the costs may grow substantially.
Prices will differ due to the size, weight, and framing of each window. To get the best deal, make sure to get at least 3-5 estimates from contractors. You can also wait until late fall and early winter to catch the contractors in their down season. That’s when you will probably find some really aggressive discounts.
Should You Invest in Double Pane Windows?
Double pane windows are definitely worth the investment because they offer big savings over single pane windows. In fact, some manufacturers don’t even have single pane windows available. If you are building a home, double pane windows are a must. If you are thinking about replacing the single pane windows in your home, the investment is definitely worthwhile.