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Single Pane vs Double Pane Windows

Deciding to buy replacement windows can be intimidating. There are several types and styles of windows to choose from, not to mention manufacturers. 

One thing that many window installation companies may discuss with you is the number of panes in your windows.  While double and triple-pane windows are the norm today, single-pane windows are still available from some suppliers. Single-pane windows may seem like a big discount, but there’s a catch. 

Let’s take a look at the pros, cons, and differences between single and double-pane windows. 

Single-Pane Windows

Single-pane windows have one piece of glass. They are the main type of window found in older homes because they’ve been used for many, many years. They can still be installed today.

The problem with single-pane windows is that they transfer energy from the outside to the inside of your home. This means that the warm or cool air in your house is literally passing through the glass to the outside. You may see condensation or frost on your single-pane windows, a sign that there is very little insulation. The condensation can also cause mold, mildew, and rot on the window frame and the window sill. 

Read more: Is your energy bill on the rise? It may be your windows.

Single-pane windows are still used, especially in home restorations where double-pane windows are prohibited by the historic registry. They may also be used in rentals to save money on the cost of the window or installed in temperate areas that have mild summers and milder winters. However, any cost savings is short-term in climates with harsher winters or hot summers.

Single-pane windows are also the least safe and offer the least noise protection. There’s only one pane of glass between you and the outside world. 

Storm windows are a common addition to single-pane windows as a way of increasing the insulation factor as well as decreasing the noise that’s allowed through by single-pane windows. However, a storm window is not as effective as actual double-pane windows.

While single-pane windows are still on the market, many window companies won’t install them because they’ll cause your energy bills to skyrocket. There are even regulations in some states, such as California, that require all new homes to have double-pane windows for their energy efficiency.

Double-Pane Windows

Double-pane windows have two pieces of glass. Sometimes, argon gas is placed between the two panes to add an additional insulating factor. This style of window has been around for several decades and is the standard for new homes today. 

The two panes of glass create a pocket of insulation that reduces the amount of energy that’s transferred from the outside to the inside. Sometimes, argon gas is added to create a strong pocket of insulation. Argon gas is heavier than oxygen, making it a perfect insulator.

Double-pane windows may cost more than single-pane ones, but the energy savings are undeniable. Upgrading from single-pane windows to double-pane windows pays for itself over the long term. 

In addition to the cost savings, double-pane windows offer increased security and outside noise reduction. Say goodbye to listening to your neighbor’s noisy lawn mower. 

The cons of double-pane windows is their expense compared to single-pane windows. However, it’s important to recognize that, in most climates, double-pane windows pay for themselves due to the high cost of energy bills that come with single-pane windows. 

Bonus: Triple Pane Windows

Triple-pane windows are the ultimate insulator. They let very little energy pass through them. Such windows are more important in extremely harsh weather conditions where it’s important to gain the most protection from the outside weather. 

Triple-pane windows offer you the most security protection and noise reduction. No burglar wants to smash through three thick panes of glass. Those same three pieces of glass keep the noise of a busy street from creeping through your home. 

The Winner Between Single and Double-Pane Windows?

Double-pane windows are the best middle ground between insulating properties and cost-effectiveness. They offer the best value for your money and are the best-suited window for Pennsylvania weather. 

Single-pane windows may tempt you, but their long-term cost is far higher than having double-pane windows installed. Single-pane windows also lack the noise reduction and security factors that double-pane windows provide.

Looking to install new, double-pane windows in your home? Let Volpe Enterprises give you a quote.

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