What are single pane windows?
Single pane windows have only one pane of glass used in their construction. This is vs double pane windows, which use two panes of glass (typically with a layer of gas trapped in-between). Single pane windows are the oldest style of window there is, in fact! This means they offer fantastic value for money, and offer you an efficient, easy window solution.
They are available in all types in which you find double paned windows, and you can choose from a broad range of frames at great value for money.
So what is the difference in how single pane windows perform (vs double pane windows)?
You will see some window service providers who present the window ‘argument’ this way, as though they are direct competitors. The truth is that both window types have value in your home, and you should pick your choice based on budget and priorities.
The difference between single pane windows and a double pane window lies not in their looks, but in their performance in energy efficiency terms. Double pane windows offer more energy savings than single pane windows, by helping to reduce your energy usage. This is critically important in areas where the climate is particularly cold or hot (or locations with strong swings between the two seasonally). In a temperate area like the San Francisco Bay Area, however, it isn’t such a big factor, although double pane windows will help keep your home cool through our warm summers. While you will still see some energy savings from the better insulation compared to single pane windows, they also cost more than single pane window designs, and it can take a lot longer for you to see the benefits of savings from bills that will ‘pay off’ that investment over time. It’s up to you whether the savings are worth it.
It is worth noting, however, that double pane windows can also help to cut down on both outside noise and condensation issues, if either are a factor for you.
Why would I choose single pane windows?
So, now you know that the key difference between single and double paned windows is better energy efficiency, what makes so many of our customers opt for single pane windows vs double pane windows?
More heat escapes from single pane windows- and that’s not always bad!
In climates that trend more to summer heat than winter cooling, especially where winter is mild, it’s also worth noting that the free air flow provided by single pane windows can work in your favor. One of the main reasons to insulate a home is to prevent heating costs being run high by escaping air. While it does also help insulate against unfavorably hot outdoor temperatures, keeping your home cooler in the process, you can achieve a less efficient, but similar effect simply by letting the heat escape through your single pane of glass.
This would only backfire on you in winter, when it would pay to be more energy efficient overall. However, for mild climate areas, the lower cost of single pane glass to buy and install may be more appealing than the greater energy efficiency of double pane windows, and the heat loss will help keep your home a little more comfortable without the need for further intervention.
What about insulating single pane windows?
If you already have single pane windows in your home, or want to install single pane windows but save some energy costs too, it is possible to fit glass windows with insulating film to improve their insulation and make them more energy efficient. It won’t be quite up to the standards of a double pane window, and it can sometimes be more of a hassle than it’s worth, but adding window film can be a reasonable solution if you need an alternative to a full refit of double pane windows.
Window films can also serve other purposes, including preventing neighbors staring in and reducing UV-A that can damage furnishings. They’re not the best solution for noise, but have occasionally been used for that purpose as well.
And there you have it! While double pane windows have become a compelling design trend in San Francisco in recent years because of the cooling insulation and the ability to save on your energy bills, single pane windows continue to be a strong choice for ease of replacement and budget-friendly pricing.
Keen to organize some single pane windows of your own? Feel free to get in contact with the team at Roxy Glass today. As your local Bay Area experts on all things window-related, we have the knowledge and experience to help you make the best window choice for your house, saving you time, costs and frustration.