What is a double pane window, anyway?

Double pane windows literally have two panes of glass where we’re used to seeing one. Don’t worry- this does not visually affect them, or cut down on natural light. However, this extra pane of glass is why they are sometimes referred to as ‘dual pane’ windows. Be careful not to confuse this with ‘dual hung’ windows, which are different.

By using this fusion of two panes of glass, they increase the energy efficiency of the overall window pane. Most double pane window designs also introduce an insulating layer of argon gas to the mix, pairing it with a low e coating on the glass itself, to give it even more capability to slash your energy bills below the national average.

What do you mean by ‘energy efficient window’?

No home is airtight. Of course, we don’t want it to be, as that would be dangerous to human health! However, the more air ‘leaks’ we have in the home per square foot, the harder it is to maintain a constant temperature. This means that your HVAC or furnace has to work extra hard to steady the temperature. Not only is this wasteful of fossil fuels, making it less environmentally friendly, it also increases your average energy costs. If you’re not making sure to keep your home well-insulated, this can cost you a huge portion of your monthly bills just on waste, whether it’s heating or cooling.

This becomes particularly noticeable in very extreme climates- cold or hot- but can also lead to energy savings even in a more temperate climate like ours here in the Bay Area, especially during hot summers. Windows are energy sinks, with glass windows losing the most heat through your home. Leaky doors and door frames follow as a close second.

Double pane windows introduce energy efficiency to the plan. Installing new windows, and making sure windows and doors are properly insulated, can make a huge difference to how green your home is, as well as the costs you pay on your bills. Energy efficient windows, however, tend to have a higher initial window replacement cost than single pane windows. All the same, you will typically make back how much the windows cost over time in energy savings.

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The average cost of double pane windows is higher- why?

So why is the average cost of double paned windows higher? It’s not an attempt to be a ‘gimmick’ or ‘rip off’, so don’t feel like that’s the case. There’s a couple of factors that feature when considering double pane window costs.

Firstly, the cost of construction is a bit higher, given that there’s considerably more glass pane per square foot in a double paned window than in single pane glass simply due to the double pane design. There’s also need to provide the gas layer. It’s also a heavier window type, so the window frame needs to be sturdier, and this can also affect the installation cost and labor costs, especially if you’re having custom windows designed.

Sometimes, if you want to replace your windows, you may need to account for this heavier weight in the wall design, too, which can drive up replacement costs and even installation costs. Of course, your double pane window cost will also be affected by frame material- i.e., whether you’re looking for vinyl windows or wood windows. Double pane window prices can also be affected by size and design, with more elaborate and larger designs costing the most.

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If double pane windows are more expensive, why would I want them?

As with all home improvement projects, price is very important, as you have a budget to stick to. It often isn’t your only concern, however! What type of window you choose for your home should be considered over the long-term, too.

As we mentioned above, if you’re looking for long term energy efficiency in your home that will add extra cool to your home in our warm summers, there’s no point in opting for a single pane replacement window that uses only one pane of glass. This design will lead to greater heating and cooling needs. While you can expect to pay a little more for your replacement windows on installation, double paned windows should cut a dent in your energy bills and pay for themselves over time.

It’s also important to consider that these ‘green’ construction methods are on the rise. In fact, we’ve already seen triple pane technology come into play in recent years. While these are currently overkill for the temperate climate in San Francisco, many prospective buyers will want to invest in properties which are up-to-date and use the most modern construction methods. This means that a double pane window installation could be very attractive on the market, too.

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Add that extra appeal with a double pane window

While double pane windows cost a little more, they also occupy an attractive spot in the market where they are an ‘old’ enough technology to not have an exorbitant cost per window, but are still a modern and attractive feature that’s simple to install and begins to pay itself back almost immediately. Double pane windows can also cut down on street noise filtering into your home, which can be a particular draw card for city homes, high-traffic areas, or other places where road noise spoils the peace of your home. While energy concerns are not as vital in the Bay Area as they can be in other parts of the United States, it’s well worth considering double pane windows if you have the budget to spare and want a forward-looking home improvement that will add marketability and practicality to your home while still keeping your space pleasantly cool in summer.

Are you looking for the best replacement windows for your needs? Do you have questions about double pane windows? Or do you simply want to get an idea of your project cost? Why not get in touch with the friendly team at Roxy Glass today? Whether you need advice or want to get free quotes, we’re always happy to hear from you.