One of the major reasons for upgrading your windows is to take advantage of modern window technology. Throughout most of the Western world, double-paned windows are standard, in both hot countries like Spain or Italy and colder countries like Sweden or England. In the US, however, many homes, particularly older homes, still use single-paned windows.
Double-paned windows consist of two sheets of glass in a sealed frame. The gap between the glass is filled with a specially formulated inert gas. This design offers several major advantages over traditional single-paned glass windows that only have a single sheet of glass.
1. Insulation & energy efficiency
Double-paned glass will insulate your home far better than single-paned glass. Most homeowners are are aware that in cold weather, most of the heat is lost through your windows. However, in warmer weather, which we’re lucky to get most of the year round here in Bonita Springs, the opposite is true. Your air conditioning is doing its best to keep your house cool, but your single-glazed windows are letting that cool air warm up, putting extra stress on your A/C and extra dollars on your power bill.
Replacing your single-paned with double-paned windows will usually result in lowering your energy bills by upwards of 25%, up to as much as 50% if you choose the right type of glass – that adds up to a big saving over several years.
When you have cool air outside and warm air inside, the moisture in your home will condense onto the cold windows. Most of the time, this won’t be a major problem, as you’ll just get a fine mist that will soon evaporate. But on cold winter days, this can result in puddles of water on your sills. The double-paned window design means that the inner pane of glass is well insulated from the outer pane, so the window rarely gets cold enough to cause condensation.
Double-paned windows are excellent at reducing noise. The actual reduction will vary depending on the type of window, but you can expect external noise to be cut down by 20% – 50%. That may not sound like much, but if you live in a busy traffic area or near a flight path, the difference will be immediately obvious. Your home will be quieter, and you’ll get better sleep.
4. Home security
Unless you use toughened glass, single-pane windows are often extremely easy for an intruder to smash. Double-paned windows are made to much higher standards, and are much more difficult to break. They’re also more resilient in cases of accidents: a stray baseball or children’s toy will go right through a single-paned window, which leaves you with a hole right into your home – and a large amount of broken glass – which needs to be dealt with right away. With double-paned windows, the outer pane may break, but the inner pane will remain intact, or simply crack. You’ll still have to replace the window, but you don’t have to do it immediately, you’re not exposing your home to the elements, there’s no security risk, and you don’t have bits of glass all over your house.
5. Hurricane protection
In Florida, we need to be aware of the ever-present dangers of hurricanes. We’ve been lucky for several years, but sooner or later, we will inevitably be hit again. Single-paned windows break easily when hit by flying debris, or can be pulled apart by wind pressure. Double-paned windows, particularly impact-resistant windows, will protect your home and belongings from both wind and rain.
6. Resale value
As a home-owner, you’re naturally concerned about the value of your property. Double-paned windows are a major selling point. Your buyer can look forward to all the benefits you’ve enjoyed: a quiet, secure home with low utility bills and a pleasant internal environment. You’ll typically recoup over 80% of the cost, which makes this one of the more worthwhile investments in home maintenance.