What’s the Difference Between Single-Pane and Double-Pane Windows?

Whether you’ve broken a windowpane or simply want to upgrade your older home, you may be considering residential window replacement. When looking into this home renovation, the first question you’ll likely come across is whether you want single-pane windows or double-pane windows — but what’s the difference? From energy efficiency to budget, here’s everything you need to know about the difference between single-pane and double-pane windows.

What Are Single-Pane Windows?

Single-pane windows are windows that contain one layer of glass. Most older homes have single-pane windows, and it’s estimated that 41 percent of U.S. households have these types of windows. Framing materials for single-pane windows include vinyl, aluminum, and wood.

Pros and Cons of Single-Pane Windows

The most significant benefit of single-pane windows is their up-front cost. If you have a tight budget for your residential window replacement, single-pane windows may be your best budget to avoid going into debt versus the more expensive double-pane or triple-pane windows. However, they can cost you more money over time due to single-pane windows’ biggest con — lack of insulation. Even with curtains or blinds, single-pane windows can let in significant amounts of cold air in the winter and hot air in the summer, causing your HVAC unit to work harder, increasing your energy bill. If you live in an area with significant temperature fluctuations, this extra cost can be substantial and will likely cost you more in the long run than the up-front cost difference for single-pane versus double-pane windows.

What Are Double-Pane Windows?

Double-pane windows are windows with two layers of glass that are separated with a pocket of argon gas. The gas acts as an insulator, preventing significant heat transfer and keeping your building temperature-regulated without extra cost. Because of their energy efficiency, double-pane windows are standard in new homes and are becoming more and more common as homeowners opt for double-pane window installation when it’s time for them to get window repair or replacement.

Pros and Cons of Double-Pane Windows

The biggest advantage of double-pane windows is the improved energy efficiency. Choosing double-pane window installation can save you up to 30 percent annually on your energy bills, giving you long-term savings despite the higher up-front cost. The gas insulation will also help reduce exterior noise and allow your home to be quieter and more peaceful — an especially valuable trait if you live on a busy street. However, the higher installation cost can be an inhibiting factor for some homeowners, especially since all windows in your home need to be replaced with double-pane windows to achieve true energy efficiency.

If you need residential window replacement or window repair, ask your glazing contractors about double-pane windows. At Golden Glass, we can perform double-pane window installation and fabricate custom windows that are perfectly suited to your home’s functional needs, aesthetic style, and budget. Stop by our Fullerton showroom to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff about your residential window replacement, or give us a call at (800) 64-GLASS for a free estimate. You can also fill out our online contact form with any inquiries, and we’ll get back to you right away!