by Lori Melton
Cold winter weather is just around the corner in many parts of the country, and many homes see an increase in heating bills during this blustery season. If you’re looking for ways to increase energy efficiency and reduce your energy bill, installing new double pane windows have some great advantages.
What are Double Pane Windows?
Single pane windows only have a single pane of glass. While they are less expensive than double pane windows, you may lose your cost savings in higher energy loss. Double pane windows contain two layers (panes) of clear glass that are filled with gas in between them for insulation. These come in a variety of frames including vinyl, wood, and wood-clad frames. Choosing the right frame-style to match your home exterior is a personal choice. Proven, reputable window retailers such as American Vision Windows have a variety of window styles to fit many different home styles and budgets. Vinyl replacement windows are a popular choice because they are typically easier to maintain, as they don’t require painting.
Energy Loss vs. Energy Saved
Windows and doors constantly regulate the flow of heat and light that comes into your home. Older or poorly-performing windows can leak air and create drafts in your home during the winter. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a voluntary organization that rates window performance according to the U-factor (the rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow) and the solar heat gain coefficient or SHGC (the fraction of solar radiation admitted through a window). The lower the U-factor, the more energy-efficient a window is; the higher the SHGC factor, the more effective the window is at collecting solar heat during winter.
Heat can also be lost through transmission from objects in the room and your body. Generally, you won’t lose as much body heat when sitting near a better insulated window, because the inside surface of it will be warmer. Overall, double pane windows usually insulate about twice as well as single pane windows and can reportedly reduce energy usage by up to 24 percent in cold climates in the winter. Finally, using less energy also means you’re helping to make a positive impact on the environment.
Proper Installation Matters
It’s very important to make sure a qualified, licensed window installer installs your new windows. Poorly installed windows may not be sealed properly, which might also create leaks and drafts that can reduce energy efficiency. When shopping for windows, always make sure to ask if a company warranties installation and be sure to understand what the resolution process is, should you have any concerns once your windows are installed.
Noise Reduction and Added Home Value
Double paned windows not only provide better insulation against winter weather, but they also act as an insulator against outside noise. If you live in a busy, urban area, you’ll undoubtedly appreciate the advantage double paned windows have in creating a quieter home environment. This intrinsic benefit also correlates to increased home value. Window upgrades beautify your home’s exterior and boost curb appeal. Once a potential buyer steps inside your home, the added sound barrier against unwanted noise pollution provided by double paned windows can also be perceived as a home-buying benefit.