Windows are a major location for heat loss in your home. Although windows only make up about 5 to 10% of the total exterior surface area of your home, they account for as much as 30% of total heat loss. Insulating your windows can make a huge difference. Single pane windows offer the least amount of insulation. Triple glazed windows reduce noise significantly, but the energy savings witnessed do not justify their costs. Double glazed windows, on the other hand, are a wonderful compromise.
A Look at the R-Values
Double glazed windows can significantly increase the energy efficiency of your home. To calculate the increase in energy efficiency, most contractors recommend taking a look at the R-value of the windows. The R-value measures the thermal resistance with a higher R-value indicating the windows are more resistant and more effective.
Standard double glazed windows have a R-value between 1.5 and 2.0 while low-e double glazed windows have a R-value between 2.4 and 3.0. Low-e double pane windows filled with argon gas have a R-value that falls between 2.7 to 3.6. In comparison, standard single pane glass windows have a R-value of approximately 0.85. In short, you can improve the energy efficiency of your home by 100% by simply replacing all of the single pane windows with standard double glazed windows.
Advantages of Double Glazed Windows
On top of being able to enjoy energy savings, double glazed windows are also a worthwhile upgrade due to the numerous other advantages they can offer. You will be able to reap benefits like:
- sound insulation. Do you live in a noisy neighborhood? With double glazed windows, a lot of the noise from outside your home will be silenced. Double pane windows create an effective barrier. You can finally sleep in while your neighbor mows the lawn at 6 in the morning.
- enhanced safety. If you were concerned about burglaries before, the peace of mind from installing double glazed windows will allow you to sleep soundly at night. Double glazed windows are a lot more difficult to break, so they can enhance the security of your home. In addition, double glazed windows offer a tighter seal than single pane windows, so they are also harder to force open from the outside.
- prevent ultraviolet ray damage. Did you know the ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun can easily damage your furniture overtime? With double glazed windows, the amount of sun and heat that can enter your windows will be greatly reduced.
- a limited amount of condensation. The air between the double glazed window panes prevent condensation from forming, which helps prolong the lifespan of your windows and also reduces the amount of maintenance needed.
Factors to Consider
Before jumping onto the bandwagon and replacing your single pane windows with double glazed options, there are several factors you should also consider. Double glazed windows may not always a good match. For one, double glazed windows cannot be repaired. If these windows are not installed properly and do not have an airtight seal, condensation can form inside the air chamber. If this happens, the entire window needs to be replaced. In addition, double glazed windows look a lot more modern than single pane alternatives. As a result, their style may clash with homes that feature older styles.
If you have to replace your windows, then you may as well upgrade from single pane windows to double pane windows. Speak with a professional to determine whether double glazed windows fit well with the architectural styling of your home. There are many designs and styles available that can enhance the overall appearance of your home.