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FAQ: What are the Differences Between Single Pane and Double Pane Glass Windows?

Updated on June 17, 2011

Shopping for windows for your home can be a complicated task. There are numerous options to choose from when looking to replace your windows, including single hung versus double hung, or vinyl versus wood. Another choice homeowners will have to make is whether to buy single- or double-paned windows.

The major difference between single-pane and double-pane windows involves their structure. Single-pane windows only contain one layer of glass. On the other hand, double-pane windows are made up of two layers of glass, along with a space in between that is filled with a type of gas.

When it comes to associated costs, single-pane windows are the most affordable type to purchase. Double-pane windows will require homeowners to spend more up front. Nevertheless, buyers may be able to save more money in the long run by deciding to install double-pane windows.

A major disadvantage of selecting single-pane windows for a home is the fact that they transmit noise easily. Therefore, outside sounds are more amplified and noticeable from inside the home. Because the two layers in double-pane windows are separated by a layer of gas, the windows are more likely to resist transmissions from external noises.

In terms of heating and cooling, single-pane windows are at a disadvantage once again. These types of windows transmit heat and cold coming from outside much more readily. As a result, homeowners end up paying more for heating and cooling bills. Due to the layer of gas in-between the dual layers of glass in double-pane windows, a thermal barrier is created. This prevents outside weather from impacting a home’s interior.

Whether homeowners decide to install single or double pane windows, both types come in different forms. Buyers can choose from horizontal, single and double hung, or shuttered. Both forms are also available in either vinyl or aluminum.

When trying to decide whether to install single or double pane windows, homeowners need to keep many things in mind. Many newer homes contain insulated, coated dual panes. Single panes have proven to be much less efficient. Choosing the right windows for your home can also improve its outer appeal and appearance.

In addition to an improved appearance, dual panes incorporate modern technology in their design. Many newer dual panes are energy efficient because they are coated with Low E, a material that reflects hot, harmful sun rays away from the home. Although the damaging heat is moved away, this technology allows the beneficial warmth from the rays to remain indoors.

To increase the reduction of heat transfer, homeowners can choose darker tints for the windows. Several dual panes are energy efficient due to their vinyl structure. Older windows incorporate aluminum and wood in their designs, allowing for less heat to diffuse than with dual panes.

Due to increased energy efficiency, dual pane windows can save homeowners anywhere between 20 to 30 percent a year on energy costs. Nevertheless, before making the decision to install dual pane windows, it is essential to analyze and determine what other costs will ensue. In addition to the installation and trimming expenses, siding and exterior faces may also need to be replaced.

If dual panes are not in your budget, there are ways to increase the energy efficiency of single panes. To prevent drafts from entering inside the house, caulk around the interior and exteriors of the pane. In order to retain natural warmth and sunlight in the home, apply coatings to the pane. This will decrease any harmful impacts of sunlight while absorbing useful heat and lighting in the home. If your home is in an extreme climate (either hot or cold), you can buy quilted curtains to provide extra insulation.

When windows are installed incorrectly, the space in-between dual panes can become cloudy due to an increase in condensation. Nevertheless, there are many benefits of purchasing dual pane windows for a home. Aside from an increase in energy efficiency and adding to a house’s exterior appearance, dual panes are much easier to replace than single panes.

Regardless of what type of house you have, it is a good idea to keep these facts in mind when choosing between single and double paned windows. Whether you decide to upgrade or stick with existing single panes, determine which type is best-suited for your home and your budget


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      BeckonsAttore 4 years ago

      This is great information for replacement windows in Melrose. And this is great for my personal knowledge too. Thank you. URL:

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      test 4 years ago