Single-pane windows are not common in homes anymore, but at one time, they were standard in residential settings. As a result, many older homes still have single-pane glass. Homeowners with single-pane windows should understand how single panes affects the home’s energy efficiency and comfort.
Knowing how to maintain your single-pane windows and when to replace them can help you take care of your house. Here is what you need to know.
Know the Pros and Cons of Single-Pane Windows
In historic homes, original single-pane windows lend authenticity to the look and feel of the house. Many homeowners who choose to keep their single-pane windows do so because these windows have an old-world beauty and character.
However, windows with only one pane of glass are very poor insulators. These windows are often cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. In addition, single-pane windows often provide poor protection from noisy traffic and other sounds outside.
Make Your Single-Pane Windows More Efficient
If you want to keep your home more energy-efficient while keeping the same windows with single panes, you can do several things to achieve that. Hang heavy-duty curtains to contain drafts. When the sun beams down in the home, draw the curtains to keep the room in shade.
Check your windows periodically for deteriorating caulk both inside and outside the home. Scrape away old deteriorating caulk and install new caulk. Caulk keeps the windows well-sealed and cuts back on air leaks.
If this is within your budget, install a low-E coating on your window. Many modern windows now have low-E glass, but you can also install these coatings on existing glass windows.
Low-E coatings block certain rays from entering and exiting the home. In winter, low-E coatings will keep heat inside the house. During the summer, low-E coatings prevent warm air from entering the home. Work with a contractor to ensure that the coating has a proper installation.
Know When to Consider Replacing Single-Pane Windows
Think about replacing your single-pane windows when:
- The cost to repair or maintain the windows is almost as much as replacing them.
- Your energy bills have risen steadily.
- You are uncomfortable sitting by windows when temperatures outside are extreme and repairing windows does not help.
Unless you have a specific reason to keep your single-pane windows (for example, they have historic value), replacing single-pane windows is a good way to make your home more energy-efficient.
When you replace your single-pane windows, you will almost certainly replace them with dual- or triple-pane windows. Extra glass protects the home’s interior from temperature extremes and prevents solar heat gain.
Triple-pane windows are more energy-efficient than dual-pane windows. Some windows have air between the panes of glass, and other windows have gas, to provide extra insulation. The most energy-efficient windows available are typically gas-filled, often with three panes.
Know the Pros and Cons of Dual- and Triple-Pane Windows
If you do decide to replace your single-pane windows, you need to consider many factors when trying to decide whether to install dual- or triple-pane windows. The advantages of these windows include:
- Improved energy efficiency
- Improved home value
- Improved ability to block sound
However, these windows have some disadvantages to consider as well:
- Extra glass adds extra weight to the window.
- Dual- and triple-pane windows cost more money up front (however, they save money on energy over time).
- Dual- and triple-pane windows can fog up with time if moisture leaks into the space between panes.
If you want to replace your single-pane windows, mitigate some of the above-mentioned problems by installing air-filled dual-pane windows because they are not as heavy. They are also less expensive than gas-filled triple-pane options. To avoid problems with condensation between panes of glass, shop around to find quality, well-rated windows.
Learn Whether to Repair or Replace Windows
If you are not sure whether to repair or replace your windows, start by contacting a window contractor and an energy auditor in your area. Your energy auditor can give you information about how much energy your windows waste and what you can do to improve their energy efficiency.
Your window replacement contractor can give you a quote for replacement windows. If you are interested in repairing your single-pane windows, your contractor can also discuss the best ways to make that happen.
If your window contractor has a showroom, go to the showroom to explore new window options. Looking at potential windows can help you decide whether new windows will look good in your home.
Contact Your Windows Contractor for Help
To find out more about single-pane, double-pane, and triple-pane windows, contact an expert in your area. At Valley Glass, we will be happy to answer your questions about different types of windows. We can also help you decide whether this is the right time to replace your windows, so call us today.